The University of the West of England (UWE) has suggested that time spent commuting should ‘count as part of the working day’.
Many UK employees use travel time to start or finish off work, according to a survey carried out by UWE.
It polled 5,000 rail passengers, and found that many workers use their commute to reply to emails ahead of the working day, or to catch up on work they did not manage to finish during their normal working hours.
Monitoring tasks performed by employees during their journeys to and from work is an ‘ongoing issue’, according to the survey. Currently, no legal guidance exists on how to monitor and reward employees who work during their commute.
Commenting on the matter, Dr Juliet Jain, Senior Research Fellow at UWE, said: ‘If travel time were to count as work time, there would be many social and economic impacts, as well as implications for the rail industry.
‘It may ease commuter pressure on peak hours and allow for more comfort and flexibility around working times. However, it may also demand more surveillance and accountability for productivity.’