Over the last year and a half, the majority of office workers have been working from home. Adapting to a new routine and getting suited and booted for work in the bedroom, to commute downstairs to your living room or study has been a new way of life for many. Gone are the watercooler catch-ups and Friday pint at the pub after work, swapped out for Zoom calls or virtual team quizzes and activities instead.
With restrictions easing and some businesses resuming a ‘business is normal’ attitude, employees are traipsing back to the office and adapting once again to having a commute to work. Whilst many of us are now enjoying the flexible way of working, some are still in the process of weighing up whether their commute is worth going the distance or whether remote work is here to stay.
Here are some of the pros and cons of having a commute to work.
For those with busy and bustling households, stepping out of the home in the morning to commute to work is a blessing. It’s that much needed and desired alone time, to be alone with one’s thoughts or to generally get some headspace. Some people enjoy a drive, a walk or sitting on public transport for their commute, as it provides time to breathe and get your head together at the start of a working day as well as at the end.
Creating a morning routine
Some people seek structure and a set routine. Although you can achieve this without a commute, a set leaving time and arriving time can help create a sense of structure for some that help builds a routine and sets them up positively for the day. Leaving home and then returning can feel good in itself, a change of scenery and having a clear partition between work life and home life.
Free time that can be used for a range of things
A commute can be used productively. Where you might get straight to work and get stuck in when you’re working from home, having a commute to the office might be the perfect time to plan your day in advance before getting on with your to-do list. You can also use this time to read, learn, listen to music and podcasts or to catch up with industry news.
If your commute includes walking, cycling or other exercises then the health benefits are great! It also saves you from having to go to the gym after work or find time for exercise elsewhere in your schedule.
Not everyone is a morning person and so an earlier rise to accommodate a commute isn’t to everyone’s liking. Instead, some people use the time that would be commuting time for exercise, meditation, or simply to take time over breakfast and that first coffee of the day!
If you live in a city or have a commute to the city, traffic can cause issues with your commute. This could mean delays, cancellations or even just longer waiting times. Not ideal when you want to get home for dinner, to see the kids or to unwind.
It can reduce your quality time with family
Some people want to be there to bathe the children, tell them a story and put them to bed. A commute isn’t always going to mean you’re going to be able to make it on time, or at all. The time you could be spending having dinner as a family could be replaced with being delayed on a train, or stuck in traffic. It could mean that your timings may be irregular and your returning to home time may vary from day to day.
Unless you walk or cycle to work, commuting can cost a lot of money. Whether it’s petrol to top up the car, or the costs of public transport, it might be an outgoing each month that you’d rather do without.
Overall, there are several pros and cons of having a commute. Flexible working options have seen a lot of people reduce the number of days they do in the office so that they can commute less and work more!