As Wi-Fi on subways and other mass transit becomes increasingly common, so does checking work email during your commute.
Now, researchers are here to tell you that this activity should be counted as part of the workday. A new study from the University of the West of England looked at the use of free Wi-Fi on trains on two London routes. They found that 54% of train commuters regularly use Wi-Fi on the train to check their work email, meaning they are both starting their work days earlier and ending them later, as the BBC notes.
The researchers say that this has become such a standard part of the commute for some workers that it should be counted as part of the working day. Additionally, if employees were allowed to include their working commutes as part of their working day, according to a statement by study co-author Juliet Jain, it could “ease commuter pressure on peak hours and allow for more comfort and flexibility around working times.” Win-win, right?
The findings were presented at the Royal Geographical Society on Thursday.
The idea is not totally new. In Norway, commuters are allowed to include some travel time as part of their working day. The researchers’ suggestions would be an extension of that, allowing employees the flexibility to work while they travel, which at least 54% of them are doing anyway.
If companies don’t want to include productive travel time in their employees’ work days, there are other options, including banning after work emails. France enacted a so-called right to disconnect law in 2017 and a New York City councilman has proposed a similar bill earlier this year.