But what impact can commuting, and business travel have on your colleagues? Let’s delve into these risks and how your business can best support your commuting staff.
Irish Commuting in 2019
Ireland’s workers are spending copious amounts of time driving and commuting to and from work. On top of this, more workers are now travelling for longer periods of time for work-related purposes.
According to recent research conducted by iCarhireinsurance.ie, an increasing number of workers are travelling more frequently for business, with some reporting that they are willing to travel on trips upwards of 9 hours on average.
So, what is the big deal if these workers are more than willing to travel for business? The answer: workforce health!
In this same study of 1,000 Republic of Ireland road trip travellers, a worrying trend appeared: 75% of road users admitted to taking a caffeinated beverage instead of a proper rest during longer periods of commuting. In fact, only 14% reported taking a nap to overcome tiredness.
Irish commuters and their health are increasingly at risk due to business travel. Is your business taking this into consideration?
How to Support Your Commuting Colleagues
In any business, its people that matter. As the old JW Marriott saying goes, “If you take care of your people, they will take care of your customers and your business will take care of itself”; nothing could be truer.
Looking after your colleagues spans across every element of working life, from providing first-class benefits to ensuring all staff enjoy a healthy work-life balance.
The same can be applied to those employees that commute daily, or frequently travel for your business. Here are
just a few steps that your business and its HR team can take to ensure that those colleagues and their health are appreciated:
- Share Out Those Miles
While business trips can be great experiences for younger colleagues, and a breath of fresh air for the more experienced, they can also become a burden for staff who have family commitments to balance outside of work.
Taking time away for business travel can mean families have to reorganise school runs, or family events, often at the last minute. Sharing out those business miles will go some way in easing the burden for these colleagues and give everyone the opportunity to gain a great work experience.
On the other end of the spectrum, your business can encourage daily commuting colleagues to seek out staff members who live in proximity to themselves and begin to car share. Not only can your business go some way to tackling climate change, but colleagues can share each other’s commuting burden, take the stress out of travel and save on fuel at the same time!
- Set Realistic Travel Expectations
On the other hand, as a business, ensure you do not set unrealistic travel expectations. Whether it’s a tight arrival time between flights and trains or expecting long-distance daily commuters to come into the office during extreme weather, putting travel pressure on staff can be both unnecessary and harmful to workforce health.
- Give Time to Switch Off
While your business may need colleagues to respond to some emails or follow up on a missed call, setting aside time to rest during travel will give staff a break from these often intense work days; implementing standards of responsiveness will also clear up any ambiguity and ensure staff are clear of what is expected.
Hit Full Throttle on Commuting Support
In 2019, commuting is just another factor in the life of the Irish worker. As Dublin continues to expand, and other regional cities like Cork welcome new companies, commuting from other areas of Ireland will only increase.
If your business wants to attract new talent and put current colleagues first, monitoring staff commutes, and work-related travel can inform where those staff need support. Whether its scheduling realistic connecting flights or sharing the responsibility of business trips amongst relevant colleagues, your HR team can go a long way in ensuring your commuting colleagues feel valued and supported.