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Diggers' Forum survey on travel and away working
Coinciding with the relaunch of its newsletter the Diggers? Forum is holding an online survey of travel and away work in British commercial archaeology. The survey addresses two of the big ?unknowns? in commercial archaeology: the amount of travel and driving we all do, and the amount of away work and its affect on our lives and careers. The survey is relevant to anyone working in UK archaeology who works on site, even if you don?t work away from home.

The survey is held online at
and should take 15?20 minutes, depending on how much you want to say! There is ample opportunity to add personal views and experiences.

The survey will be accessible for the next two months, we?ll also be sending out a survey to employers so that we can see the situation in the round. We will analyse the results and get them out via the Diggers' Forum newsletter. We hope the survey will give us a valid picture of travel and away work in UK archaeology based on the experiences of fieldworkers. This should allow us to see where there is good practice, where there is room for improvement, and where we may be able to campaign to raise the bar.

Please pass on details of the survey to colleagues and friends, the more of you that fill it out, the better the picture we will have!
This survey isn't exclusively aimed at those of us who work away by the way- there are sections about travel to and from site, time paid (or otherwise) for driving, rest breaks etc etc. I rarely work away these days (as have young kids) but still filled it in, there were only a couple of sections that didn't directly relate to me.

It's also an attempt to gauge what people want the DF to do in the future- it's been a while since we had any direct contact with our members so we thought it would be useful to ask you what you think we should be doing.

It should also tell us where our membership is and what the demography is- I suspect that will not be as straightforward as we may think.

BUT- you don't have to be a DF member to fill it in.

So do fill it in- even if it turns out only a couple of sections are relevant we still need as big a sample of us as possible to be able to decide which direction we should be heading.

There is space for comments at the end too- so feel free to give us your views- it's anonymous...
Done that. Can we have a similar survey on the issue of corporate IFA membership as well now please? Ta muchly.
Hi Troll, thanks for filling it out .
Intrigued by what you mean re: the issue of corporate membership? Scope it out and send the DF an email and we'll look into it (contact details on IfA website). As far as more surveys, well lets look at the response to this one and how much work it takes and how good the data it produces is. Remember that all this work is done unpaid and in their spare time by people who are full time field workers. You're welcome to join in and help!

We've had an excellent response so far with lots of really detailed data and some very surprising stats so far. Please everyone keep the surveys rolling in, we know its quite long and detailed, but it is already giving us the most detailed data ever on the reality of away work and travelling. Several people have offered to help so thankyou very much, we'll be in touch in due course. Everyone can help though by spreading the word and getting field staff to fill out the survey.

For those of you who are DF members the new newsletter should be out any day, its at the printers apparently....

David, is there any chance you could stick a message about the survey with a link to it onto the BAJRFed homepage???
Tis done -sir...
cheers David!
I filled it in, but as I am no longer a permanent employee of anywhere I've only been doing odd jobs here and there for the last 6 months. Not sure how relevant that is to your study, but I would say a lot of diggers are in the same boat. Back to job hopping to make ends meet
Hi Lucy,

Thanks for filling it out, and yes- you are exactly the kind of person we want to hear from. We need more fieldworkers to fill it out as so far we do have a bias towards those on longer term contracts (POs etc).

The issue of away working and travel is particularly relevant to those on the 'circuit', as these are the people who will often rely on accomodation being provided.

Tell your friends!

Troll, thanks for your email which was forwarded to me, I'll get back to you in a few days if that's ok, needless to say colleagues at the DF have been quietly working away on the issue of validation behind the scenes for some time and have made some progress.

Anyway, a blatant 'bump' for this thread and the survey, I hope everyone has been filling in the survey, especially short-contract workers and lower level field staff. Quite surprised at the lack of any comments on here about travel and accomodation given the vociferous nature of posts in the past, everyone suddenly gone shy?! Surely not!

Here's your chance to set out what you feel about the extra hours you work, or the extra costs you incur. The range of practice across the country is quite staggering and even without doing a lot of number crunching it clearly shows that subs and travel time can make a big difference to many digger's basic pay. But we need more data to see exactly how it all evens out. When the survey is shut we'll start trying to analyse the data to see exactly what the big issues are, and what might be done to improve matters -if they need improving- but if we don't have the data then we won't have any evidence to back our arguments. This is YOUR opportunity to participate in developing the profession and give us the data to try and make a difference.

So please feel free to tell us what YOU think about what is a very complex issue that affects all of us fieldworkers.
Many thanks Chiz and best wishes to you all at DF.:face-approve:

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