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Consistent Commuting Could be Key to Happiness, Productivity

Consistent commutes may be linked to worker productivity and happiness, according to research conducted at Dartmouth and reported in Bloomberg.

The study: 275 information workers were given fitness tracking devices that measured their vitals and sleep, and each of the participants was monitored around the clock for a year. The participants’ commuting methods were tracked and they self-reported their productivity levels at work.

Consistency is key: The study found that, regardless of commute type, people who left their homes and offices at the same time each morning and afternoon and took the same route had higher productivity levels than those who switched up their departure times and alternated routes.

  • “Commuting, especially if it’s not well-planned and predictable, raises stress levels,” said Dartmouth professor and the study’s co-author Pino Audia.

Physical activity: “The researchers found that commutes involving more physical activity, such as walking or bicycling, correlated with less stress and better performance at work.”

Advice: The authors of the study say that research indicates that the more control a worker has, the happier that worker will be. They suggest that analyzing one’s commuting patterns and trying to increase commuting consistency could help increase happiness and productivity at work. 

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