The daily commute

We all know about the woes of public transport. Have you ever heard someone say 'yes I really love my commute'? Probably not. I've had a lot of jobs over the years with various journeys to work, some excellent and some a little tedious. The ideal one was when it was only a 20 minute walk away. That was the best as not only was it free, but it was quick and it was exercise. The worst are probably the ones where I had to get a bus, then a train, meaning I ended up leaving the house about 2 hours before I actually started work. I've put to together a little list of  the bad things about using public transport to get to and from work:

1. The frequency
Depending on where you're going you might find you have to leave a little earlier than you wanted. On my recent placement my train got me in 45 minutes before I started work because they only ran once an hour. That was a little annoying!

2. Delays
There's nothing worse than arriving at the station to find the train is running late and even worse that it has been cancelled. Then when it does eventually arrive it's likely to be even more packed than usual. If you had another train or bus to catch after as well, you're likely to miss the connection too!

3. Multiple methods
Having to get more than one type of transport to work sucks. If one is delayed then you'll probably miss the other then there is all the waiting around, not just once but waiting for the bus, then waiting for the train for example. Life seems to become one big wait.

4. Packed buses and trains
You definitely know what I mean here. During rush hour in the week and even during the weekend trains just don't seem to have enough carriages. It seems to be the norm to spend the whole journey rammed in the corridor along with 20 other people trying to find a tiny little bit of personal space.

5. Traffic
You still get to experience the joys of traffic on a bus. Occasionally, there'll be a lovely bus lane for you to zoom along, but like cycle lanes, these seem to be rather lacking and then they'll just suddenly stop! Sometimes driving to work can be a better option to avoid the all the above pitfalls of commuting but even then you're not going to avoid the traffic. It's so frustrating when it takes you 40 minutes to do a journey that you know only takes 10 minutes at any other time of the day!

We must spend so much time commuting that if you added it up over a year you'd be shocked! The graphic below displays some stats on this based on the tube in London, but you could apply some of these to any commute in the UK.

If to are able to to, one solution to all this could be to work from home occasionally. As well as the advantages of being in the comfort of your own home, being able to work in your comfy clothes and avoiding the distractions of your colleagues, you could save so much time in not having the commute there and back. Even if you had a meeting you could still work remotely from home. The people at GoTo Meeting provide the resources and software to be able to host and participate in meetings online from anywhere in the world. They've also a great blog with useful articles and hints and tips on how to work more effectively and productively, whatever line of work you are in.

What's your commute like? Any tips for making it easier?

This is a collaborative post.

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