Would you consider commuting for longer but less frequently?

Author: Gareth Spowart, Senior Public Practice Consultant, iMultiply

Senior Public Practice Consultant Gareth Spowart recently conducted a poll on Linkedin about commuting and remote working.

bar graph including poll results on whether people would consider a longer commute lets less frequent. YES 53%, POTENTIALLY 18%, NO 29%

“Would you consider commuting for longer but less frequently? For example, a 2/3-hour weekly commute compared with a 1-hour daily commute.”

Recently I put the above question to my connections on LinkedIn to try and understand how remote working has influenced people’s opinion on commuting from the perspective of frequency and time.

As the results show 71% would or potentially would consider commuting for longer but on a less frequent basis. This answer, From my perspective, doesn’t necessarily surprise me, and this is how I voted also. However, how can this help employers when hiring going forward? Recently Accountancy recruitment has become more and more candidate-driven, especially so in Public Practice. Due to this, candidates increasingly have a multitude of choices when it comes to their next employer. Along with flexibility/remote working being one of their key criteria in many instances. So, does this mean the ideal candidate for your role could be based 3 hours from your office? Or, could someone in this 71% be an excellent fit for your business? The answer won’t always be yes, but it’s worth considering, especially when the market is competitive.

For instance, recently I placed a candidate who will commute for nearly 3 hours each way, but only twice a month. This candidate thrived in a home working environment and sought an employer to support and encourage this. However, if you’d said this was possible 18 months ago, I would probably have laughed. As to some a 6-hour round trip might sound unappealing, but is it more or less palatable than 1 or 2 hours every day? My conclusion would be the former. Although, imagine having an extra 2 hours the other nine days at home – what could you do with this time?

The other side is over 1 in 4 (29%) said they wouldn’t consider a longer, less frequent commute, still a significant proportion. For some, commuting for such a long time and potentially distance isn’t practical or attractive, which I can fully understand. However, the main message here is flexibility comes in lots of different shapes and forms for other people. Therefore if you want to be an employer of choice, I believe it’s going to be essential to accommodate this – and it might be in a way you hadn’t even thought of before.

Continue the conversation by connecting with Gareth on LinkedIn or by reaching out on 07719 108 236 or garethspowart@imultiplyresourcing.com.

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