Commute Smart

Five ways to commute that help you survive the office journey

Heading to work is not always the most enjoyable activity, but it sure does take up time – and those minutes can add up. In Europe alone, more and more people travel up to 50 kilometres every morning just to get to their job. And almost a third of commuters take trips to work that last 60 minutes, twice a day, with 4.8% of people having a commute of more than 60 minutes one-way. Then add in a few train delays and the pain of the commute can be even worse. How to change that? Here are five solutions to save you the burden and get you commuting to the office the smart way.

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...not just for yourself but for the environment, too. We’re no stranger to car sharing initiatives and their benefits. However, with the chance of traffic, particularly in fast-paced cities like London, getting from A to B by bike is usually the faster bet. So why not try app-based bike services like Mobike, Ofo, or Urbo? They are easy to use, easy to locate in your surrounding area – and there’s often codes you can give to your friends for complimentary first rides. The price range varies from 1–3 GBP per hour, which will certainly save you from putting a dent in your wallet.

The best electric scooter for commuting

Going green! For those who would rather not arrive to work on the sweaty side, an electric scooter might be the right choice for the daily commute. Mute, for example, is a great option. Sure, it adds far more flexibility to your journey because you can leave the scooter anywhere within the allocated zone, but most of all, it’s environmentally friendly. Not to mention that you can easily take advantage of being smaller than cars and zoom past traffic jams. Simply download the app, choose your plan (you can subscribe or just rent them short term) and model (three to choose from), and the Mute Team will drop off your new electric scooter wherever you wish. The service is already available in London, Shanghai, Perth and Bali, so keep your eyes peeled for more cities to come.

Make the best of it

Being stuck in a car on the way to work is probably the brunt of commuting nightmares. But when you’re by train or underground, there’s quite a few activities you can make use of – especially when you have Wi-Fi. Podcasts can have you mentally transporting yourself out of the delayed train carriage you're in to an entirely different world. Or, you could make use of the pause and squeeze in a little mindful meditation (apps like 7Mind are on our list), followed by staying up to date on the world by reading the news. And, if you’re feeling particularly alert on your work commute, learning (or brushing up on) a new language or even reading a good book (check out our favourite books for your next trip here) will help you pass the time. Then, of course, there’s simply having a quick power nap to help you arrive at the office fresher than ever. So the next time you’re waiting for time to pass on the train, there are more pastimes to take advantage of than you might think.

Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets

There’s always a way to make the best of a situation. A reliable thermo mug filled with hot coffee, for example, can be the real upgrade to your journey along the way. A true game-changer might also be fading out all the noise around you with some high-quality ear plugs by HAY or headphones by B&O Play (you should also check out our playlist which will transport you straight to Kyoto). A high quality bag that makes your life easier, however, is probably the first on our list for helping with the daily commute. A water-resistant version will have you thanking your choice of officewear whilst waiting for your connecting train. And documents, laptop and devices should always arrive safely stowed and dry, right? The Horizn Gion Backpack ticks all of these boxes, along with having several extra smart pockets for everything else. You can thank us later.

Give us a smile

There are actual studies saying that your mood instantly improves as soon as you laugh. Moreover, laughing is also said to lower your stress level. And what’s laughing without company? So, if you haven’t got friends and colleagues who share the same journey to work as you, why not try carpooling to guarantee good talks, maybe a couple of good (and bad) jokes or two, and a generally more laid-back journey. But if you’re more into being alone, comedy podcasts might be the right choice. We love How Did This Get Made by Actors Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas. You will definitely arrive at the office with a huge smile on your face and convince everyone around you that, contrary to popular belief, you are in fact a morning person after all. Bye bye grumpy morning people!

Commute pick-me-ups