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The virtual commute - what is it and should you have one?
18 Nov 2020
by Sophie Coombs

Love it or hate it, working from home is obviously different to working in the office. Whether you live alone and you miss having your coworkers to natter with or your children and/or partner are driving you up the wall… the home just isn’t the office and at times this is painfully evident.

While surveys have shown that staff members are feeling as productive (if not more!) when working from home, they’ve found the key issue with remote working to be the lack of distinction between home and work life. 

How do you decipher between working and switching off when you’re doing both under the same roof?

That’s where a virtual commute comes in!

Your actual commute may only be a few steps across the landing, but we should really consider how good that is for our wellbeing. 

Are you waking up and heading straight to your desk? That doesn’t give you much time to wake up and look after yourself, does it?

A virtual commute can be anything that enables you to switch ‘on’ and ‘off’ before and after the work day; for most this used to be the car journey to and from the office but now you have the ability to shake things up. 

Here are some of our ideas for a virtual commute:

  • Do the school run in the morning, if your work flexibility allows
  • Go for a walk - Make sure not to do any home tasks at the end of the day until after you’ve been on your walk, it will help with the distinction between work and home. 
  • Watch TV - This may mean watching the news in the morning while you have breakfast, to avoid having it at your desk, and popping an episode of your favourite show on at the end of the day before you get on with any home jobs. While this isn’t our number one choice (you could do with a change of scene!), it will help you relax after your work day.
  • If you need to go out, do it straight before or after work. This could be going to the gym before you start your day and then nipping to the shop straight after you’ve finished. 
  • Have a techtimeout - Hands up if you finish work and immediately plonk down on the sofa and spend the rest of your evening glued to your mobile? [insert everyone raising hand] Our fantastic friend Stephanie Henson’s new concept, techtimeout, ensures we are spending less time looking at our screens and more time focusing on our wellbeing. Do something straight before and after work that doesn’t require technology… your mind will thank you for it.

How do you currently make sure you’re prepared for the day each morning, and ensure you switch off from work in the evening? 

Whatever your ‘virtual commute’ may be, make sure it allows you to spend some time on your wellbeing…