Due to the pandemic, many professionals began working from home. While the initial elimination of a commute was first a welcomed change, losing that time can come with consequences.
If you are working remotely and wondering what you should do now that your commute is gone, here’s what you need to know about the hidden value of the commute and how you can get it back.
The Hidden Value of a Commute
Typically, a commute does more than ensure you get to a workplace; it can also serve as a buffer between your personal and professional life. It is a formal transition from home to work mode and back again, creating a barrier and a moment to shift your mindset between the two modes.
When working from home, it’s easy to allow your professional life to infringe on your personal time. However, by adding a fake commute, you can regain those moments of transition, allowing you to create a form of separation. Plus, it can serve as valuable alone time that’s worth recapturing, particularly if you have other members of your household working, going to school, or otherwise spending the vast majority of their time home with you.
Now, you may not need to embrace a fake commute if the lack of one is serving you well or, at least, isn’t a hindrance. For example, professionals with set work hours in jobs that can’t intrude on their personal lives may find them unnecessary. However, if you long for some personal time or a clear buffer, adding one may be worthwhile.
How to Have a Fake Commute
Creating a fake commute is about mimicking the routine of a real one. Usually, your first step is to get ready just as you would for a traditional workday. Then, leave your house for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
While you’re out, you don’t necessarily have to hop in your car and go for a drive. Walking a set path that brings you back home can also work, though you can certainly take a drive if you prefer. The main point is to be away from home before you begin working, allowing you to transition mentally and create a buffer.
Once your workday comes to a close, shut down your workspace, turn off work-related phone notifications, and otherwise officially disconnect as much as possible. This creates a sense of separation, ensuring work matters won’t draw you back into your home office after hours.
After that, leave your house again for 15 to 30 minutes. Go for another walk or take a drive that brings you back home. Use the time to shift away from your professional life, ensuring it won’t intrude on your personal time.
Repeat this pattern for every workday. That way, you craft a commute-like routine that can serve as boundaries between your work and home lives.
If you’d like to learn more about how to succeed when working from home, The Squires Group team can help. Contact us today.