Commuting To Work - How Far Should You Travel?
According to official government figures, 25% of British people travel more than 30 minutes to work each day. Therefore, commuters make up a quarter of the UK’s working population, and this number is continually growing.
There are many different reasons people choose to commute to work, rather than find a job closer to home. Most commuters travel from a small town, village or rural area to a city or large town, where there is a wider range of employment opportunities. You can also earn a higher wage in urban areas, and many of the most exciting industries and sought-after jobs are in cities, particularly London.
Commuters choose not to move to the city because they want a better quality of life, to be close to their family or to save money on living costs such as rent. However, when you spend over an hour per day travelling, this can have a negative impact on your finances and quality of life. The cost of travel in the UK, and especially in London, increases every year. Commuters often find that their travel expenses, such as petrol or train fares, are equal to the extra amount of money they are earning by working in the city.
Another disadvantage of commuting to work is that it often means waking up early and getting home late. If you have children, you could find yourself getting up at 5:30am to feed and clothe them before school or nursery, and to get yourself ready for work. You may not return home until 8:00pm, leaving you only the weekends to spend quality time with your family. Instead, you will spend an hour or more each day surrounded by fellow travellers in busy rush hour traffic or cramped public transport.
When deliberating whether to look for work further away from home, it’s important to think about your priorities in life, and consider the pros and cons of each option. By taking a well-paid job with good career prospects, you can provide a better quality of life for yourself and your family, for example you can afford a larger house, exciting holidays and financial security in general. However, you need to make sure that you will still have the time to enjoy the benefits you have earned, and that your daily routine isn’t so stressful that you’re too tired to make the most of your improved lifestyle.
In order to achieve this healthy balance, try to find a compromise. Could you move a little closer to the city, without straying too far from your home area or paying the premium of living within the city itself? Or perhaps you could look for a job that has the flexibility to work from home, meaning you don’t have to make the journey every day. If you have no option but to take a job that involves a long commute, try to make the most of the journey by relaxing, listening to music or even getting some work done on your laptop, increasing the chance that you’ll be able to get home by tea time.
A commuter lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Some people find commuting to be more trouble than it’s worth, but others enjoy the daily travel, or at least accept that it is a necessary evil to achieve the best life for themselves and their families.
Whichever your preference make sure you browse our jobs and find your next role with a commute that suits your lifestyle.