Home isn't just where the heart is, it could be where the money is too
Yesterday saw the first day of a 4.2% (on average) increase in rail fares for season ticket holders in England, Wales and Scotland! Initially the rail fare increase was set at RPI plus 3% - a total of 6.2% - but this was reduced to RPI plus 1% by the government in October to a total of about 4.2%. However, regardless of this 2% subsidy, rail ticket prices in England are now positioned as the dearest in Europe.
We are yet to see how these fare increases will impact travellers across the UK, however commuters are already up in arms and reaction has been far from positive or even indifferent. Nevertheless, despite the Campaign for Better Transport launching an online petition calling for the government to name a date that we can expect the above-inflation formula to end, this issue does not look like it’s going to dissolve in the near future.
In an article published on The Telegraph online yesterday Christian Wolmar controversially proposes that the blame for these fare increases lie with passengers and their appetite for travel. He suggests that “the one way to ensure that fare rises are lower in the future is for more people to shun the railways and use the alternatives – or simply not travel”.
Now I am not suggesting that this is the answer to the current issue at all. Many people, especially those in London and surrounding areas, have structured their lives around a particular commuting route. However, for some, these fare increases could be the catalyst for a change in lifestyle and attitude towards work and travel.
Quite understandably I will be the first to champion the home office – I sell them! Nevertheless, disregarding my own predisposition towards garden buildings (if you can), working from home can offer an encouraging solution in these strained economic times. A view reinforced by the Live Work Network who recorded an increase of 21% of the number of people working from home from 2001 – 2012.
Correspondingly Judie Heminsley, author of Work from Home, suggests that millions of people are now enjoying savings in time and money as a result of working from home. However, in an article written by Judy for Cornwall Today she does warn that the decision to work from home does involve a lot more than a simple change of location. In her opinion, there are a number of aspects that must be considered before jumping straight into the deep end, but when it comes down to it, the best thing about working from home is that you are in control – “Unlike those who share a workplace, with little time, patience and imagination, you can create the ideal working environment for your own temperament and circumstances”.
Whether those circumstances be dictated by this year’s rail fare increases or something else, working from home could be the solution for you.