Our team at Procorre recently participated in a news segment for ITV, for a story on new research carried out by the University of the West of England on the provision of free WiFi on trains. The study showed that many of the 5,000 commuters that took part in the survey use free WiFi on their journey to and from work to ‘catch up’ with work emails. This has posed questions around whether this paves the way for the commute to be counted as part of the working day.
We’ve included some more of our thoughts on the subject below.
Should the working day begin on the commute?
At Procorre, we firmly believe that the relationship between employer and employee is based around trust. Although Procorre operates core office hours, we think it’s important for employee well-being to add certain levels of flexibility within our working culture in terms of time in and out of the office, but we don’t expect employees to work on emails outside of work time.
But could counting the commute as work time really be enforceable?
You’ll see from the video, many of our employees travel to and from work in all manner of ways and travel various distances. Some commute in and travel on the train, some drive, walk and even run. Taking this into account, it would be interesting to see how the government would legislate this rule into the working week, without it proving counter intuitive for many businesses that operate flexible working.
Until now, there has been little research to evaluate the impact free WiFi provision has had in the UK. Many of the commuters who took part in the survey cited travel as a “transitional time” enabling people to switch roles, such as “from being a parent getting the kids ready for school in the morning to a business director during the day.”
The University of West of England’s research certainly highlights some thought-provoking insights about the complexities of modern working life.