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For Europeans, the Journey to Work Causes More Stress Than Their Actual Jobs (or even the Dentist), New Ford Survey Shows

  • A new mobility survey shows commuters in Europe’s major cities say the journey to work is more likely to be stressful than their actual jobs
  • The survey of 5,500 commuters in six cities shows one in three people find commuting increasingly stressful, more than one in four find journeys increasingly unpredictable
  • Sixty-three per cent of commuters are late at least once every month due to hold-ups. Nearly all leave early for work, and 15 per cent add 30+ minutes to scheduled journey times
  • Younger commuters – those aged 18-34 – and those who use multiple transport solutions are most likely to be stressed, leave for work early, and arrive late. In London and Rome, more people identify commuting as stressful than moving to a new house and visiting the dentist
  • Ford of Europe’s Andreas Ostendorf, vice president, Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering, presents Ford Smart Mobility plan at Sustainable Brands Barcelona
  • Ford first announced in January Ford Smart Mobility and an initial 25 experiments designed to anticipate what customers will want and need in tomorrow’s transportation ecosystem

BARCELONA, Spain, April 27, 2015 – Rush hour travel in some of Europe’s major cities is now such an ordeal that commuters are more likely to find their journey to work stressful than their job, according to a new survey.*

The Ford European Commuter Survey of 5,503 commuters in Barcelona, Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome showed that 26 per cent of people find commuting stressful, compared to 23 per cent who find work stressful. In Rome, more people highlighted commuting as a source of stress than moving into a new house. Londoners found commuting more stressful than visiting the dentist. Overall, one in three people find commuting increasingly stressful, and over one in four say their daily journeys are becoming increasingly unpredictable.

Ford is cooperating with cities worldwide as part of Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to address the transportation challenges brought on by population growth and urbanisation through 
innovation in areas such as connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data. Andreas Ostendorf, vice president, Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering, Ford of Europe, today presented the plan at the Sustainable Brands Barcelona conference, in Spain.

“For many people it can feel like they have done a full day before they have even set foot in the office,” Ostendorf said. “Society is becoming increasingly urban with cities growing in size and number, and we need a transport infrastructure that can keep pace with that expansion. Protecting the freedom of mobility requires more than just new train routes and roads, we all have to work together on a network of interconnected and sustainable solutions.”
Sustainable Brands Barcelona
Ford at Sustainable Brands Barcelona led a workshop with Barcelona Town Hall to examine mobility solutions for the city. Ostendorf took part in the panel discussion called “From Positioning to Purpose” examining the importance for companies to build sustainability into their core proposition.

“We are working together with a number of city authorities to provide a wider variety of affordable, accessible and sustainable transport solutions,” Ostendorf said. “Pedestrian walkways, bicycles, buses, trains, vehicles, trams, shuttle buses – all of these need to be connected and integrated to optimise urban mobility in the future.”

Ford Smart Mobility
Ford has already this year announced a significant number of global experiments to help test transportation ideas for better customer experiences, more flexible user-ship models and social collaboration that can reward customers.

In Europe alone these include the Handle on Mobility experiment to study how electric bicycles can work seamlessly with cars and public transport to deliver faster and easier daily commutes and help businesses operating in urban centres.

Further global experiments include the Innovate Mobility Series. Ford invited innovators and developers around the world to create solutions for specific mobility challenges in England, Portugal, North America and South America, Africa, India and China, with the series continuing in Australia this year. Challenges have included finding technology solutions to identify open parking spaces in urban areas, better ways to navigate crowded cities and the use of navigation and other tools to help people gain access to medical care in remote areas.

Ford is part of the Sustainable Mobility Project 2.0, organised by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The project brings together mobility-related companies and relevant stakeholders in order to work towards delivering improved access to safe and low-impact mobility.

Commuter stress
A recent study by the U.K. Office of National Statistics shows that each minute added to a commute affects anxiety, happiness and general well-being.** And according to another survey, total journey times for commuters in the cities Ford examined can average out at as much as 111 minutes in the case of Rome, 104 minutes for London, and 100 minutes for Madrid. ***

The Ford European Commuter Survey also showed that across Europe, commuters in Rome were the most likely to say commuting was increasingly stressful (57 per cent), followed by those in London (41 per cent), and Paris (35 per cent). The survey also showed that 49 per cent of those who use three or more forms of transport currently find commuting increasingly stressful, and 38 per cent find commuting increasingly unpredictable.

For many, this means being late for work. Of those surveyed, 63 per cent said they are late at least once a month due to hold-ups, and 27 per cent are late at least three times a month. Nearly all surveyed said they set off for work early. The 30+ minutes that 15 per cent of commuters add to their journey each day equates to almost five full days over the course of a year.

Of those aged 16-24, only ten per cent claimed not to find commuting stressful (compared with 19 per cent overall), and 43 per cent admitted failing to get to work at least once in the past 12 months. Those aged 25-34 were most likely to set off for work earliest to avoid hold-ups, and most likely to say commutes are becoming increasingly stressful (39 per cent), and unpredictable (34 per cent).

Commuters in Rome and London reported the greatest difficulties. More than half described commuting in the Italian capital as increasingly stressful, while 8 per cent of workers in Rome set off more than an hour early. In London, 80 per cent said they were late for work at least once a month, with 49 per cent failing to get to work at all on at least one occasion during the last year. Across Europe those who mainly travel by bus or train, were more likely to be late, and to be prevented from getting to work completely.

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* Survey conducted for Ford Motor Company by Opinion Matters during April 2015

* “Does Commuting Affect Well-being?” Office of National Statistics:

*** Survey by

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 187,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit


Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 66,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 23 manufacturing facilities (12 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and 11 unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.

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