Do you commute to work?


My daughter Rebecca was home from London the past few days.We took the day off yesterday and went to Edinburgh, where after a lovely lunch we spent some time at the National Museum of Scotland. We hadn’t been for several years, and it was fantastic to go back and see it modernised.

Nowadays when we go to Edinburgh, we park at Ingliston and take the tram in to the City. It’s a relaxing way to travel and takes away the stress of driving and trying to park in the City Centre.

Rebecca’s flight was at 7pm, so we found ourselves back at Ingliston around 5.30pm, waving her off on her last leg to the airport. This meant that we’d be driving home at rush hour. Something I’d not done in Edinburgh for several years.

It was awful! So much traffic. It took us over an hour to drive the 3-4 miles to the Forth Road Bridge. Thankfully we had some good tunes to keep us company, and we’d had a lovely day out, so we were pretty relaxed, but I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like to do that every day.

I’m speaking at The Milk Bar on Friday about The Future of Work, and I’ve found some interesting data as I’ve been researching my talk. Over 3 million people in the U.K. now spend more than 2 hours commuting every day. That’s madness! Imagine what we could do with that time if it wasn’t spent sitting in a car or a train?

Do you commute to work? If you do, how long does it take you? Could you do anything to change that?

12 thoughts on “Do you commute to work?

  1. Ali

    Can’t agree more what wasted time commuting is – if it’s in the car. When working in East London years ago my commute was well over an hour and a half on the A12, M25 and M11. Some of the most congested roads in the area.

    When I set up on my own I had enough of commuting and rented an office 5 mins from home. We relocated a couple of years ago and it’s now 15-20minutes. I use the time to listen to podcasts that help me expand my mind.

    The time I commute now is just about right. Gives me time to make sense of the day and unwind before I get home.

    1. I was the same in Aberdeen Steve. Anywhere between 90-120 minutes each way. Now I’m about 15 mins from the office in Dundee and like you, I use that time to listen to podcasts or audiobooks and enjoy the time.

  2. Been there, done that. But for 8 years, I worked 12 hour shifts. Some days, some nights, weekdays and weekends. I felt so grateful going to work for 7am or 7pm, missing the rush hour traffic. It made up for the unsociable work rota. Nowadays I’m even more grateful that I no longer have to commute to work.

    1. Blimey! That must have been hard David. Like you, I’m grateful that I don’t have a long commute any more. I’ve got my life back!

  3. Arrrgh commuting…
    It’s only now I see how much commuting adds to stress and day to day madness of my pervious life. I regularly had jobs in the NHS that were an hour each way (minimum). Working at Addenbrookes was the worst – it was joyful M11 and horrible corner at Braintree that I’d leave just after 6am to make sure I got to Cambridge just after 7 and then again either have to leave at 4pm and pick up when home or stay till 6 otherwise your journey doubled. You also have to factor in parking space availability!
    After 6 months, I started working at home on a Wed to give me a midweek break from it and always stayed overnight when director on-call. Just couldn’t take the risk despite it being only an hour away.
    Long story short – how lucky are we now!

    1. That sounds terrible Vicky, but not an uncommon story sadly. The good thing is that more people are realising the impact this has on our lives and doing something about it. Now, if we could just get employers to see it the same way and consider more flexible ways of working……

  4. I used to commute to work when I lived in London about an hour each day. Now I work from home and you really do save a lot of time otherwise spent travelling. That being said when you are travelling, you could still make good use of that time, by reading or doing something else productive.

    1. Over 3 million people in the U.K. Commute for more than 2 hours every day. That’s such a waste of people’s time. Yes, we can sometimes use the time but many people don’t have that motivation and it’s just really an extension of the working day. Now imagine if companies had to pay for that time as well as time ‘at the office’….

  5. Long commenting is something I’ve actively avoided. 20 years in Musselburgh meant a 15 minute walk to the station, 7 minute train ride and 5 minute walk to the office. Less than half an hour – time for a podcast episode.

  6. I commute! By bike. 15 minutes each way. It’s great. If anything I would make it longer – on nice days I go home the long way for the pleasure of it, and if I could get up earlier, I would do so on the inward journey too.

    1. It’s a lovely way to commute Owen! In the summer, on the days that I was at The Circle all day, I cycled there and back. It would be better if we had a shower there, but deodorant wipes do a pretty good job! I’m not such a fan of commuting by bike in the winter I must say.

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