Transitional buffer

A new study examines the function of the commute as a psychological gateway between home and work.

The daily commute serves as a "role-clarifying prospection" - it gives you the time and space to think about the upcoming work role.

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Time Management

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The stress of commuting

The journey to work is often more stressful than the work itself. Surveys and studies have found that commuting is people’s least favorite activity. But now, with many of us at home and commutes on pause, we realize that it served a purpose.

Commuting allows employees to engage in some degree of prospection about work. Perhaps the commute also offers an opportunity to engage in deeper levels of creativity.

  • Globally, the average commuting time is 38 minutes each way. That adds up to a lot of time, which may offer a chance to read, listen to a podcast, audiobooks, or playing Scrabble.
  • It also allows time for boredom where the mind can wander, which can produce original thoughts and also problem-solving.
  • During the evening commute, one has time for reflection after the working day is done.

Many are starting to miss the sanctuary of their car on their long commutes to work, where they could eat in calm or catch up on calls and messages.

To adjust to the new working-from- home reality, small daily rituals may help, e.g., putting on work clothes to start your day and change when it is done. Setting your intentions for the day and ending on time is another to help you adjust.

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Do something physical

Either you just take a walk around the block for 15 minutes or have an extreme workout session at the gym, it can help get your mind off of work.

Sometimes its better to get your blood going, stretch your limbs, and transition into relaxation mode.

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The abrupt shift from an office to a home environment could leave you struggling to get used to the sudden change.

Try to sustain a semblance of normalcy. Try virtual pizza parties or remote happy hours. Celebrate birthdays, give public praise for goals reached, and projects completed. Make time for casual conversations.

Burnout When Working From Home

Working from home does not necessarily mean we are enjoying life and can’t be in stress. Work can feel dull and monotonous as there is comparatively less movement or change of scenery.

With most interactions becoming virtual, one can feel trapped in this scenario with nothing to look forward to.

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