Replacing the commute - Deepstash

Replacing the commute

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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MORE IDEAS FROM Why you might be missing your commute

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.

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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.

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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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RELATED IDEA

  • Being in the work mindset without physically present in the workspace is a challenge that is seen commonly among remote employees. 
  • Boundary theory by Jerry Useem gives an explanation for this phenomenon. 
  • As per boundary theory individuals who wish to shift from home to work mindsets or vice versa, they have to create boundaries that define such spaces. Even within the confines of a home. 
  • Once they cross this boundary, they should be entering a space that is scared to either work/home alone.

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Dangers of Role spillover
  • Commute initiates a sequence in which the feelings and attitudes of home life are deactivated, replaced by thoughts of work. This takes time, and if it doesn’t happen, one role can contaminate the other—what researchers call “Role Spillover.
  • Most people engage in “Role-clarifying prospection” during their commute deliberately thinking about plans for work day, which makes them highly satisfied. Skipping this task leaves them in limbo.

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Global companies, from the UK to the US, Japan to South Korea, have recently rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of the new virus.

Working from home will become the new normal for many. Some employees will be working from home for the first time, and need to figure out how to stay on task.

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