Not surprisingly given the measures implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the share of teleworkers in Belgium almost doubled between 2018 and 2022, according to a report published by SPF Mobility on Monday.
The Vias institute, which monitors road safety in Belgium, credits teleworking with a reduction of more than 3,000 road accidents, which would have killed or injured more than 35 people in 2021.
Around a third of working Belgians now work from home at least one day a week – twice as many as in 2018. Brussels residents are the most likely to work at home at least one day a week (43%), followed workers in Flanders (33%) and finally Wallonia (28%).
Naturally, the greater the distance people must travel to their place of work, the more likely it becomes that they work from home. Among those living over 50 kilometres from the office, more than 50% of respondents telework at least one day a week.
Saving on travel
Thanks to teleworking, 35 million kilometres of travel per day will be avoided in Belgium this year, including 14 million kilometres of travel by car.
“In addition to the time saved and a better balance between private and professional life, another positive note for mobility is that teleworking makes it possible to spread out certain journeys throughout the day or week,” FPS Mobility noted.
The Belgian government did note a positive correlation between teleworking and retail purchases. Trips related to shopping and services increased by 28% on teleworking days and are increasingly made during the day, as opposed to during the evening, weekends, or days off.
- Over two hours on the move: Belgian workers face some of EU's longest commutes
- Working from home this winter can cause steeper energy bills
- Digital nomads leave Belgium: 'Either you let me telework, or I'm gone'
Those who work from home at least one day each week are also more inclined to opt for “soft mobility” options when they travel to their place of work.
29% of respondents said that they are more motivated to take public transport to work than their car and 30% by bike. 61% of teleworkers now travel to work by train and 40% by public transport.
A similar survey conducted in May by employment company SD Worx also confirms this growing support for home-working. 46% of Belgians reported that their employer allowed working from home, placing Belgium at the top of the ranking for home working of the 10 countries surveyed. Just 5.1% of Belgians now prefer going to the office every day.