As social care professionals are forced further out into the suburbs, and commutes grow longer, the 2 million people who work in social care are cumulatively missing out on £10bn a year in the unpaid time it takes to get to work.
If people in care jobs valued the time they spend getting to work as highly as they value the time they spend at work, then the average commute would be worth £5,194, according to research from Randstad Care, the social care recruitment agency. This lost value represents 25% of their average annual salary.
|UK Industry||Average commute time (minutes)||Average commute distance (miles)||Lost value of commute||Commute value as % of annual salary|
|Construction & Property||56||27||£7,228||25%|
|Marketing & PR||48||25||£4,347||22%|
|Secretarial & Admin||30||9||£2,649||13%|
Breaking down the average lost value of a commute by industry reveals that Financial Services professionals are most severely hit, missing out on £23,032 a year.
At the other end of the spectrum, Customer Services professionals – who have some of the shortest commutes in terms of both time spent and distance covered – are missing out on £1,736.
The research was carried out as part of a Randstad partnership with the Williams Martini Racing, which compared the speed of travel of F1 drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas to the speed at which commuters get to work.
In total, F1 drivers travel an average of 3,791 miles for work over a season, over which time they will complete twenty Grand Prix in locations ranging from Australia to Abu Dhabi. On average, people in social care jobs commute 1,458 miles over the equivalent twenty day period.
And while F1 drivers can reach top speeds of 230 miles per hour on the race track, the average social care professional travels at just 37 miles per hour on their commute.
Victoria Short, MD of Randstad Care, comments: “People working in care and social worker jobs are embracing longer commutes to work, particularly as the housing crisis nudges them further out into the suburbs. But there is a lost value to the time they spend snarled up in traffic. The value of time is significant – it adds up to more than £5,000 a year per person – and totals more than £10bn across the whole sector. Some social care workers will choose a longer commute while, increasingly, others are valuing their time more highly and looking for a job closer to home. For those looking for a new job, it’s becoming more important than ever to consider the value of the time it will take them to get to work, as well as the actual cost of the transport, and the new salary. Employers also need to consider the impact of location, as a lengthy daily commute can be enough to persuade workers to look elsewhere – particularly more senior members of staff.”
Work-life balance one of the keys to staff-retention
The latest Randstad Award research found that poor work-life balance is one of the top five reasons behind workers choosing to change employer – contributing to just under a quarter (22%) of job moves.
Furthermore, when looking for a new employer, a good work-life balance was cited as a top five factor for 45% of workers in 2015 – compared to 39% in 2012. And 9% of people working in social care said their new job being conveniently located was their top priority when choosing a new role.
The Award research also discovered that having a lengthy commuting time is more likely to adversely affect senior, more experienced members of staff. In total, 21% of workers in the 45-65 age group said a too-long commute time was one of the top five factors contributing to their decision to move jobs, compared to just 16% across the UK workforce as a whole.
Victoria Short said: “It goes without saying that care workers need to be committed, patient, flexible and capable of dealing with difficult, high pressure situations. But a massive commute will challenge the best of us.”
Social care workers keen to find out how long their commute to work would take if an F1 driver was behind the wheel, should try out Randstad’s F1 competition:
And for the chance to win a VIP race day experience with Williams Martini Racing in Monaco, including flights between London Gatwick and Nice and accommodation at the Hotel Suisse Nice for three nights in the Mediterranean sunshine, City professionals can upload their CV to the Randstad site.