Over the course of a year, that's nearly 12 working days worth of time. And when you consider it like that, it's no surprise that some of us are putting the time between home and work to good use. New research has found that 27% of UK commuters use their commute to learn new skills and take in new knowledge. The most popular activities include educational audiobooks, educational podcasts and language apps.

Car drivers are the most likely to dedicate their commute to education for the obvious reason that they can't very well flick through a newspaper, read a book or mess about on social media on their way to work. 29% of motorists say the activity they do most on their commute involved learning or developing new skills.

Rail commuters have access to a wider variety of activities, such as reading or using social media, but a significant 24% still dedicated their otherwise idle time to learning and taking on new skills.

William Fletcher, CEO of Scrap Car Network who commissioned the study believes the trend for commuters learning on-the-go is set to grow: "Car drivers don't have the option of engaging in the sort of active pastimes that rail and bus users do, so it's interesting to see that almost three in ten of them have decided to make the most of the commute by learning and taking new knowledge.

"Since most new cars are equipped with smartphone connectivity, the options for accessing different types of content are greater. Although most motorists still put on the radio, it's no longer the only company for a solo motorist so I anticipate this trend of drivers learning-on-the road will grow. And when you add up all of the hours commuters spend in their cars, it's quite possible they could make serious progress in their chosen fields."

And what new skills could we learn on our commute? Well, the choices are only limited by your imagination. Khan Academy offers free courses in just about anything, from macro-economics to animation. 14% of those polled for the study said they used language apps - and that might be a smart choice.

Research from London-based removals firm Kiwi Movers found that it can actually be cheaper to live in Europe and commute into the UK. The savings on rent and cost of living more than make up for the cost of flying or sailing to the UK for work. Opting to live in Warsaw and work in London could save a savvy commuter up to £977 compared to living in London, and the two-hour commute offers plenty of time to bone up on some new skills. Some of the commute times were surprisingly reasonable too. The Hague to London can be done in 55 minutes door-to-door if well timed. That's shorter than the average UK commute.

Aspirant commuter-students don't need to limit themselves to just academic pursuits, the abundance of hands-on skills training via YouTube means self-educators can get their heads around almost anything if they dedicate enough time to it. And you never know who you're going to impress with your newly learned talents.

A study into perceptions of ‘handiness' conducted by property maintenance experts Aspect has found that digital talents, such as setting up secure virtual private networks, backing-up data to the cloud and even finding online bargains are now considered to be as useful and impressive as traditional DIY tasks like installing a washing machine or mounting a TV on the wall. Over-55s in particular find ‘digital DIY' skills very impressive, according to the research.

So next time you're sitting in traffic, browsing Twitter on the train or staring out of the bus window on your way to work, think about the progress you could be making and who you could be able to impress with those new talents.