One in six working from home because of lack of petrol

By Neil Shaw

One in six people are working from home because they cannot buy enough fuel for their daily commute, new research suggests.

As the panic-buying of fuel swept across the country, many workers were faced with huge queues at petrol stations, closed forecourts or left with an empty tank, said a report.

A survey of almost 450 adults by human resources firm Randstad found one in six said they cannot get to work unless they can use public transport, cycle or walk.

Around one in 20 also said they had gone to their office to avoid racking up a hefty gas bill at home amid rising heating costs.

Graham Trevor of Randstad said: “While we have worked hard to ensure our employees are given enough freedom to flex their working schedule between office and home settings, there will always be uncontrollable factors such as severe weather conditions, or in this case, an unforeseen fuel shortage which could prevent them from getting to the office.

“We need to ensure that as employers we are promoting and encouraging a flexible working environment where suitable, and employees have the comfort in knowing that they have the freedom and the right tools to work from home effectively should they need to.”

Petrol station storage tanks were an average of just 27% full in London and 30% full in the South East at the end of the day on Sunday, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

This is compared with 37% across Britain.

In early 2020 – before demand was affected by coronavirus restrictions – stock levels averaged 43%.

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