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Happiness and Satisfaction with Work Commute

Author

Listed:
  • Lars Olsson

    ()

  • Tommy Gärling

    ()

  • Dick Ettema

    ()

  • Margareta Friman

    ()

  • Satoshi Fujii

    ()

Abstract

Research suggests that for many people happiness is being able to make the routines of everyday life work, such that positive feelings dominate over negative feelings resulting from daily hassles. In line with this, a survey of work commuters in the three largest urban areas of Sweden show that satisfaction with the work commute contributes to overall happiness. It is also found that feelings during the commutes are predominantly positive or neutral. Possible explanatory factors include desirable physical exercise from walking and biking, as well as that short commutes provide a buffer between the work and private spheres. For longer work commutes, social and entertainment activities either increase positive affects or counteract stress and boredom. Satisfaction with being employed in a recession may also spill over to positive experiences of work commutes. Copyright The Author(s) 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Lars Olsson & Tommy Gärling & Dick Ettema & Margareta Friman & Satoshi Fujii, 2013. "Happiness and Satisfaction with Work Commute," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 255-263, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:111:y:2013:i:1:p:255-263 DOI: 10.1007/s11205-012-0003-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cecilia Bergstad & Amelie Gamble & Tommy Gärling & Olle Hagman & Merritt Polk & Dick Ettema & Margareta Friman & Lars Olsson, 2011. "Subjective well-being related to satisfaction with daily travel," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-15, January.
    2. Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Stress that Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 339-366, June.
    3. Weiting Ng & Ed Diener & Raksha Aurora & James Harter, 2009. "Affluence, Feelings of Stress, and Well-being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 94(2), pages 257-271, November.
    4. Richard Wener & Gary Evans & Donald Phillips & Natasha Nadler, 2003. "Running for the 7:45: The effects of public transit improvements on commuter stress," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 203-220, May.
    5. Suzanne Slocum-Gori & Bruno Zumbo & Alex Michalos & Ed Diener, 2009. "A Note on the Dimensionality of Quality of Life Scales: An Illustration with the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 92(3), pages 489-496, July.
    6. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
    7. Ettema, Dick & Gärling, Tommy & Olsson, Lars E. & Friman, Margareta, 2010. "Out-of-home activities, daily travel, and subjective well-being," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 723-732, November.
    8. Novaco, Raymond W. & Stokols, Daniel & Milanesi, Louis, 1990. "Objective and Subjective Dimensions Of Travel Impedance as Determinants Of Commuting Stress," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5jq8164z, University of California Transportation Center.
    9. William Michelson, 2011. "What Makes an Activity Most Enjoyable? Alternative Ways of Measuring Subjective Aspects of Time-Use," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 103(1), pages 77-91, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nie, Peng & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2015. "Commute time and subjective well-being in urban China," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 09-2015, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    2. Lorenz, Olga & Goerke, Laszlo, 2015. "Commuting and Sickness Absence," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113173, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Mao, Zidan & Ettema, Dick & Dijst, Martin, 2016. "Commuting trip satisfaction in Beijing: Exploring the influence of multimodal behavior and modal flexibility," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 592-603.
    4. Lee, Richard J. & Sener, Ipek N., 2016. "Transportation planning and quality of life: Where do they intersect?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 146-155.
    5. Maya Abou-Zeid & Satoshi Fujii, 2016. "Travel satisfaction effects of changes in public transport usage," Transportation, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 301-314, March.
    6. Jonas De Vos & Patricia L. Mokhtarian & Tim Schwanen & Veronique Van Acker & Frank Witlox, 2016. "Travel mode choice and travel satisfaction: bridging the gap between decision utility and experienced utility," Transportation, Springer, vol. 43(5), pages 771-796, September.
    7. Eric Morris & Erick Guerra, 2015. "Mood and mode: does how we travel affect how we feel?," Transportation, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 25-43, January.
    8. repec:eee:transa:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:170-180 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:transa:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:238-254 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Laszlo Goerke & Olga Lorenz, 2017. "Commuting and Sickness Absence," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 946, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. repec:cog:socinc:v:5:y:2017:i:4:p:235-250 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Morris, Eric A., 2015. "Should we all just stay home? Travel, out-of-home activities, and life satisfaction," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 519-536.
    13. Patricia Mokhtarian & Francis Papon & Matthieu Goulard & Marco Diana, 2015. "What makes travel pleasant and/or tiring? An investigation based on the French National Travel Survey," Transportation, Springer, vol. 42(6), pages 1103-1128, November.
    14. repec:eee:transa:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:364-373 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:eee:transa:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:195-208 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Katrin Lättman & Margareta Friman & Lars E. Olsson, 2016. "Perceived Accessibility of Public Transport as a Potential Indicator of Social Inclusion," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 4(3), pages 36-45.
    17. Cao, Jason & Ettema, Dick, 2014. "Satisfaction with travel and residential self-selection: How do preferences moderate the impact of the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit line?," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 7(3), pages 93-108.
    18. Andersson, David & Nässén, Jonas & Larsson, Jörgen & Holmberg, John, 2014. "Greenhouse gas emissions and subjective well-being: An analysis of Swedish households," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 75-82.
    19. Olga Lorenz, 2017. "Does Commuting Matter to Subjective Well-Being?," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201707, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).

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