Highlanders who travel by car and work part-time are the happiest people in Scotland, according to an annual report into the nation’s happiness.
The survey of people’s work habits, including the time and method of commute, as well as how much of their time they spend in paid employment, analysed which combination produced the happiest workers.
The Bank of Scotland’s Happiness Index, which questioned 3,215 adults across Scotland, found that those living in the Highlands were the happiest overall, followed by Fifers and those living in the West of Scotland.
Those living in mid-Scotland and Glasgow, however, were the least happy.
When asked about their daily commute, it is perhaps no surprise that the likes of farmers, who often spend the day outside close to their own home, and those who work from home were the happiest.
Despite the congestion on some of Scotland’s busiest roads, most commuters travel by car and those who do were the most happy with their commute, saying they enjoyed the relative freedom their own transport gave them.
When it comes to the hours we work, Scots are pretty happyMike Moran
Commuters in mid-Scotland disliked the daily drive more than people anywhere else in the country, while those in the Highlands enjoyed it the most, taking advantage of the scenic countryside.
Central Scotland had the most car commuters, at 75 per cent, followed by Fife (74 per cent) and mid-Scotland (73 per cent).
Travelling by bus results in the second happiest commuters, the report found. Those in the Lothians seemed to have the most pleasurable bus journey, while Aberdonians enjoyed it the least.
More than a quarter of Scots said they walked to work – the third happiest way to commute. The younger generation did not seem to enjoy this method as much, with those aged 55 and over saying they got the most out of their daily walk.
Almost a third of Scots had a journey to work that lasted between 15 and 30 minutes, with this length of time producing the happiest commuters. The fifth whose commute took less than 15 minutes were close behind, while, surprisingly, a commute of 61-90 minutes ranked third.
Mike Moran, director at Bank of Scotland, said: “When it comes to the hours we work and the time we spend commuting, Scots are pretty happy overall. It’s understandable that the happiest in Scotland are those who work between eight and 29 hours a week.
“Highlanders have the highest regional happiness score for workers and also go so far as to say they love their commute in to work. With the stunning scenery there, though, who wouldn’t?”
While Scots who work between eight and 29 hours a week were the happiest, women enjoyed the shorter hours more than men.
However, those who worked full-time were second happiest, with women again enjoying their working hours more than men. Highlanders enjoyed working 30 hours a week or more most, with Fifers and Edinburghers close behind. Aberdonians were the least keen on working full-time.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the unemployed were the least happy of the groups surveyed.