Ok, your work commute might not actually be “killing” you, but could it be negatively impacting your actual work performance every day?
It doesn’t take a group of brilliant scientists publishing novel research to tell us that commuting to work has a massive effect on our job performance and happiness…but lucky for us they’ve done it anyway.
Research from Dartmouth has confirmed the transformative effects commuting has on our day-to-day lives. The study also used smartphone and fitness-tracker data to predict job performance based on a host of factors.
How To Monitor a Commute
The research team worked with a study population of 275 workers over the course of an entire year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The workers were all monitored via smartphone and a Garmin fitness tracker during their commute and for 30 minutes before and after travelling.
Your commute predicts your dayProf. Andrew Campbell
The devices examined physical factors such as level of activity, phone usage, heart rate, and stress, along with more external factors such as commute variability and commute duration. Through this extensive collection of data, the research team was able to develop a machine learning model that could accurately predict each individual’s job performance for the day.
One of the most important findings was that workers with consistent arrival and departure times from work typically performed better than those with a looser routine. As Pino Audia, a co-author of the paper, put it, “the secret to high performance may lie in sticking to better routines.”
Further Results From the Study
The research also found that higher stress before and after commutes were found in low-performing workers, while low-performers also tended to use their phones more during their journeys to work. High performing workers displayed higher levels of resilience to stress and increased markers of physical fitness, displaying the link between physical wellbeing and improved job performance.
This particular study also marks a significant step in the proof-of-concept for using fitness-trackers and smartphones to monitor work performance. Previous studies have utilised much more invasive techniques such as head-mounted electrodes. This research shows that non-invasive techniques can give accurate and insightful results. This could allow much more widespread studies to take place which can give us an even more comprehensive look into how to improve the future of work.
To read the full journal article, click the link here.
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