Can Flexible Working Arrangements Ease Congestion?

Angry lady stuck in traffic

If you commute to work in the city you’ll know only too well that traffic congestion is getting worse – commute times into or through the Brisbane CBD are getting longer and with it, drivers are becoming more frustrated. Mornings tend to be even worse than evenings, as roads quickly fill up with buses and commuters as well as parents taking their kids to school. A recent ABC News survey found that drivers commuting to Brisbane spend an average of 4.5 hours each week getting to and from work.

Some commentators point to Brisbane’s history as a cause of the congestion – initially the River City was a collection of scattered villages that weren’t linked by large arterial roads. However, Brisbane has grown significantly over the years, and at a much greater rate than its main roads can handle.

Fortunately, there are many savvy organisations which recognise that there are practical solutions to traffic congestion and having their employees spend hours travelling to and from work. This trend explains why flexible working arrangements are fast becoming the norm in many white collar roles.

Working from home and avoiding the commute isn’t, however, an option for everyone. Tradies, retail workers, health professionals and people in many other roles need to be at their place of work to perform their work duties. But for many other professionals, including our Claimify injury lawyers, work can be efficiently performed at home or another suitable environment.

To do it right, you’ll need to be disciplined and have a quiet and ergonomic workspace with a reliable internet connection. Working remotely may not be possible every day of your working week, but there are often ways to make it happen. For example, if you’re in a client-facing role, think about blocking out a day every week to tackle paperwork at home and meet clients on the days that you’re in the office.

Obviously, most people can’t just choose to work at home when they please, you’ll need to get your boss on side too, so it’s fortunate that working remotely isn’t only good for employees, it’s also good from a business perspective. Seek found that offering flexible working arrangements leads to greater staff satisfaction and engagement — team members are generally happier, more engaged and more productive, which is great for business. What’s more, flexible working arrangements can also be a non-cash benefit that sees businesses not only attract great staff, but also retain them for longer.

The benefits of remote working from an employee’s perspective are numerous. For example, clocking on from home provides more time for non-work tasks – playing with the kids, getting the housework done or hitting the gym – in the time that you’d otherwise spend behind the wheel. But while it’s a great arrangement with many benefits for some, working from home doesn’t work for everyone.

For some people, distractions creep in and prevent them from engaging with their work, while for others, the logistics of not being in the office and being unavailable when they’re needed by their colleagues or clients proves problematic. Having said that, flexible work arrangements are still worth giving a go. It could do you good, and also help to ease traffic congestion which is good for us all.

If you can’t work from home, there are other options to consider that can make your commute more enjoyable and ease traffic congestion at the same time, like cycling or taking a train or City Cat to work. Another option to think about is shaking up your working hours to avoid the daily grind – starting and finishing work early or later can help you to avoid some of the traffic and minimise your commute times.