Make These Changes to Your Commute to be Happier and More Productive

Morning commuters at Bristol's Temple Meads station

Morning commuters at Bristol's Temple Meads station

The daily commute is not usually the highlight of anyone’s workday, in fact studies have shown that for some, it can even be the worst part of the day, having a negative impact on productivity, mood and life in general. In a European survey by Ford Motor Company, people ranked commuting as more stressful than their jobs, moving house, or even a dreaded trip to the dentist.

The facts are shocking! Surveys have shown that workers with a long commute:

As much as we love Bristol, it really doesn’t make getting to work easy, at Slide Bristol we aim to change that. But whether you’re a bus, train or Slide rider or driving into work, a few little tweaks can make your commute a lot less miserable.

Researchers from the Harvard Business Review have come up with a few ways to make your ride to work better.  In the UK the average round-trip commute takes 54 minutes (although we like to think we can help bring that figure down), that’s a lot of time you could be dedicating to something else...you!

1. Set A New Routine and Stick By It

The researchers found that those who maintained small routines on the way to work felt more excited about the day ahead, less anxious, more satisfied with their jobs, and less stressed-out than those who had no set routine.  So maybe it’s reading, catching up on news, practising mindfulness or listening to a podcast, or maybe your new routine is to book a Slide every day, you can even use our on-board wifi!

2. Prepare, Plan and be Productive

It’s simple really, spend some of your commuting time planning for the day or the week ahead and you’ll arrive at work “better prepared and therefore happier, more energetic and productive” the study found. So even if your commute is a long one, use the time wisely, think about what you want to accomplish and you’ll feel more satisfied with your day!

3. Pursue Your Passions

The study calls on us to find our ‘pocket of freedom’ in the commute, try not to be passive but use the time learn or try something new. The research shows that higher levels of autonomy create greater well-being, satisfaction, productivity and lower levels of stress. So, why not learn a new language (we love the app Duolingo!), 10 minutes a day on board Slide using our free WiFi and you’ll be well on your way to speaking the lingo on your next holiday!

4. Share Your Commute

The commute has long been a solitary experience and even though Bristol is no London, when it comes to chatting to a stranger on public transport, most people shy away. People who commute can have 10% fewer social connections, leading to greater isolation and unhappiness. However, the study found that people who engage in conversation have a more positive commuting experience. 

I had the loveliest driver. I was having a really awful morning but he cheered me up!
— Angie. regular Slider

Here at Slide we’re all about sharing, we actively encourage you to share you commute with others and as you’ll only ever share with up to 8 people, chatting away to a fellow rider is a lot less scary. And then there’s our drivers, a friendly bunch who are always happy to chat.

So, there you have it, most of us don’t have the desire or luxury of changing jobs or moving closer to work but there a few little things you can do to make your make your commute and as a result, you workday and life that little bit better.  

So, give yourself a shorter commute, book a Slide to work and kick off that new routine!