Here are Denmark’s longest commutes

The distance Danes travel to and from work varies greatly across the country, a new study shows.

Here are Denmark’s longest commutes
File photo: Steffen Ortmann/Ritzau Scanpix

At 62 kilometres, employees working in Høje-Taastrup municipality have Denmark’s longest commutes, writes

That is how far employees at companies in Høje-Taastrup commute to and from work on average, giving the municipality the honour of having the longest commutes in Denmark.

Second on the list comes Allerød with 59 kilometres, followed by Ballerup and Ikast-Brande – the only one of the top four to be located in Jutland. In the two latter municipalities, employees at local companies travel 56 kilometres to and from work.

These are the results of a new analysis of the commutes of Danish workers, carried out by think tank Kraka on behalf the Danish Transport Federation.

The relatively long commutes testify to the fact that Danes are willing to make a great effort to go where their competences are most beneficial, according to director of the Danish Transport Federation Michael Svane.

“It is impressive that employees in parts of the country travel over 50 kilometres to and from work. After all, few people really enjoy spending time on transport,” Svane said.

“I’m pleased that so many people are willing to spend extra time behind the wheel or in the train. This benefits both companies and the employees themselves. The more mobile Danes are, the greater the chances of securing the perfect match between employee and company,” he added.

Setting aside island municipalities, Halsnæs, Frederiksberg and Odder are the municipalities in Denmark where employees have the shortest commutes to work. Here, the average commute is around 30 kilometres.

There are several explanations for why the distance that workers commute varies so greatly across the country, Svane said.

The ease of getting to and from the municipalities is an important factor. Poor transport connections will dissuade people from travelling to that municipality for work.

Also important is the type of companies located in the municipality. Companies that draw upon highly specialised labour may need to attract workers who live far away.

“Bottom line is we must always strive to make it as easy as possible for Danes to get to and from work. Spending less time on transport will improve people’s everyday lives. At the same time, it will make it easier for companies to attract the competences they need in order to create growth and jobs,” Svane said.

READ ALSO: One third of Danish commuters faces congestion: report

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Danish municipality gives its staff three-day weekends

For just over a year, Odsherred Municipality has operated under a trial programme which gives 300 civil servants employed by the authority Fridays off work.

Danish municipality gives its staff three-day weekends
File photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix

In return for the three-day weekend, staff at the northwest Zealand municipality must work the standard 37-hour week through Monday-Thursday.

The trial has worked so well that Odsherred is considering expanding it to municipal-run childcare facilities, DR Sjælland reports.

“We work very much based on when our residents need us,” Eva Haupt-Jørgensen, a union representative for public servants in Odsherred, said to DR.

The municipality has used a model which offers residents greater flexibility over when they can book appointments with staff, with more evening availability.

Evening working can be made to fit with employees’ home lives, Haupt-Jørgensen said.

“We can still go to gymnastics on a Thursday afternoon if that’s what we do. We just regulate and are here (at work) at other times,” she said.

The system makes it easier for residents to get in touch with the authorities outside of their own working hours, she noted.

“Now, residents can call and speak to a member of staff from 7:30am until 6pm,” mayor Thomas Adelskov told DR.

Although rolling out the concept to childcare facilities would mean a slightly different form, the idea could also be beneficial in that sector, he said.

“It’s clear that we can’t close childcare one day a week. But good models could be found whereby some people have Friday off, some have Monday off, and there are three continuous (working) days,” he said.

The trial is in place for three years for municipal administrative staff.

READ ALSO: Denmark tops EU survey on work-life balance