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Answers For The Workplace E-Memo

Reducing Commuting Stress

Marilyn Elias, writing in USA TODAY, says that the stress experienced by some commuters is spilling over into their jobs. Elias reports on several studies that show “the more hassled drivers feel by their morning commute, the more verbally abusive they are to co-workers and the more they try to sabotage productive efforts.”

One of the researchers, Dwight Hennessy of State University of New York College (Buffalo), says “the most stressed commuters backbite, make cutting remarks, purposely don't return phone calls and do all kinds of passive-aggressive things that interfere with work.”

The average commute time in 1990 was 22.5 minutes. That increased to 25.5 minutes in 2000. The increase is not necessarily an increase of distance, but rather an increase in traffic congestion.

So how to reduce commuting stress? People who listened to their favorite kind of music on the way to work had much lower stress levels.

Another way is to leave home a few minutes earlier, thus creating an “I’ve got plenty of time to get to work” mindset.

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