The National Commute to Work

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

2011, Statistics Canada found that the average Canadian spent 26 minutes to get to work in the morning, and 26 minutes to return to home during afternoon rush hour. As a result, they spend 24 work days travelling to and from work a year. Unsurprisingly, the large metropolitan areas were found to be the worst, with Toronto being the longest commute in the country. They also found that journeys by public transport took much longer than those by car.

  • This is a depressing picture of what it means to live and work in our over-populated modern cities:

  • Commuters spend a huge amount of time inching forward in their vehicles, when they could be doing something more productive; such as working being engaged in other activities.

  • Since they have to concentrate on getting themselves to their destinations safely through heavy traffic, some commuters are frustrated and stressed by the time they arrive. Stressed people are known to be susceptible to more illness, more irritable, and not as productive as non-stressed people.  

  • Those who use public transport or car pools may have to spend an hour or more a day using public transport, and sometimes around people they would rather not be around.


The situation is not entirely hopeless, however. It requires creative solutions, and these have not been in short supply:

  • Some companies permit their employees to work from home. This eliminates one of the greatest causes of daily stress, and workers often spend the additional time working. Such companies and their employees both benefit.

  • Other companies allow their employees to work flexible hours. Some of them can start and return home early, while others can start late and stay late. This means that the company’s business hours are extended from nine to more than 13 hours a day. The company is then more productive and clients can make use of their services during off-peak times. The problem of long commuting time can, hence, be converted into another benefit for businesses and their clients.

  • Workers who must work during the conventional hours may have developed strategies for dealing with the commute.  One example might be for commuters to take the time to listen to audio lectures, music or educational lectures.  

  • Commuters might have more time to reflect and prepare for their day.

  • Commuters can car pool (having access to car pool lanes in major cities) and having the chance to talk to someone to break up the long drive home.

  • Commuting doesn’t always mean taking public transport or a vehicle.  Some commuters can bicycle, rollerblade or walk to work, which in turn, will help with their fitness.


We are living in a day and age in which commuting is necessary.  Although it can be tiresome and frustrating in major cities, try to find a way that works for you to limit the frustration.