Did you know the average American commuter spends about 25.6 minutes per day traveling to their job? While 25 minutes might not seem like a huge waste of time, think about commuters who travel twice a day every weekday. That’s at least four hours of commuting time every week!

And that doesn’t include traffic-related delays, such as car accidents and construction work. These factors can significantly lengthen your daily commute.

And if your workplace follows a hybrid model of work, you’ll still have to go through occasional commuting time.

But fortunately, commuting doesn’t have to feel like a chore! This article will review how to make commuting fun through a number of different means.


Quick Summary: Looking for a new activity to fill time during your morning or after work commute? Here are five ways to make commuting fun:

  1. Prepare for a productive day
  2. Entertain yourself
  3. Exercise your brain
  4. Focus on your physical and mental health
  5. Socialize

In this article, we’ll break down these five main ideas and provide suggestions for various activities you can do during your daily commute.

Prepare for a Productive Day

If you have a busy schedule, spending your morning commute preparing for the work day ahead can improve your productivity on the job. For instance, prioritizing the most important tasks for the day while commuting gives you extra time to accomplish your workplace goals.

Let’s review three activities that’ll make your commute more productive: checking your emails, completing simple work tasks, and making to-do lists.

Emails

Many employees’ work days start with viewing unread emails. But reading and responding to emails can waste precious time in the office.

If you use public transit to commute, you can use your commute time wisely by reviewing important emails during your trek to work. That way, when you arrive at the office, you’re aware of critical issues immediately and can address them right at the start of your day.

Simple Work Tasks

The morning commute is a great way to get a headstart on your work day. During your travel, you can plan and practice rehearsing for upcoming meetings.

This will help you organize your thoughts and communicate clearly, ultimately making for a successful meeting.

employees commuting

And that’s not the only work task you can complete during your commute!

With OfficeRnD Hybrid, employees can schedule meetings, reserve desk space, and plan in-office visits with other coworkers, all while commuting.to work.

This innovative technology will ensure your staff is ready to hit the ground running the moment they enter the office!

To-Do List

Do you find yourself making last-minute updates to work projects frequently? If so, you’re not alone. Nothing is as simple as it seems, including completing work efficiently, effectively, and correctly.

Our brains are designed to hold seven pieces of information within our short-term memory. So chances are, if your manager stops by your desk to ask for another feature to be included in your upcoming project, you might forget that information by the time you can address it.

Your daily commute is a great way to reflect on your tasks without the stress of office personnel. In the long run, this daily activity can help improve your memory and work performance!

Wondering How to Make Commuting Fun? Entertain Yourself

Not everyone wants to spend their long commute planning for the workday ahead — and that’s okay! Some commuters use their travel time to relax and enjoy their favorite media.

Are you looking for ways to entertain yourself on the road? Here are four suggestions guaranteed to help you enjoy your commute:

Read a Book or Listen to an Audiobook

From the depths of the ocean to the infinite corners of space, a good book will take you anywhere you want to go. Whether you enjoy action and adventure or the intricacies of a mystery novel, reading during your commute is an excellent way to pass the time.

If you drive to work or suffer from motion sickness, reading a book might not be an option. However, audiobooks are a great alternative. With audiobooks, listeners can hear detailed descriptions to paint clear pictures in their minds without having to physically read words on a page.

Listen to Podcasts

On average, 41% of Americans aged 12 and up listen to one podcast a month.

three workers commuting and listening to podcasts

And it’s easy to see why — with a wide variety of podcast topics available, almost anyone can find an enjoyable podcast to listen to.

Take a moment during your work commute to explore potential podcasts and find a new way to make your travels more enjoyable.

Listen to Music

Thanks to modern technology, listening to music on the move is easier than ever before. In the past, unless you had a collection of CDs in your car, commuters were subjected to the redundant cycle of popular songs on the radio.

Nowadays, music streaming services provide access to a wide variety of music genres. Create a custom mix of your favorite tunes or discover a new playlist for your daily commute — your options are endless (and hands-free!)

