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Work Life Balance Improving With Remote Working

Hours Saved By Not Commuting

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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 Insurance 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
*From 28 March 2020 to 23 July 2020 (inclusive), excluding Bank Holidays.

A new survey from Chill Insurance 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
Exercise 31.5%
Entertainment (e.g. video games, television) 18.5%
Cooking 16.3%
Home improvement 12%
Learning a new skill 9.8%
Sleeping 7.6%
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.