While the pandemic itself might not be a barrel of laughs, our daily commute has certainly got a whole lot better. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at this map of the London Underground drawn by artist Kera Till. Entitled ‘Commuting in the age of Corona’ the image graphically indicates what ‘getting to work’ means in the London of 2021.
Gone are the crowded platforms, stuffy trains or mammoth commutes that characterised pre-pandemic travel. In has come cosy home offices and ‘work from sofa’ type arrangements.
Even better, in this brave new age of commuting, ‘passengers’ are never very far away from a toilet and they are virtually guaranteed a seat too!
If this all sounds vaguely amusing, commuting in London in normal circumstances certainly isn’t. The Total Jobs website recently found that the average pre-pandemic London commute stretched to 13 miles. Such a journey would take an average of 48 minutes with a cost of £122 a month.
Over the course of a lifetime this would mean that the average commuter would travel a staggering 141,000 miles between home and work with the combined trip lasting for 363 days!
The typical WFH commute, however, is much more likely to be measured in seconds, with the most common routes: Bedroom to Kitchen Central and Living Room Sofa to Refrigerator often carried out in a blink of an eye.
This drastic reduction of the typical daily commute means that Londoners suddenly have a surplus of time on their hands. Ironically, however, it seems that the average employee is much more likely to spend that time doing more office work rather than engaging in leisure activities.
A poll by the Property agent Savills highlighted this finding. 45% of respondents to the survey said that they were working up to three hours more per day at home than they would in the office.
Even more intriguingly, 88% of the respondents said that they hoped their employer would maintain a physical office. Where respondents expressed a desire to work from home many stated that they would like to do so for no more than 1 to 2 days a week.
The respondents cited a number of reasons for expressing a preference for their offices over the ability to work from home. Difficulties participating in team meetings, the challenges of maintaining a daily routine and the impossibility of carrying out development activities were all cited by respondents.
The survey did find that people working at home found it easier to carry out individual tasks, focused work and background reading while working from home.
The pandemic has dramatically reduced our daily commute with working from home now the norm in a majority of industries. While this means that the average working person now has up to twenty hours more free time each week, however, many Londoners are choosing to spend that time doing more work on their day jobs.
More information and artwork by Kera Till can be found here.
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