Commuting can be chaos. Long journeys, too many people and early starts do not make for a fresh start to the day. With the average commute now around 56 minutes, it is probably time to ask yourself: is this really worth it?

A recent ONS survey stated that the number of self-employed workers has risen from 3.3mil in 2001 to 4.8mil in 2017, suggesting that a large number of people have decided enough is enough when it comes to toiling into the office at absurd o’clock in the morning. Working from home allows for the freedom to start your working day at the same time but without needing to rush for a train, tube or bus. This flexibility means that time in the morning can be spent productively.

With 24 million commuters in England and Wales alone, the chances are you will be squashed in with a lot of people. If that isn’t bad enough, there are some frightening stats on the physical and mental impact of these stressful journeys…

With an increasing spotlight on the importance of mental health, commuters should be aware of the impact these stressful journeys can have on their outlook. People will longer commutes are 37% more likely to have financial worries and 33% more likely to suffer from depression. With numbers like these, why wouldn’t you want to spend your day being more productive, healthier and happier? Careers can be stressful enough without piling on the extra pressure of a daily commute.

The exhaustive physical push needed to wake earlier and exist on platforms or at roadsides also has an impact on your body. Longer commute times are associated with increased stress, higher blood pressure and BMI and reduced time available for health-promoting activities such as cooking, exercising and sleeping. If that wasn’t worrying enough, these travellers are 21% more likely to be clinically obese. Even if you are a lucky commuter who survives these physical threats to your health, 49% of people have admitted to using public transport while sick and a whopping 80% of commuters believe they have picked up a cold or flu on public transport. Even those in the best of health can be susceptible to the common cold!

There is a solution. The option of remote, flexible or agile working is increasing in companies across the world at lightning speed and yet, some bosses don’t understand that working from home still means working between the designated 9-5 hours. This often leads to people deciding to go it alone and set up their own businesses. This autonomy allows you as a business owner to manage your own time. You get to say goodbye to the long commutes and hello to more time doing what is really important and what gives real value to your life.

Your time is so valuable, and with the number of people commuting for more than an hour having risen by 31% since 2011, it doesn’t look like you’ll be gaining any of it back. So don’t waste precious hours travelling to an office where you aren’t compensated or acknowledged for that extra effort. Start your own business today and feel the benefits on your physical and mental wellbeing.

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