In a study to find out more about the commuting habits of professionals over Europe, and the impact this has on productivity, retention and work-life balance, PageGroup asked 12,485 professionals in Europe about their daily commute. The result, Turkey ranks high on stress during the commute – second to highest in Europe. Here we reveal further findings specifically for Turkey where 724 participated; highlighting some of the stand out learnings regarding what the picture of commute looks like for Turkish professionals and the impact this has on how they approach their day at work, flexible working models and more.

How do they usually feel when they wake up?

The survey indicates that 34% of Turkish professionals feel some degree of anxiety when they wake up. 33% of working professionals stated that the time they wake up is influenced by their route to work and anticipating any technical issues or delays and this rises to 45% when the commute is more than 45 minutes. In Turkey, especially Istanbul (where the majority of the respondents are located) traffic and commuting is a big issue, with it being one of the most stressful cities in the world in terms of commuting. It therefore affects the daily life of professionals and has an impact on, level of stress and how they approach work. If companies offer flexible working models such as starting work somewhat later or remote working possibilities, it could help minimise this and encourage a more positive start to the day ultimately influencing productivity.

Turkish have the longest commute to work

Turkey professionals have the longest commute in Europe, with it taking approximately 48 minutes to commute from door to door, one way. This indicates that professionals spend at least 4 work days a month travelling to work. How does this impact employees? Commuting for long spells of time is known for increasing anxiety levels, which when we look at Turkey is concerning, as we have professionals anxious when they wake up and when they arrive at work. Professionals can of course attempt to turn a long commute to a leisure activity but companies can also review policies to ease the effect on the wellbeing of their workforce. This will help boost retention, if employees have more control control and can minimise anxiety levels – instead perhaps working a 4 day week or flexible start time this will likely attribute to more optimised working, retention and loyalty.

Turkey ranks high on the stress-o-meter

A large 57% of professionals find commuting by public transport stressful, the second to highest in Europe. Although 64% report to find it efficient it is the crowdedness, noise and cleanliness that seems to contribute to stress levels. Should commuters use private transport instead? The number of those that commute by private transport is more than double than those that travel public. Commuting by private transport is less stressful for professionals in Europe, however it is still high at 46% and is the second highest in Europe, once more. Traffic jams, other vehicles nor respecting the rules and unexpected situations are all cited to adding to stress. Turkish professionals either want to be autonomous, need the car for their job or have poor connections to work in public transportation.

Do Turkish professionals arrive to work late, and why?

54% of professionals are or sometimes are arriving late to the work, which is indicative of the commute that employees have to endure. In Turkey 34% of professionals report to feeling anxious. More specifically, this refers to 36% of women, 34% aged 25 to 34 years old and 36% commuting by public transport. Where employees are finding it difficult to manage home and work responsibilities, introduction of flexible working arrangements should be considered. If such behavior pattern is very evident in companies they should be open to changing shift patterns or allowing temporary home-working, if appropriate.

1 of 2 Turkish respondents consider relocating for better commute

When asking professionals in Turkey if they were willing to relocate for a better commute, 50% confirmed that it was likely. The overall picture of anxiety where professionals wake up, stress during the commute whether private or public, and reporting to feel anxious when they arrive, demonstrates that employers must take action! If measures such as car-pooling, flexible working are offered it can significantly reduce the stress of the employees significantly and improve work life balance.

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Summary

Turkish professionals have the longest commute to work in Europe and 50% are willing to relocate for a better commute. Are companies taking action to support their workforce?