Long-distance commuting is still the norm in spite of progress in flexible working practices, finds global workplace solutions provider Regus.

In Australia 18% of commuters travel over 90 minutes every day. Globally 20% of workers are faced with an over 90 minute daily commute. Cars are by far the most popular form of commuter transport (64%).

William Willems, ANZ VP, Regus, comments: Although Australian cities have been found to have the smallest incidence of traffic build up, as traffic congestion in cities increases too many workers are still jamming the roads in the rush hour when they could be spending their time more productively.

To tackle the damaging effects of commuting on staff health and morale, savvy businesses are introducing more flexibility in their working practices. Remote working and flexi-time can provide a much needed break in the weekly commuting routine for employees, and translate into office space and maintenance savings for employers.

In Australia car use is less wide-spread (56%) than average. Other popular means of transport are walking and taking the train with 12% and 9% of respondents respectively choosing these means to get to work. Among the least popular means of transport in Australia is driving a motorbike with only 2% preferring this way of traveling.

Further pain commuters are forced to face is in the cost of travel. While on average 7% of commuters globally spend 10% or more of their salary on commuting, in Australia the average spend for commuting is among the lowest surveyed at 2.5% of yearly salary. Nevertheless, 14% of respondents spend 5% or over of their yearly take-home salary to fund their commute.

IBM, The Commuter Pain Survey, 2010