Commuting. A necessary chore or reason for relocation

Commuting to work. A necessary daily chore or reason for relocation...

As someone who has spent the majority of my working life commuting in London I was interested to read a report by The Candidate that found a journey lasting more than an hour is the tipping point for job seeking commuters considering a new role.

The survey, conducted by the digital marketing recruitment agency, found that half of job hunters would not consider a role that involved a commute lasting longer than an hour.

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This is not surprising when you consider the typical working day is 8 hours. Add to that an hour each way commute, and 10 hours of your waking day are spent working or travelling to work.

For me though, a lot depends on the commute itself. My last employment in London involved a 25-minute train ride into Cannon Street. Add the walk and bus journey and my total commute would be around an hour each way…on a good day.  Delays on the train, congestion in the city holding up the buses, all contributed to an often-miserable commute. I would get a seat on the train about 30% of the time and standing on a packed train is not the greatest start to your day.

In comparison, for just over 2 years I had to catch 2 trains to get to work from Lewisham, in South East London, to Richmond. This would be a longer journey but a far more pleasant one. You were always guaranteed a seat on the second train from Waterloo to Richmond and sometimes, if I was running a bit early, I would catch the slower service that took half an hour just to sit down for longer and read a book or listen to music. A much better way to start your working day...

Therefore, in my view, the other statistic that only nine per cent of 1,000 job seekers revealed that they would still commute to work if it took an hour and a half or more is very dependant on the quality of journey and also where you are going. I had no problem being in Richmond on a daily basis even if for work and having a longer daily commute.

The report also unveiled that a significant majority (92%) of respondents would be happy to move away from their hometown if offered a relocation package.

Distance has proved to be an issue in the past and research carried out by Regus showed that long distance commuters were more likely to quit their jobs due to the length of their commute to work.

In addition, a study carried out earlier this year by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the worst length of time to travel is between an hour and 90 minutes.

Brian Matthews, co-founder of The Candidate, said: “Our research has found that half of prospective employees are only prepared to commute for an hour or less, which demonstrates why employers may need to introduce relocation packages to attract the right candidates.

“By opening up positions to a greater amount of jobseekers, you can be sure you are reaching the best talent in your field and increase the likelihood of a good hire,” he added.

I relocated from London to Isle of Wight whilst still employed in London. My eventual ‘full time move’ to my current home coincided with my current employment at CVWOW. When I think of some of my past commutes the current 10-minute hovercraft journey across the Solent to Portsmouth is bliss.

So that’s a quick insight from CVWOW. There are so many different views on this subject but recruiters do have to consider a candidates commute when preparing their shortlist. We value all feedback from both applicants and recruiters so feel free to join in the discussion. 

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Date: 17/10/2014
Source: CVWOW
Author: Matthew Holley

About the author:

Email and Digital Marketing Manager at CVWOW.


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