The numbers do not bode well for a mass return to the office

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Reducing the time people spend commuting is a more difficult circle to square.

Analysis of Office for National Statistics data by the Resolution Foundation shows that since 1996, the average home-to-office travel time in England has increased from just under 23 minutes to just over 28, 5 minutes for 18-29 year olds.

It increased even more for 30-49 year olds, from just under 24 minutes to 31 minutes, suggesting that older workers have moved to cheaper areas at the cost of long commutes. It is a compromise that has been spared them since March.

Workers don’t just spend less time on the road. Academics at Harvard Business School and New York University analyzed email and calendar data from 3.1 million workers in 16 major cities in North America, Europe and the Middle -Orient to see how the pandemic had changed their working days.

Their report released by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that while employees attended 12.9% more meetings than before Covid and 13.5% more people attended, the length of time meeting average decreased by a fifth. Overall, employees spent 11.5% less time – about 20 minutes – in meetings.

For Kallum Pickering, senior economist at Berenberg, whenever there is a “positive economic development,” too often we focus on the costs rather than the benefits.

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