Work Life Balance Improving With Remote Working
Hours Saved By Not Commuting
Life has been very different for people across Ireland over the last few months. Lockdown has kept us apart from our friends and families, it has forced us to put our travel plans on hold, and it has heavily impacted our social lives. One of the biggest changes that many Irish people have experienced during the coronavirus pandemic, however, is having to work remotely (although there are still sectors such as retail, healthcare and transport where people have not been able to work from home).
It has not always been easy to make this transition from an office to the kitchen table or spare bedroom. However, remote work has also provided many positives to people across Ireland. In particular, very few people are now having to travel to work. With the average commute now being just a few steps from your living room to your desk, many people working from home have gained a lot of additional time in their personal lives.
Using the latest data from the CSO Census, Chill has investigated just how much extra time people have gained across Ireland since lockdown. We studied the average commute time for employees in each council area and multiplied that by the number of working days that have been spent in lockdown at the time of writing. As such, we have been able to determine approximately how much extra time we have gained by working from home from 27 March 2020 to 23 July 2020.
|Council Area||Average commute time per journey||Working days spent in lockdown (excluding public holidays)*||Total number of commuting hours saved|
|Meath||34.6 minutes||81 days||93 hours|
|Wicklow||34.5 minutes||81 days||93 hours|
|Kildare||33.8 minutes||81 days||91 hours|
|Fingal||33.4 minutes||81 days||90 hours|
|Laois||31.9 minutes||81 days||86 hours|
|Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown||30.6 minutes||81 days||83 hours|
|South Dublin||30.6 minutes||81 days||83 hours|
|Galway County||29.3 minutes||81 days||78 hours|
|Dublin City||28.9 minutes||81 days||78 hours|
|Offaly||28.9 minutes||81 days||78 hours|
|Westmeath||28.8 minutes||81 days||78 hours|
|Carlow||28.5 minutes||81 days||77 hours|
|Cavan||28.5 minutes||81 days||77 hours|
|Louth||27.7 minutes||81 days||75 hours|
|Leitrim||27.4 minutes||81 days||74 hours|
|Wexford||26.7 minutes||81 days||72 hours|
|Cork County||26.6 minutes||81 days||72 hours|
|Longford||26.4 minutes||81 days||71 hours|
|Roscommon||26.4 minutes||81 days||71 hours|
|Kilkenny||25.6 minutes||81 days||69 hours|
|Tipperary||25.6 minutes||81 days||69 hours|
|Monaghan||24.9 minutes||81 days||67 hours|
|Clare||24.5 minutes||81 days||66 hours|
|Limerick City & County||24.2 minutes||81 days||65 hours|
|Mayo||23.3 minutes||81 days||63 hours|
|Kerry||22.7 minutes||81 days||61 hours|
|Cork City||22.1 minutes||81 days||60 hours|
|Sligo||22.1 minutes||81 days||60 hours|
|Donegal||22.1 minutes||81 days||60 hours|
|Galway City||21.7 minutes||81 days||59 hours|
|Waterford City & County||22.4 minutes||81 days||59 hours|
A new survey from Chill has also revealed how people are choosing to spend their newly acquired time. 368 people were polled about what activities they have been doing during the times that they would normally be commuting.
31.5% of respondents said they have spent this time exercising, suggesting that remote work is allowing people to be much more physically fit. 18.5%, on the other hand, said they spent that time watching television, reading a book or playing video games. Meanwhile, 16.3% said they have been spending their extra time cooking whilst 12% said they have been taking on DIY tasks.
|Activities people have done during the time they would normally commute||Average commute time per journey|
|Entertainment (e.g. video games, television)||18.5%|
|Learning a new skill||9.8%|
|Arts and crafts (e.g. sewing, drawing)||4.3%|
These are very challenging times, but being able to work remotely during lockdown has enabled Irish people to have a much better work-life balance. Not needing to commute, we have been able to spend that time with our families, taking on home improvement tasks we may have been putting off for years and even prioritising our physical and mental wellbeing.