Can’t get to the office? Let the office come to you
There are few things more discussed in the office than the daily commute and the nightmare journey that colleagues have faced to navigate their way successfully into the office.
In March 2017, Cape Town was reported to be the, “fastest growing and most congested city in South Africa.” Businesses were urged by The City of Cape Town to implement flexi-hours to aid in alleviating this congestion. But by April 2018 traffic had worsened with reports of 260 000 cars entering the city daily, causing people to sit in traffic for two to three hours a day.
Long commutes are stressful, which itself is rarely conducive to productivity. In fact, a 2015 study conducted by the University of Montreal concluded that the more time spent commuting, the more susceptible workers are to chronic stress.
Further research shows it takes only 20 minutes of being in the car, or on a bus, bike or train for workers to be susceptible to chronic stress and physical and emotional exhaustion, which in turn can seriously hamper productivity and workplace engagement.
And businesses cannot turn a blind eye. Findings from a 2019 IWG Global Workspace survey show more than half of respondents (51%) think that businesses should subsidise the cost of commuting for their employees as it is not ‘free’ time.
Is there a solution?
Businesses globally are looking at flexible workspace solutions to help alleviate the commute both for their employees and customers. Flexible working (also called co-working and shared office space), enables employees to arrive at a desk within a stress-free commutable distance from their homes.
Employees living in suburbs and small towns are then able to access all the facilities they require from an office, such as high-speed wi-fi, but closer to home.
Suburban areas have increasingly become the destination for companies who prefer to move nearer to where their employees are.
In Johannesburg, areas like Foundershill, Constantia Kloof and Broadacres are popular with companies moving from the busy CBD, while in Cape Town - Paarl, Southern Suburbs, Claremont and Sunclare are just some of the locations global flexible workspace provider Regus and inspiring sister brand, Spaces have available to cater for companies and individuals who heed the call to better productivity and work life balance away from the old “head office” model.
Both brands offer memberships that allow members to work in over 3000 locations, anywhere in the world. This means that if there are traffic delays or disruptions in one area, employees can work from any other location near them.
Corporates use these memberships for client meetings closer to where their customers live; to set up regional remote teams, to provide a place for business travellers to work; and to establish satellite offices.
The move to the suburbs seems to be the ideal solution for corporates and their employees. As evidenced, employees are more productive when less stressed, which ultimately leads to better outcomes, higher retention of talent and success for your business.