Recruitment specialist in HR, Sales and Operations

Commute vs Productivity

This article came up in my LinkedIn feed yesterday – a happy coincidence and timely as I attended an event last week (a very good one, blog to follow) held in our great Capital.  As I say, the event was great but the journey not so much and this is the topic of my thoughts…

The event was in central London, at the most excellent Natural History Museum. I was on the 06.00am from Alton and the train was just about on time.  The 1 hour and 10 minutes to Waterloo dragged so I slept a little, occasionally being woken by people getting on and off of the train and of course I was up earlier to catch the train (alarm set for 05.00am). Having an interest in fitness and wellbeing and how the energy system links to performance, mood and well, everything really, I know that this is not ideal.  I woke up, not as rejuvenated and energised as I otherwise would have been and there was a noticeable difference in my excitement levels to get stuck into my day.

On the train I had no choice but to let calls go through to voice mail (so mentally it felt like I was already behind) and the onward tube journey was pretty stressful (no seat of course, too cramped and hot, generally a stressful experience). The lack of mobile service and wi-fi meant that I occasionally saw e-mails coming through but I couldn’t reply to them or deal with them. Overall as a responsive person who likes to keep a clear inbox, I found this frustrating. Without the train and tube ride this would have been dealt with, a much better experience for my customers and much more productivity from me.

So I arrived at my event, a little tired, a little stressed and not fuelled with a good breakfast so lacking a spring in my step.

The reason for this blog is that it made me think about how my day, health and productivity would look if I worked every day with a similar journey time and consideration. I do take on board that I am lucky to have positioned my business in close proximity to where I live and strategically to be in easy commute to my customer base. This was done with productivity in mind. However, overall, I was left with the realisation that I would be fundamentally less productive that I am on a typical day if I had a long daily commute.

So how does this relate to Andrew James Recruitment. First of all, it demonstrates the importance of recruiting with location in mind, which is central to our offering. To hire someone (if you are an office based team) who does not have a long commute, could quite credibly lead to a healthier, happier, more productive employee which in the long term might not only lead to more sales, but also potentially more engagement, length of service and less sickness/absence.

Secondly, if the talent is not on your door step, some of those stresses and strains could be removed with a flexible hours or home working option. It struck me that if the event had been held at lunch and I had travelled out of peak rush hour, I would have slept more, taken that morning call on the quiet train, dealt with urgent morning e-mails and be less stressed and more connected to where I was.

Thirdly, whilst I am in a fortunate position to have located my business close to where I live, it doesn’t mean that others cannot do the same. If you designing, building or running a sales team for example, how much more productivity could you enjoy with resourcing that team through a home working/regional set-up?  Clearly, to consider alternative working patterns, the correct hire is essential. A self-starter, who is disciplined and motivated should be essential as criteria in the recruitment process. Again this is where we can come in, we have developed some unique sourcing and selection processes that deliver results above and beyond for our customers.

We would love your comments and thoughts on this. If you are based across the South or if you are wishing to hire somebody to work across Surrey, Hampshire, Middlesex or Sussex we would of course love to hear from you.

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