Commuting is ruining your life and you don’t even know it!

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Garrett

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Garrett

Madison, Wis. is hardly a megatropolis. According to the U.S. census bureau Wisconsin’s capital city has just over 240,000 residents. However, it feels like all 240,000 of them begin their daily commute when I do, bringing traffic on Madison’s freeway, known as the beltline, to a near halt. This problem is only magnified when there’s a fresh coating of fluffy white stuff on the ground prompting me to share my anxiety with the rest of the world by taking to the twitterverse:

Now, a new study suggests commuting may be ruining lives. According to the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics, “commuters have lower life satisfaction, a lower sense that their daily activities are worthwhile, lower levels of happiness and higher anxiety on average than non-commuters.” Whomp, whomp!

What mode of transportation you use and the amount of time it takes you to get to work factors into this equation. People with commutes between 61 and 90 minutes were nowhere near as happy as those who traveled 15 minutes or less.

The study found commuters who were trapped on a bus for more than 30 minutes felt the worst. You might think people who bike or walk to work are happier. Well, you would be wrong. Turns out they’re pretty miserable too.

Luckily there are some things you can do to ease the pain of your daily commute. You could quit your job, go off the grid, and live off the land all in the name of avoiding that massive time drain known as your daily commute. You could also check out these tips from that may help make your commute a little less stressful.

There is another option. You could work remotely from home (or wherever you’d like). According to this recently published article in the New York Times telecommuting rose 79 percent between 2005 and 2012. Telecommuters account for about 2.6 percent of the American workforce, or about 3.2 million workers.

Not only will telecommuting save you time and money it may make you more productive. A recent telecommuting survey by PGi (Premiere Global Services, Inc.) found that 70 percent of respondents saw an improvement in their productivity. Eighty-two percent also say their stress level improved.

The Times article I mentioned earlier attributes the increase in telecommuting, in part, to better communications technology like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). TDS Telecom’s business VoIP solution, managedIP Hosted, is one of the technologies making remote teleworking possible. managedIP Hosted offers features like simultaneous ring, which rings multiple phones at the same time when a call is received by your desk phone and remote office, which allows you to make and receive calls to another phone as if it was your office phone. These features ensure you won’t miss any important communication if you’re away from your desk.

Of course if you stop commuting there’s a chance you may miss out meeting some of these awesome people I found on the website The decision is yours.

Awkward Transit (woman on bike rack)

Awkward Transit (Creepy Crows)

Awkward Transit (lady brings her own chair on the bus)

About Barclay Pollak

Barclay Pollak is an award winning journalist and proud to be a member of the Corporate Communications team at TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) in Madison, Wis. Barclay joined the team in April of 2013. Before that Barclay worked as an Anchor/ Reporter for the NBC affiliate in Madison. While at NBC-15 Barclay was recognized by several organizations for his contributions to the television news industry. They include the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association (Edward R. Murrow Regional Award) and the Chicago/Midwest National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (2012 Emmy Nominee). When he’s not working Barclay enjoys cheering for all the sports teams in Wisconsin. Barclay’s a University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus and a huge fan of Badger athletics. Barclay is fascinated by the ever changing world of technology and spends a fair amount of his free time reading about the latest and greatest developments online. When Barclay’s not learning about technology he’s scouring the Internet in search of freeware. Barclay has an 8-year-old daughter and lives with his girlfriend of almost five years on Madison’s southwest side. Follow on G+.

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8 Responses to Commuting is ruining your life and you don’t even know it!

  1. Matt May 16, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    I really like this segment. I can absolutely relate to this. I drive 2 hrs + per day for my commute to TDS. I wish I had the ability to work from home, it would probably make my life so much better. It is tough dealing with the beltline every day, especially @ 8AM & 5PM. I think TDS should do more to convert some employees to work from home. The technology is here & we sell it everyday! Anyway thanks again!

  2. Jordan Arnesen May 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    I also dirve over two hours everyday sometimes more depending on weather and traffic. I know how nice it would be for our customers employees (I talk to them about it everyday)to take advantage of this even though we can not.

  3. barclaypollak June 23, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    Thanks Matt and Jordan for sharing your thoughts. We appreciate what you had to say.

  4. Chamois October 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    I live in the lovely major traffic capital of the world…Los Angeles.

    And I’ve always believed that commuters might be able to tolerate their jobs better if they didn’t have to face the 60-90 minute commute to work and then look forward to the same traffic situation on their way home.

    Luckily, I work from home, but my husband’s commute (that should be 20 mins with no traffic) takes approx. 55 mins on a good day and 80 mins on a not-so-good day. There must be a better solution.

    • Barclay Pollak October 24, 2014 at 7:21 am #

      @Chamois wow! Eighty minutes on a not-so-good day! That’s unreal. My commute can take between 45 and 60 minutes on a not so good day. Tell your husband he’s not alone. The only thing that makes the drive somewhat tolerable (I use that term loosely) is sports talk on the radio. If it weren’t for that I would be pulling out what little hair I have.

  5. Bill N February 13, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

    Been a long distance telecommuter since 1998. Lived in Midwest, worked “in” North Texas. Just thankful for high speed internet. Dial up wasn’t very fun in the first few years!


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