Cutting through commute times by offering staff flexible working practices can offer all kinds of options to staff which can contribute to their well being, according to a survey published today.
For instance, more than two thirds (67 per cent) of New Zealand workers would allocate more time to family if they could save time on commuting, whereas one third of professionals would choose to work more (33 per cent), according to research commissioned by Regus, a serviced office provider for SMEs and large corporates around the world.
The Regus study, which polled over 16,000 professionals in more than 80 countries, shows that 35 per cent of New Zealand workers are already benefiting from flexible working arrangements and are working from other locations than their company's main offices for half the week or more. These policies are helping them reduce the overall time spent commuting.
New Zealanders are not quite as fitness motivated as Australians, according to the research. Almost 80 per cent of Australians would prioritise exercise and getting fit given less time spent commuting compared with 59 per cent of New Zealanders.
Kiwis would also choose work over friends.
One third of NZ employees would allocate more time to work (33 per cent), as one of their top priorities, compared with 23 per cent of workers who would choose to spend time with friends. Meanwhile New Zealanders would rather do charity work than spend the extra time extending their educational qualifications.
"This research raises the issue of workers wasting time commuting. In New Zealand there can be major traffic congestions during rush hour, particularly for those travelling long distances," said Filippo Sarti, Asia Pacific CEO and Global COO for Regus.
"Not only does the study reveal what workers would choose to do for themselves, it also highlights the benefits of flexi-work practices for businesses - with 33 per cent of New Zealand employees saying they would choose to work more if they had the extra time."
Sarti added: "With 68 per cent of New Zealand professionals working more on the move today compared to a decade ago, there is a clear move towards cutting the commute for the good of both employees and the business."
In ranking order, the top activities chosen by NZ workers, in the light of saved commute times include:
Cutting Commutes - Wish List
1. More time with partner and family
2. More time exercising and getting fit
3. Performing voluntary/charitable work
4. More time working
5. More time sleeping
6. Extending educational qualifications
7. More time going out with friends