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Number of people working from home almost doubled between 2018 and 2022, says FPS Mobility
The proportion of people working from home almost doubled between 2018 and 2022, according to a report by SPF Mobilité.
One benefit of home or hybrid working has been a drop in road accidents. There were 3,000 fewer accidents involving death or injury and 35 fewer deaths on the roads in 2021, reports RTBF.
Almost 32% of Belgians surveyed said they work from home at least one day a week, compared to 17% in 2018. Brussels residents were the most fond of this practice (43%) followed by 33% of Flemish workers and 28 % of Walloons.
One contributing factor to their choice was the distance between home and the workplace. Greater distances resulted in a larger proportion of employees opting to work from home. Beyond 50 km, more than 50% of respondents chose to work from at least one day a week. Thanks to the practice, there was a daily reduction of 35 million kms commuting in 2022 (including 14 million kms by car), compared to nine million in 2018.
"In addition to the time saved and the better balance between private and professional life, another positive point for mobility is that home working makes it possible to spread out certain trips throughout the day or the week," said FPS Mobility.
"We note in particular that trips related to shopping and services increase on home working days (28%) or are carried out during the week and during the day, rather than in the evening, on weekends or on days off (32% )".
In addition, working from home has very concrete effects on the safety of motorists. It made it possible to reduce the number of deaths by 35 and the number of serious injuries by 242 in traffic accidents in 2021, according to estimates by Vias road safety institute. More than 3,000 accidents with fatalities or injuries were also avoided.
Finally, employees working one or more days from home seemed more inclined to opt for soft mobility options when travelling to their place of work. Some respondents were more motivated to take public transport rather than their car to get to work (29%) or to get on their bike (30%), thanks to the regular practice of working from home. Train services and public transport were more successful than with non-home workers, with respectively, 61% and 40% of users.