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Reclaim Your Commute

Abstract

Every day, millions of people around the world face long commutes to work. In the US alone, approximately 25 million workers spend more than 90 minutes each day getting to and from their jobs, and about 600,000 “mega-commuters” travel at least 90 minutes each way, according to the US Census Bureau. In the United Kingdom, the average round-trip commute takes 54 minutes (up from 45 minutes in 2003), and in most of the world’s major cities, from Milan to Manila, it’s over an hour. A 2014 British government survey found that workers with lengthy commutes felt more anxious and less satisfied with life than people with shorter ones. They were also less likely to find their daily activities worthwhile. Other studies have found that people with long commutes are more exhausted and less productive at work, and have lower job satisfaction. And a study conducted in Sweden in 2011 found that couples have a 40% higher chance of getting divorced when one partner commutes at least 45 minutes to work each day. Research, including our own studies, suggests that small tweaks can improve your commuting experience, leaving you happier and more productive.


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