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Commuting can help improve work-life balance, study suggests

Almost half of employees are expecting some form of psychological benefit and improved work-life balance when they return to the workplace, research has suggested. However, experts have cautioned that daily commuting could still harm wellbeing.

But experts say the benefits are dependent on the type of commute, and that other routines to break up the workday are just as effective

As more people return to the workplace, a study by University College London (UCL), commissioned by the Rail Delivery Group, found that almost half (48 per cent) of people returning to the office expect to experience improved mental health, while 46 per cent expect to have a better work-life balance.

The research polled just over 3,000 working-age adults across the UK.

Whilst on the face of it, this appears positive, other experts are more cautious pointing out that, for many people, the daily commute can be very bad for well-being- particularly if the commute is long. Rachel Suff, senior employment relations adviser at the CIPD, said “Many people who’ve embraced home and hybrid working say the biggest benefit is not having to travel to work every day,” she said. “It’s important that employers recognise views and opinions on the commute differ, and the working arrangements they offer should reflect this fact.”