8AM – 8PM
9AM – 7PM
London SE1 7BH
Whilst ‘normal’ service may have resumed with businesses reopening their doors to workers, 50% of Londonders are continuing to work from home – according to a report by the Office of National Statistics, that’s more than any other region in the UK!
However, it’s not all loungewear and zoom calls, a third of homeworkers are opting for a flexible approach – going into the office a couple of days per week leading to a rise in the ‘two-day commuter’!
Thankfully it’s not the end of city life, but times have changed and it’s likely that this hybrid style of working is here to stay. So, what are the benefits of the two-day commute and how can we pack more into our two days in town?
Benefits Of The Two Day Commute
Time and Money
Saving money. It might be the least sexy benefit on the list but probably the biggest. The average commuter in London spends up to 20% of their post-tax salary on transport to work. During lockdown this extra cash was spent on Deliveroos, fitness equipment and bread makers of course!
And it’s not just the travel. Most commuters will be buying a coffee at the station, maybe some breakfast as they arrive and then popping out for lunch. So, in theory the two-day commuter has twice the daily budget they once had!
There’s no doubt that part-time commuting is going to save you some time. In a recent study, it was estimated that Londoners spend up to 23.5 days a year commuting. Get that back and you could create a better work/life balance by picking up the kids; going for a run or popping out to see friends.
A Little Bit Of Me Time
Paradoxically, without the daily commutes you are missing some much valued ‘me’ time! Do you remember those days when you read a whole book in a week, caught up on podcasts or even learned a language – all whilst sitting on a train? Getting back into the office gives you a chance to revisit this and basically dedicate that time to yourself.
Download the latest Netflix series and watch an episode on the way in. Do that in both directions and you could nail a whole series in a month of commuting. Read a newspaper (remember them?), do your daily Wordle or play the newest game you’ve bought. It’s guilt-free time to indulge your interests or simply stare out of the window and mentally prepare for the day ahead.
As much as we have all got used to the endless zoom calls, reminding your colleagues they are still on mute and being suspicious of the one person with the camera turned off, some things are just much easier face to face, one of which is collaboration.
By coming into the office a couple of days a week, you get to work creatively with others, generate new ideas and build exciting new projects. These types of tasks are easier to do in the office rather than remotely on an unreliable Google Meets stream.
Make the most of this new time back in the office and treat these days with more consideration, build in collaborative sessions and reconnect with colleagues – water cooler chat is back!
For many, working from home is a dream come true but this is not the case for all. If 50% of commuters want to work from home, that means 50% would rather be in an office – that’s a lot of people sick of the WFH life.
For these people, coming into the office a couple of days a week is a massive plus. Meeting with colleagues, interacting with people in person; these are all things that will help with their mental health.
Pack In Those Jobs
When you do come into London, these are the perfect days to do a little shopping, seek out the new trainers you’ve been eyeing up, pop along to the Apple store and get the latest Apple Watch or browse the books store for something to read in this new free time you have commuting.
And think about this – by commuting in, you’ve immediately created two new lunch dates – it’s time to make the most of them. Check out new places to buy your lunch, you have nothing but choice now. There is plenty of time for a boring sandwich when you are sitting at home the rest of the week. When you commute, eat like royalty!
What Does This Mean For Your Social Life?
One of the big selling points of a London office job is the after work socialising. A nice meal on a Wednesday night to get over the midweek hump or drinks and the last train home on a Friday after a long week. Most people working in London will have experienced these I’m sure – but what is the two-day commute doing for the social side of our lives?
Making More Of The Moments
As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. For many of us, some of our closest friends are colleagues we’ve worked with for years. For others, our mates are people also commuting to London and a meet after work is the best time to catch up.
As the chances to do that decrease, you should be making more effort with these catch-ups. Put extra thought into finding somewhere a little special.
In And Around The Stations
Talking of nice spots to eat and drink… So many great restaurants and bars exist around the stations of London that you can easily pack in having a great meal, drinking with friends and still get that last train home.
Around Waterloo alone, you could:
With all these choices, you have no excuse to not make the most of these two days. Start adding some fun to your life a couple of days a week. Forget that reheated meal or rubbish takeaway waiting for you at home, this is the time to try different cuisines, check out the latest fusion or find a bar with 99 varieties of gin that even you cannot get through in one night.
And this is exactly why The Sidings was created – the social side of Waterloo.
The Sidings will give you the perfect place to meet friends, do a little shopping, have a couple of drinks and maybe a bite to eat. We look forward to welcoming you all when we open this summer, don’t forget to make a date to meet your friends at the largest Brewdog bar in the world!
In the meantime, keep making the most of your days in London and we will see you soon.
We recently told you all about the great activities going on at Leake Street Arches this festive time, which got us thinking - there is actually loads of cool stuff happening around the South Bank this Christmas, so why don’t...Find out more
London’s art lovers are in for an eight-week treat as The Sidings, as we're gearing up to host an exhibition consisting of a range of works by 43 eclectic, diverse and emerging artists! The On the Side exhibition opens on...Find out more
It’s Christmassssssss! I know it’s November but the second Halloween is over, everyone at The Sidings is only thinking about one thing, Christmas! As we prepare all our decorations and the centre is filling up with Christmas gifts, food and...Find out more