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Rising Fuel Costs Snarl Return to Office Traffic


They’ve been given the green light to head back to the office, but employees aren’t in a rush to do so given the rising price of gas. According to the results of a OnePoll survey conducted by Citrix Systems, 57 percent of workers across the United States plan to stay parked at home to avoid the high costs of commuting. And close to half of their counterparts around the world say they will do the same.

And the timing couldn’t be better.

“It’s a classic cost-benefit analysis,” said Traci Palmer, Vice President of People and Organization Capability, Citrix. “Employees have learned they can engage and be just as productive working from home, and as gas prices continue to increase, they are questioning whether the benefits of being in the office outweigh the time and money associated with commuting.”

Of 5,000 employees polled in eight countries, the majority in most markets indicated they will work from home more often to reduce the costs of commuting:

  • United States – 57 percent
  • Australia – 54 percent
  • Brazil – 54 percent
  • Mexico – 50 percent
  • Colombia – 49 percent
  • United Kingdom – 45 percent
  • France – 44 percent
  • Japan – 16 percent

And a significant number believe their employers should help them offset the costs of traveling to the office when they choose to by either increasing their salaries or providing a fuel allowance:

  • Mexico – 87 percent
  • Brazil – 87 percent
  • France – 84 percent
  • Colombia – 84 percent
  • Japan – 81 percent
  • United States – 74 percent
  • Australia – 68 percent
  • United Kingdom – 65 percent

All of this may change, however, as many of those polled indicated they would work in the office more often during winter months to reduce the costs of heating their homes if prices stay inflated:

  • France – 43 percent
  • Brazil – 31 percent
  • Mexico – 26 percent
  • United Kingdom – 26 percent
  • Colombia – 25 percent
  • United States – 24 percent
  • Japan – 19 percent
  • Australia – 16 percent

The good news is employers that embrace flexible work models and technology and policies to support them can accommodate these changes and keep their people and businesses performing at their best.

“The key to keeping employees engaged and productive lies in creating work-from-anywhere experiences that are seamless, fuel connection and collaboration, and empower people to do their best work, regardless of their location,” Palmer said.

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