In the bar last night I was talking with a guy who lives in Belfast but works in Swords in North County Dublin. He commutes around 3 hours 10mins a day, nearly 16 hours a week. He is up at 6am leaves the house at 6:30am and is in work for around 8am. He leaves work at 4 and is back home around 5:45pm. When I looked at him in amazement he said that is nothing, there is a guy in his firm commuting from Derry/Londonderry, a 5-6 hour commute every day!
I work for myself and work from home so my commute is a good bit less than most people. Just up the stairs to the attic and flick on the computer and I am there. I try to avoid the real world as much as possible so it is a real eye-opener to discover the time and hassle some people have in travelling to work. I know I am lucky and I am sure all you good people are not sitting in your cars for hours on end for the craic.
When I am out and about in Belfast in the mornings I am astonished at the traffic jams all over the city. On the way to an event in Queens the other day this was the queue on Stranmillis Road:
When you think of all the time wasted by people sitting in cars it really is the most bonkers state of affairs. Especially when you consider that most people are travelling to offices to sit in front of computers you do wonder why they could not just sit in front of their computer at home, even for a few days a week. Why do we all need to start at 9 and finish at 5? Long commutes have been shown to be extremely bad for your health. They make you fatter, less fit, more stressed, cause relationship difficulties with partners and children – the list goes on and on.
- How do you get to work?
- Do you take the car, bus, train, bike, walk?
- If you take the car what would convince you to switch to public transport?
- Could you work from home some days a week?
- Would you prefer 10 hour days if it meant you could get a 3 day weekend?
- If you work in Belfast why not live in Belfast? High house prices? Family?
- We you be happy to take a salary cut in return for more flexible or reduced working hours?
So this is an open post, let us know your views in the comments.
I help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily politics, preferring to write about big ideas in society. When not stuck in front of a screen, I am a parkrun Run Director.