Thursday, January 28, 2021

Research shows commuting habits are set to change due to COVID

The pandemic has turned so many of our lives upside down, altering our daily routines – potentially for the long-term.

Almost a quarter of the country worked exclusively from home upon the announcement of a second lockdown in England, and it’s something that may be here to stay, with a huge number of major corporations confirming that remote-working measures will not go away with success over the virus.

All this has served to remove a major daily event from many of our lives – the commute. But what do Brits think about losing their daily journeys? Let’s take a look.

Calmer without the car?

We’ve all been there. Slightly late out the door, the kids dragging their feet, red light after red light after red light – then rushing into work hoping nobody notices you’re late.

It’s never nice, and starting the day with so much stress can’t be good for you. But has the ‘new normal’ of live on the roads at rush hour raised the calm?

A recent survey by Devitt Insurance found that a third of UK commuters found the experience to be a stressful one. However, almost half of those polled (46%) said they now enjoyed their commute post-lockdown, compared to 37% before restrictions were imposed.

It’s little surprise that clearer roads and calmer drivers go hand in hand!

How will it change?

Previous lifting of lockdown measures naturally saw roads become busier once again, so it remains to be seen if those newfound commute fans will still love it in the months to come.

Having lived with coronavirus among us will change many of our habits for good, be it personal hygiene, family relationships, or working habits. And it appears the same can be said of commuting.

Devitt’s research found that a remarkable 76% of commuters who used public transport pre-lockdown would look for a different mode of travel when returning to the workplace. This is understandable, given the need for social distancing but will be fascinating to monitor if recently revealed vaccines are proven to be effective and life begins to return to ‘normal’.

What the experts say

“While the stresses of daily life are clearly affecting workers as they head out on their commutes, it was interesting to see that enjoyment levels have actually risen for those workers who are already heading back to their workplaces,” said Devitt marketing manager Tom Warsop.

“Whether it is the novelty of a new mode of transport or the impact of going back to a sense of normality, albeit with new guidelines and restrictions, the research highlights that there will be positives to be found in getting back out on the road.”

Those roads could look remarkably different when returning to the workplace is the norm for us all, with three-quarters of those shunning public transport in the future saying they would opt for a motorbike instead.

How will you react to the new normal of commuting?

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