The average commuter spends almost 29 working days each year travelling to work, equating to more than five years over a working life.
For many London commuters, who travel more than three hours per day, the figure is 96 working days each year, or 18 years during a career.
With car ownership rising by five million to 27.8 million cars in the last decade, many parts of the UK are experiencing severe road congestion problems.
This is seen by commuters as a significant inconvenience, by businesses as an unavoidable cost, and by local and national governments as a serious obstacle to sustained economic growth, said Work Wise UK.
Estimates are that if recent trends continue, by 2025 congestion will waste around £22 billion worth of time in England alone each year.
Work Wise UK and the AA are now suggesting alternatives to commuting by car.
These include car sharing, cycling, taking public transport, or more fundamentally, adopting working practices that enable home working, flexible working, remote and mobile working.
Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, explained: "The vast majority of travel is work-commuting or work-related.
"A key benefit of the adoption of smarter working is it reduces the overall need to travel, and to travel at specific times.”