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1.3 million Londoners prepared to 'quit their job' due to commute

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·3-min read
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1.3 million Londoners prepared to 'quit their job' due to commute
COVID safety fears on public transport are a factor, with 60% of Londoners citing the commute as a major obstacle to their safe return to the workplace. Photo: Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty

As many companies shift back to in-office working, 1.3 million Londoners would rather quit their job than commute to work, according to a new survey from Totaljobs.

More than three quarters (76%) of employees in the capital would be prepared to quit to avoid travelling into the office.

COVID safety fears on public transport are a factor, with 60% of Londoners citing the commute as a major obstacle to their safe return to the workplace and almost half (44%) said they would quit because of it.

Some 38% of UK workers said they would be prepared to quit due to the length of their commute, while 29% said it was because of the cost of travel and 36% pointed to the toll the journey takes on their mental health.

More than half (54%) of workers in other regions of the UK are thinking about handing in their notice because of the commute, according to the survey of 2,000 UK employees.

Younger workers are also less willing to travel to work, with 70% of Generation Z and Millennials saying the would quit if their commute did not fit their lifestyle.

Nearly three quarters (71%) of workers have been told by their employer that they must return to the physical workplace.

Read more: Gender pay gap exposes unequal UK as women earn 40% less than men

After months building more flexible work habits, many workers have reassessed their priorities and want to strike a better work–life balance.

A fifth (19%) have relocated during the last 18 months, as people looked for more space and comfort while working from home. This means a mandated return to the office might mean a much longer commute.

A quarter of UK workers said they would leave their job if they were forced to return to the workplace against their wishes, with the number rising to 44% in London

A third (34%) of UK workers said they would be likely to turn down a job offer if the commute clashed with their needs.

The time Brits spend commuting adds up to a total average of 400 days over the course of their careers, and workers spend an average of £136,000 ($180,274) making those trips, according to Totaljobs.

However, a fifth (20%) of UK workers have been offered the option of full-time remote working, with the figure rising to 35% in London.

Furthermore, 49% of UK employees are looking forward to physically returning to their workplace. Men are keener to get back into the office, with 59% happy about the return compared to 38% of women. 

In many cases this has to do with caring responsibilities and the challenge of juggling childcare and work, according to Totaljobs.

Watch: What to ask in a job interview

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