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:
Nothing was moving this morning on the beltline. Took 45 minutes to go from Stoughton rd. to Old Sauk.#madisontraffic pic.twitter.com/BhtEhxKgi5
— Barclay Pollak (@BarclayPollak) March 5, 2014
This was the traffic this morning near the Stoughton Rd. on ramp. I didn't move for close to 5 minutes. pic.twitter.com/tn2LLKexEh
— Barclay Pollak (@BarclayPollak) January 7, 2014
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 Salary.com 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 awkwardtransit.com. The decision is yours.
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!
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.
Thanks Matt and Jordan for sharing your thoughts. We appreciate what you had to say.
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.
@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.
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!