Commuting → FIND ←

Tuesday, 26 July 2011 10:16 pm
tags: brighton jobs travel

I've never really had what you might call a "long" commute to my place of work. I've had around half a dozen jobs, in some form or another, and the furthest commute I've had has been a combination of a 30-minute walk and 20 minute train ride, when I was down in Southampton. My current commute, since moving to the centre of Brighton at the beginning of this month, now stands at around a 4-minute walk. The shortest, and sweetest yet.

Considering the millions of people in Britain alone that commute for over an hour to work every day - and have grown to loath accept it - a short commute is an underrated marvel.

It's great to sit down at my desk in the morning and feel as fresh as I did when I left my flat, 5 minutes earlier. The idea alone of sitting in a traffic jam, crammed in a packed train or cycling a mini-marathon to work every morning makes me appreciate my situation even more. Perhaps the biggest perk of all though is the time I can take back; that precious extra half hour in bed in the morning and the added time in the evening for pursuing more interesting exploits.

The trend amongst our workforce today of living outside the city in so-called "commuter towns" and travelling in to work every day is adding undue strain to our already heaving global environmental problem. But it's so widely accepted these days, that people don't even tend to question it any more. Leaving the house at 7 in the morning and returning after dark is something that a lot of city folk have come to accept as part of their 5-day working week.

The concept of commuting comes from the growth of "business centres" in the big cities; that, whilst offering jobs to hoards of skilled professionals, simultaneously forces these people into taking residence outside the city. Until a more even dispersal of jobs around the country can be achieved, the only option is to force people to commute.

For me, this is the major turn-off of working in London. Granted the money is better, but at what cost to your quality of life? The lures of the big city will probably at some point prove too tempting; New York City being the primary long-term destination of choice. But until then, I love the flexibility working in Brighton offers me. Shorter commutes = happier employees, happier people.