Study: Stressful Commute Leads To Cubical Rage

August 7, 2003 ( - Commutes that involve the Cross-Bronx Expressway, LBJ Freeway, the 405 or any of the nation's other notorious traffic tie-ups apparently lead to a more frustrated workforce.

Researchers at the State University of New York-Buffalo have found that stressful commutes lead to cranky behavior in the office. Among some of the obnoxious co-worker behavior noted in the study: being more verbally abusive to their office mates and trying to sabotage productive efforts.

“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,” says Dwight Hennessy, who based his findings on a survey of 130 people, according to USA Today. “We’re not saying they’re lunatics, but they sure can throw a wrench into things at work.”

Hennessy found the most aggressive people, both on the road and in the office, may be those who commute in heavy traffic and play no music or listen to relaxation tapes, the type with synthesized sounds or bird songs. Attempting to combat the problem, the study found deep-breathing exercises help shed tension, as does listening to your favorite kind of music.