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long commute adversely affecting DH- what can work do?

(99 Posts)
TheNiceOne Mon 16-Oct-17 22:01:54

DH commutes 4 hours a day ( 2h each way) with a total of 5 trains. He's absolutely knackered by the end of the day and really can't take it anymore. His health is affected. He's run down. He falls ill quite often as his immune system is run down. He doesn't get enough sleep. You can see it in his face that he isn't right.

He has asked for a flexible working request with 2 days working from home which was refused.

I'm really worried about him and he's worried too. He feels something is just waiting to happen to his health. He has been applying for jobs closer to home but no luck yet.

Is there something that work should/ could do in these circumstances. They don't seem to be interested and have just refused his flexible working request.

Any advice on what we can do would be grateful.

TheAntiBoop Mon 16-Oct-17 22:02:48

Did his work location change with no choice on his part?

TheNiceOne Mon 16-Oct-17 22:04:32

No. He was made redundant in his last job and after 9m of lots of job searching he got this so had no choice but to take it.

OlennasWimple Mon 16-Oct-17 22:04:51

On what grounds was his flexible working request refused?

Is compressed hours (five days over four) an option?

Presumably if they know what effect the commute is having on him and have refused his request, either it's genuinely not possible to work remotely in his role or they don't much care whether he stays in post (sorry)

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Mon 16-Oct-17 22:06:45

Has your dh spoken to his work / hr about why they refused his flexible working request? Does anyone else at your dh's work have a flexible working arrangement?

You have my sympathy - my dh does over three hours commute on top of a long day and it's been really grinding him down. He won't look at flexible working but wants to move house.

OlennasWimple Mon 16-Oct-17 22:06:54

Have you looked at whether he could stay closer to work one / two nights a week? Something cheap like a TRavelodge or AirBNB?

Bear in mind if he WFH two days a week he won't save much on travel costs anyway (assuming he has a season ticket)

And presumably you have been creative about his commute - sometimes there can be a longer drive to pick up another main line, but it reduces the amount of time / changes once on the train

Sunshinegirl82 Mon 16-Oct-17 22:08:15

Unfortunately there probably isn't much you can force his work to do, frustrating as that sounds.

Can he find a cheap Air bnb near work and stay up there a couple of nights a week? Say Tues and Thurs? Give him a couple of days off the commute? He can use the time to really focus on applications for more local roles.

TheNiceOne Mon 16-Oct-17 22:08:44

His job can very very easily be done from home. It would definitely not affect the service or anything like that. His last job which was very similar- he worked from home alot.

The reason they said no was that then they would start having to give it to other people as well. His manager said he would love to have a couple of days from home but can't because of that.

TheAntiBoop Mon 16-Oct-17 22:08:45

If the location was his choice then it makes it much harder. Flexible working will depend on his job etc. what reason did they give for rejecting his request?

What can you do to make it easier? Is there a friend he could stay with so he doesn't have to commute every night/morning? Or find cheap accommodation (I know that depends on where his office is)

If the job is long term could you consider moving to reduce his commute?

TheAntiBoop Mon 16-Oct-17 22:10:05

Has he just asked his manager or has he spoken to hr?

poshme Mon 16-Oct-17 22:11:10

My DH works away a few days each week. He could commute back, but long commute each way.. So he stays over.
I'd really suggest you investigate al the options on this.

TheNiceOne Mon 16-Oct-17 22:11:36

He put in a formal request. He filled in a form.from he so was official

namechangedtoday15 Mon 16-Oct-17 22:12:14

Agree to him staying close to office 1 or 2 nights a week. He can go to bed early / get up later and will make the rest of the work much more do-able. It sounds like the company has reasonable grounds for refusing the flexible working request so seems you have limited options.

Openup41 Mon 16-Oct-17 22:12:35

I have the same commute and have done so for eight years. I am always tired and have two dc under 10 who still require a lot of my attention. Dh and I work well together to ensure pick ups and drop offs are covered. Work dos/business trips are discussed and noted in our diaries well in advance. We work to a tight schedule but I do wonder how I function. I cannot do another 20-25 years of thissad

BellyBean Mon 16-Oct-17 22:12:42

There's only certain reasons they can refuse a formal flexible working request and because others will be jealous isn't one. If others request it and office cover or whwatever becomes an issue they can decline those future requests.

TheAntiBoop Mon 16-Oct-17 22:12:54

I'm not sure there's much else you can do other than try and improve things yourselves tbh

I assume he is looking around for a job nearer home so it could just be making the best of it until something comes up

Out2pasture Mon 16-Oct-17 22:13:47

move to where the work is...

BellyBean Mon 16-Oct-17 22:14:15

I'd also suggest he stays over 1-2 nights and sees if he can do a short mon and fri with longer days midweek when staying over to balance.

TheNiceOne Mon 16-Oct-17 22:15:56

We have looked at moving to the place he works but it would mean crap schools, smaller house and higher mortgage which we can't do not to mention no support network.

namechangedtoday15 Mon 16-Oct-17 22:17:22

OP lots of people have suggested staying over. Have you explored this?

SleepingStandingUp Mon 16-Oct-17 22:17:30

Is there no optional to move closer to work?

QueuetoaskaQ Mon 16-Oct-17 22:18:37

This is my commute for my new job starting soon.

I was perfectly aware of this before going for the interview.

Got offered the job. Considered driving there and back each day. Realised it wasn't feasable.

Now moving house, schools, childminder - moving everything - in the next few weeks.

Is there something stopping your family from doing the same? Are you having to stay put for your own job?

If relocating is out of the question for some reason, would driving the journey be less time consuming than 5 trains?

PickAChew Mon 16-Oct-17 22:18:57

If he's just started the job, then it't probably not unusual for them to not allow working from home until he's proven himself.

DH negotiated working from home, in his last job, after they relocated his office from 20 to 40 miles away. he go a job closer to home, a year later, and they didn't really allow any home working for a good year. he does average a day a week at home, now, as they know they can trust him to get on with the job, get in touch, be available for teleconferences, and so on.

Unfortunately, your DH's company probably considers that he made the choice to work for them, even if the commute is a difficult one, so aren't going to be willing to make a concession they don't normally make under any circumstances. I think that the only thing that your DH can do is to not consider his jobsearch over.

TheAntiBoop Mon 16-Oct-17 22:24:54

You don't need to move to where he works but maybe somewhere that doesn't involve five trains to get to where he works

How long has he been doing this

BikeRunSki Mon 16-Oct-17 22:25:05

How about a 9 day fortnight? IE 10 days worth of work spread out over 9, with alternate Fridays off? This is very low impact flexible working of the employer.

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