Working from home has freed up more than an hour per day for the average Australian commuter.
New data from Allianz reveals almost three quarters of Australians have had their drive to work change since COVID-19 struck, and just 40 per cent of the nation is currently commuting by car.
As a result, the amount of cars on our roads – and when they’re on the road – has changed since the start of 2020.
Victorians have gained an average of 75 extra minutes per day by not commuting, while New South Wales commuters are saving just short of an hour.
According to the data, the morning peak hour has shifted from between 8 and 9am. With fewer people hitting the road early to get to the office by 9am, it’s shifted back an hour.
It looks like the half day has become more common, too. Rather than kicking off at 4pm, the evening rush now starts an hour earlier.
Lockdowns designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 saw the amount of traffic congestion on Australian roads drop significantly, and has experts calling for work-from-home or staggered starting hours to become the new norm.
The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) reports congestion during Melbourne’s first lockdown dropped by between 88 and 95 per cent, despite the number of cars on the road dropping by closer to 30 per cent.
“We need to take this opportunity to reimagine now what a post-COVID-19 back-to-work should look like. Do we take the opportunity to change the way in which are freeways are used?,” said Michael Caltabiano, ARRB chief executive.
“Can we reimagine the work people do? Perhaps work from home staggered across the workforce for one or two days a week,” he said.