Commuting behaviours and expectations post-pandemic: SmartGo staff travel survey results 2022
Go Travel Solutions previously conducted a staff travel survey to our SmartGo members during the Covid-19 lockdown in June 2020. The survey highlighted preferred transport choices before the pandemic, and their expectations following a lift of restrictions. Results for that survey can be found here.
In Spring 2022, Go Travel Solutions conducted a post-pandemic survey to find out how commuting behaviours have been affected by the associated restrictions, including how respondents expected to commute or work from home in the future. This survey resulted in three key findings from a total of 273 respondents.
What was found was an increase in the expectation of home working amongst staff, indicating that some businesses, in part because of the pandemic, have converted to a hybrid model of working on an on-going basis. Before the pandemic, over half (58%) of respondents never worked from home. When asked to consider the future, this has dropped to just 23%, suggesting the majority expect to work from home at least some of the time.
When asked about their first choice of commuting transport, 11% of respondents chose cycling. This has increased from 6% as surveyed in 2020.
When considering their future plans, SmartGo commuters are less likely to consider bus or rail than before the pandemic. Only 28% of bus users expect it to be their first choice in the future (down from 32%) whilst train was only chosen as a first choice by 6% (down from 8%).
More flexible ticket options were requested by staff to use public transport for their commute. Due to increased home working, traditional season tickets may no longer be as beneficial to staff using public transport.
Robin Pointon, Managing Director of Go Travel Solutions said: “This study of SmartGo commuters reflects the changes in travel behaviour and expectations for the future now we are post-pandemic. Workplace travel has been impacted by the implementation of hybrid working practices, as we see an increase in staff working from home on a flexible or full-time basis. Public transport providers will need to consider this when designing their ticketing options for commuters, allowing for a cost-saving incentive for those who are working flexibly.”
“For employers who prioritise sustainability and are committing to becoming a net zero* workplace, remote working, cycling, and walking can bring benefits not only for individuals but for whole organisations. Not only does it provide opportunities to have more effective teams through increased staff health and well-being; for some businesses it will provide a scope to reduce expensive office costs. It is important that the government at all levels and enterprises like our own provide the necessary support to harness these benefits for workplaces.’’
* The UK government announced a target of net zero for UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 following recommendations made by the Committee on Climate Change. For more information, visit see Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
SmartGo, The Workplace Travel Package, co-ordinated by Go Travel Solutions, helps businesses to save money and encourage low-carbon travel for employers and their staff.