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How to have a more productive commute

28 Feb 2017

As far as British problems go, traffic jams are one of the worst — surely there has to be a better way to spend your daily commute than sitting in a car in rush hour traffic with your rage levels quickly rising? The solution could be taking the bus as, even if you’re held up in traffic, at least you can use your time productively.

In 2015, the average daily commute took just over 57 minutes. Despite this, 2015 figures from the Office for National Statistics show that a huge 3.7 million workers travel for over two hours each day for work — back in 2010, this figure was just 2.8 million. 

Daily commute times vary between professions. It’s bad news if you’re an accountant—your commute time is the longest, averaging at 76 minutes per day. Automotive workers, on the other hand, can nip to work in just 22 minutes.

On average, car drivers spend 48.66 hours a year — over two days — waiting at traffic lights. Despite this, cars are still the predominant way to commute, occupying a 53% share. However, could adopting savvier ways of travelling make your commute less stressful, more productive and more enjoyable? Here are some the  great ways you can spend your time on the bus (based on the average 57 minute commute)...



With so much to fit in in just 24 hours, commuting by bus is the perfect way to squeeze in some reading. Unless you’re a self-confessed bookworm, you’ll likely read between 250 and 300 words — around a page — per minute. 

So what could you read during your commute and how long would it take you? If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you’ll be able to get through the first installment, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in approximately four journeys. There are 3,407 pages in total*, meaning it will take you around 60 journeys, or 12 working weeks to get through the entire series.

Fancy getting through some of the classics? In a single working week, you could read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (256 pages), Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (254 pages) or William Golding’s Lord of the Flies (248 pages). At this rate, you’ll fly through the literary canon!

*based on UK print editions

Watch your favourite TV shows

tv shows

With the joy that is free Wi-Fi connection on many Stagecoach buses, you can also use your daily commute to catch up with your favourite TV shows. Whether you’re mad about The Walking Dead or a die-hard Game of Thrones fan, a 57-minute journey was pretty much made for watching hour-long episodes.

To watch all seven series of Game of Thrones during your commute, it would take you 37 journeys. The Walking Dead, on the other hand, is much longer, taking 68 commutes for you to watch every episode.

Westworld is one of the newest TV series to grip the nation. With just one series currently available, it will take 10 commutes for you to get up to speed.

Check your email


A recent report has found that the average user received 122 emails per day in 2015. In total, it’s estimated that workers spend 3.2 hours a day checking and responding to their emails. 

While you probably won’t have quite enough time to get through them all, the time you spend on your commute can go a long way in organising your inbox, meaning you can arrive at the office motivated and ready to get started!

Learn a new language


Always wanted to order in a restaurant in French, or be able to chat with the locals in Spain? Apps like Duolingo make it easy, and fun!, to learn a language, and with each lesson taking between 5 and 10 minutes, you could easily squeeze in five lessons a day, which means you'd be well on your way to fluency after a few months of travel!

Will getting the bus make your commute easier?

Plan your journey now