Watch Your Favorite TV Show or YouTube Channel

If you have a long commute home and a 40-hour work week, it can feel difficult to make time for yourself. Unless you live alone, people with children or roommates don’t always have access to the TV when they’re looking to relax.

If you ride public transportation to work, watching TV is a great way to spend your free time. Download your favorite streaming app or browse YouTube content so you can enjoy your media on the go.

Exercise Your Brain

Are you the type of person who needs coffee in the morning to prepare for your work day?

Statistically, 79% of Americans drink at least two cups of coffee a day. If you find yourself within this statistic, here are four great alternative ways to wake up your brain during your commute to work:

Learn Something New

Are you looking to expand your skill set? If so, then your daily commute is just what you need!

Use your extra commuting time to practice learning a new language. If you use public transportation to commute, you can install a phone app dedicated to teaching foreign languages. And for those who drive, an audio tape and speech rehearsal will educate new language learners.

employees learning a new language while commuting

And that’s not all — commuters can also listen to online lectures to learn how to acquire new skills. Even if you dedicate only one 25-minute commute a week to learning a new skill, by the end of the year, you’ll have accumulated 21 hours to improve your education!

Brainstorm Solutions to Problems

Is there a problem weighing heavily on your mind? Use your commute time to focus on it.

And if you’re a manager involved in a hybrid workplace, OfficeRnD Hybrid can make brainstorming solutions to work problems easier than ever. Watch this video to learn more about how OfficeRnD Hybrid can solve the majority of your workplace problems on the go.

Write

If you are an aspiring writer, your daily commute is a perfect opportunity to write. Whether you keep a daily journal or intend to author a book, writing during your commute will propel you toward achieving your dream.

If you drive to work, find a text-to-talk application where you can dictate all your ideas. Regardless of your daily schedule, writing will help keep your mind active.

Play Puzzle Games

Puzzle games are an excellent way to exercise your brain on your commute to work. Focus and attention to detail are required to complete them, so you’ll be ready to take on any work-related activity as soon as you arrive at work.

puzzle game

Examples of some puzzle games include:

  • Crossword puzzles
  • Rubix cubes
  • Solitaire
  • Sudoku

Find your perfect brain game and challenge yourself to complete one puzzle a day on your daily commute!

Focus on Your Physical and Mental Health

In a perfect world, employees leave their work stress behind when they clock out for the day. However, it’s tough to separate work from home if you’ve got a lengthy commute.

During your morning commute, you might spend time thinking about your daily to-do list and upcoming project deadlines. And on the evening ride home, you might reflect on work expectations and your interactions with coworkers.

But when these thoughts travel with you, they can impact your personal life. So if you find your free time is filled with work-related anxiety, consider using part of your travel to focus on how to make commuting fun.

Mindfulness Meditation

Sometimes, the best thing that you can do is put down technology and let your mind wander. Mindfulness meditation is a practice that guides people on how to be present and aware of their body at any given moment.

Incorporating this activity into your commute will help provide a sense of calmness and relaxation, even if you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress.

mindfulness exercise

Deep breathing is an easy, popular technique for practicing mindfulness. It can lower your heart rate and stress level while increasing your energy level.

Exercise

If you’re one of the 0.5% of Americans who bicycle to work, your work commute is part of your daily exercise. However, about 75% of commuters use motor vehicle transportation to travel to work.

Instead of remaining still during your commute, try one or more of the following exercises:

  • Heel raises
  • Lunges (as you wait for public transportation)
  • Tense your core or glute muscles for 15 seconds, then release
  • Flex and release your inner thigh muscles

Time spent traveling doesn’t have to be “wasted time.” Incorporate exercise into your daily routine while you’re stuck in traffic to make your commute healthy and productive.

Socialize

If you consider yourself a social butterfly, a long commute might feel isolating and lonely — but it doesn’t have to be. Commuting to work is an excellent opportunity to meet new people or make phone calls to your loved ones.

Here are some ideas on how to make commuting fun for people who like to socialize during their free time:

Connect with Friends and Family

Regardless of your mode of transportation (car, train, bus, bicycle, etc.), you can make a phone call to your friends and family during your commute — though, if you’re driving, make sure that you make this call hands-free.

worker commuting in a tram

Connecting with your loved ones is a great way to make your commute more enjoyable. Whether you’re scheduling weekend plans or simply catching up, your commute time will fly by when you’re on the phone.

