More Tech Staff Working While they Commute

Growing numbers of IT and technology staff are extending their work day into their travel time in order to perform their job effectively, according to specialist recruiter Randstad Technologies.

The research of over 2,000 Brits on commuting habits found that the economic downturn has had an impact on the number of IT and tech staff working while they travel. In 2008, before the downturn took hold, just 9% of tech workers said they worked while they commuted, this has risen to 15% in 2013.

The findings also suggest those working in IT and technology are under the most pressure to work while on the move compared to other professions. Across all industries, 8% of workers feel under pressure to work while they commute, however, in the technology sector this figure rises to 19%. A quarter of tech staff (25%) put this down to technology saying that the development of smartphones and tablets has increased the pressure on them to work while they travel.

Mike Beresford, managing director of Randstad Technologies, said: “Time is the vital currency of commuting: how much of it you spend—and how you spend it—reveals a great deal about how much you think it is worth. Many commuters choose to relax and unwind from work while travelling in order to maximise their work/life balance, however, a growing number of savvy tech staff are using their commute to extend their working day and become more productive.

“In a tough economic environment, employees are under pressure to demonstrate their value to their employer and committed high-flyers are out to impress. This is manifesting itself as more employees work outside normal hours while they’re commuting. The growth of new technologies such as smartphones and tablets means it’s easier than ever to work around the clock. Our analysis shows the average tech worker already feels they’re spread too thin and having to work the equivalent of a seven and a half day week. Working on the move looks like a smart way of using downtime to increase productivity and improve your work / life balance to get home as soon as possible rather than staying in the office longer.”

Commuting Times

Those working in the IT and technology sector have the furthest average distance to commute each day compared to any other industry. On average, tech staff travel a total of 38.5 miles a day. This is significantly higher than the wider UK average of 18.5 miles. Tech staff also spend the second longest amount of time travelling each day at nearly 66 minutes.

The long average distance tech workers travel suggests they are happy to travel further for the best jobs. However, they are not spending the most time commuting – accountants spend an average of 76 minutes per day travelling. This suggests they are using faster and potentially more costly methods of transport to get to and from their place of work.

Nearly half of IT and tech workers (47%) in the UK commute by car, while nearly a quarter (23%) use the train, underground or tube to get to and from work. A tenth of tech staff (11%) use the bus.

Mike Beresford, said: “The skills shortage in the tech sector means that those with sought after knowledge or experience can often expect to be well remunerated. If a role requires a long commute but offers an attractive salary or package, then candidates are much more likely to consider it. Tech hubs such as Cambridge, London and those along the M4 corridor out to Bristol all have a relatively high cost of living, therefore tech workers choosing to travel long distances to these locations may also benefit from good remuneration as well as a relatively low cost of living in the area they are travelling from.”

 

Industry Sector

Average Commuting Time – 2013
(minutes)

Average Commuting Distance – 2013
(miles)

Accountancy

75.6

35.2

IT & Technology

65.6

38.5

Utilities (inc Water), Mining, Oil & Gas extraction

65.4

23.0

Law

60.5

17.1

Wholesalers

53.7

27.7

Financial Services

49.9

17.2

Engineering

47.0

21.4

Health – eg: Nurse

46.7

18.5

Media

45.9

13.5

Insurance

45.1

18.4

Manufacturing

44.9

19.8

Aviation

42.0

16.8

Care – e.g. Social Worker

40.4

13.9

Construction

39.4

22.8

Rail

37.0

16.2

Education

36.9

14.8

Property

36.4

16.8

Leisure

32.3

12.6

Retail

31.8

13.3

Automotive

22.3

17.0

 

 

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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