It’s safe to say that 2020 has seen the working lives of people in the UK change almost beyond recognition. From furloughs to working at home, the daily routine has been well and truly disrupted.
One possible benefit from this change is getting time back from the daily commute. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to work from home during the lockdown, you could be saving many hours a week that you’d normally spend sat in traffic or on crowded trains.
Time to get to work
We’ve done some research on just how much time people are saving across the UK by not commuting to their offices. In 2018 the average daily commute was just under an hour (counting both ways), which adds up to a staggering 221 hours a year spent travelling to and from work.
The amount of time also varies depending where you live and work, with the longest commutes, not surprisingly, in London and the south east of England. For Londoners it can take a yawn-inducing 1 hour and 19 minutes to get to and from work every day, nearly 20 minutes more than the rest of the country.
Elsewhere in the South East, it can take just over an hour to make it to and from work, while those further north, as well as in Wales and Northern Ireland, can get the whole commute done in around 50 minutes. These high average commute times reveal just how much time UK workers spend getting to and from their jobs, time that isn’t remunerated, of course.
An hour of your life you can get back
If you’re now able to work from home, you could be getting a whole hour of extra time back every day. Since the beginning of the UK-wide lockdown in March, this means you could have saved over 2 days and 18 hours by now.
This unprecedented return of time to UK office workers offers a lot of opportunity to improve everyday life, and perhaps even health. From getting more sleep and a longer lie in each morning, to having time to relax, exercise, or meditate before starting work can be very beneficial to mental wellbeing. It’s also much better getting to spend more time enjoying the evenings rather than facing a long journey home at the end of the working day.
However you choose to spend that extra time, we think it’s the perfect opportunity to catch up on all those TV series that everyone raved about but you just didn’t get around to watching.
Catch up on binge-worthy TV
Taking those 2 days and 18 hours or so to fill, there’s a plethora of fantastic TV you could enjoy.
One of the highest rated series of recent years would fit neatly into the time available, with Breaking Bad taking 2 days and 14 hours to watch in its entirety. Or if you wanted something more light-hearted and funny to take your mind off the everyday existential dread, you could lose yourself in the eternally delightful worlds of Parks and Recreation (2 days and 15 hours) or Schitts Creek (1 day 16 hours).
Netflix has been responsible for many recent series that became the only things people could talk about, including the compellingly creepy Stranger Things, that’ll take you 20 hours and 50 minutes to view. Or you could enjoy something uplifting in these difficult times with 1 day and 4 hours of Queer Eye, the shiny new incarnation of the unique makeover show.
Working from home
For many of us, working from home is now the new normal. While we’ll surely return to working together in office spaces again in the not-so-distant future, in the meantime working from home offers its own benefits and rewards that we can take full advantage of.