Interact with Other Commuters

If you ride public transportation, you have the unique opportunity to meet someone new during your commute. Strike up a conversation with your fellow commuters — you might just make a new friend along the way.

Just be aware that not everyone wants to chat during their commuting time. If a person has headphones on or appears immersed in a book, it’s best not to interrupt them. After all, everyone uses their commute time differently.

Join a Commuter Group

There are a lot of great benefits to joining a commuter group, including using the carpool lane, reducing environmental pollution, and being able to socialize with peers.

Commuter groups give workers the opportunity to discuss their careers with others in the field. Since those individuals have a deep understanding of your daily work tasks, they might be able to offer helpful advice and solve any issues you might be having in the office.

Even if you don’t work with your fellow commuters, joining a carpool group is a great way to socialize and discover alternative routes home during rush hour.

How Hybrid Workers Can Make Commuting Fun

Are you looking to “take a different route” with your commuting time? The best ideas to make your commute fun include improving your productivity, enjoying various forms of entertainment, exercising your brain, focusing on your mental health, and socializing.

Mix and match commuting activities to find the best way to make your travel time enjoyable. Whether you decide to dedicate time to learning new skills or enjoying different forms of media, only you can determine what’ll make your commute more fun.

If you’re looking to make your commute fun and productive, try OfficeRnD Hybrid for free. Book rooms and desks, invite favorite colleagues to collaborate in the office, schedule weekly events, and much more.

FAQ

How Do You Entertain Yourself While Commuting?

Entertainment depends on your personal preferences. You can listen to music, read a book, learn a new language — anything is possible for commuters who have extra time to commit to activities.

If you start to find your routine boring, incorporate a new daily activity into your commute to keep the entertainment alive!

What Is the Happiest Commute Time?

The happiest commute time depends on the individual and location. Some people enjoy driving, while others are easily frustrated by heavy traffic and construction. Those who do hybrid work might not mind a commute at all because they can access their work remotely.

In short, the happiest commute time is whatever you can tolerate!

How Can I Make My Commute Less Stressful?

To make your commute less stressful, focus on entertainment and socialization to and from work. Alternatively, you can incorporate healthy mental and physical exercises to help you de-stress.

If you find your commute is becoming stressful, it’s important to change your daily routine and find new ways to occupy your time while on the way to work.

How Can I Make My Daily Commute Productive?

Sure, here are 5 ideas to make your daily commute more productive:

  • Create a to-do list: Use your commute time to plan out your day and create a to-do list so that you can hit the ground running when you arrive at work.
  • Learn something new: Listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or educational videos to learn something new during your commute.
  • Catch up on work: Use your commute time to catch up on emails, read reports, or complete other work tasks that don’t require a computer.
  • Meditate or practice mindfulness: Use your commute time to practice mindfulness or meditation to reduce stress and increase focus. It’s a great way to avoid burnout.
  • Network: Use your commute time to reach out to colleagues or industry contacts to build your professional network.

How Long is Too Long a Commute?

According to experts, commutes longer than 45 minutes are considered too long. A study found that commuting for more than 30 minutes each way can have a negative impact on mental health and well-being.

It’s also important to note that the distance someone is willing to travel can depend on the mode of transportation.

For example, evidence from school commuters suggests that 2.5 miles is usually the maximum distance walkers and cyclists are willing to cover each day.

Is a 20-minute Commute Bad?

No, a 20-minute commute is generally considered a reasonable and manageable commute time.

According to one study, most door-to-door journey times are around 15 minutes multiplied by the square root of the distance in kilometers, which means a 20-minute commute time likely means the job is within 1.8 kilometers from home.

 

Asen Stoyanchev
Senior Content Marketing & SEO Specialist | OfficeRnD
Asen is passionate about flexible working and the future of work. He firmly believes that work flexibility directly impacts one's health and well-being. When he's not writing, Asen spends his time devouring business literature, hiking, and parenting.