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London workers have Europe’s worst commute, but are still envied


Public transport is the worst aspect of working in London, according to a new study, Working in Europe Today, carried out for property consultants Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker by Taylor Nelson Sofres.

The study explores office workers’ attitudes towards their city, their office, and to getting to and from work, in eight European cities – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan, Paris, as well as London. Apparently Londoners perceive their public transport as being expensive and dirty. In addition, they have the longest journey time to work – an average of 51 minutes – and when they get there, they spend their day in the worst-rated office space of any of Europe’s main eight cities.

On the bright side Londoners are the least stressed when compared with other European cities, and are comparatively happy – coming third in the ranking after Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Office workers in London like their city because it is lively, the money is good, the career opportunities are there, and because of friends and work colleagues and the after-work social life. In addition, they feel the safest in Europe, and London is the city where office workers from the other seven cities surveyed would like to work most.

Colin Hargreaves, Chairman of Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker’s City office, said about the study: “London emerges as a work hard and play hard city, with office workers giving their city top ratings for its lively atmosphere and social life. Londoners have little choice but to put up with the city’s public transport and office space. They face a miserable journey to and from work, and they spend their working day in poor offices – with little natural light, poor views and limited space.”

On the dislike scale, travel on public transport is the key issue in London, rather than road congestion and the stressful life felt in the other cities. Office workers happiest with their public transport are in Barcelona – 56% of workers in the Catalan capital nominated the good public transport.

Some of the other main conclusions of the report regarding London office workers are:
– They are at the top of the ‘personal safety’ league – 94% feel very or fairly safe on the streets of London. And they are at the top of the ‘public safety’ (civil disorder or terrorist attack) league – 85% feel very or fairly safe.
– Londoners have the longest journey time to and from work – an average 51 minutes, compared with Barcelona at the other end of the scale at 33 minutes.
– Sixty-seven per cent of the London office workers find their journey to work unpleasant, and only 4% find it pleasant. Only Brussels had a higher percentage of interviewees who found their journey unpleasant.
– London office workers rate their office buildings lower than any of the other office workers across Europe. Office workers in Frankfurt rate their buildings the highest.

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