We all need to work, and sometimes that commitment demands more than 9 – 5. A long commute can lengthen the time that you need to devote to work, and it can play havoc with your personal life. Not only does it mean that you are out of the house for more hours than you would like, but it can have serious implications on your health. If relocating nearer to your workplace is not an option because of other commitments, you need to look into how to protect yourself from the stresses and strains of your commute.
Research has shown that people who have a long commute are more prone to depression, more likely to have financial worries and more likely to suffer from work-related stress. Here are 4 tips to improve your commute, and hopefully alleviate some of the symptoms related to it.
Flexi-time and Homeworking
Increasingly, employers are opening up to the idea that flexi-time and home working are viable options for their employees. If you can discuss these options with your organization, do so. You may be able to negotiate different work hours so that you avoid rush hour, or even days that you can be based from home. People with long commutes have been found to have reduced productivity, so your firm may be willing to trial a change in where you work.
With the amount of time that you spend in your car, you need to make sure that you are as comfortable as possible. You need to make sure that your air-conditioning and heating system is working efficiently, and that you have access to a wireless Bluetooth system to keep you connected. Your seats must be comfortable and promote good posture. If your current vehicle does not provide you with a comfortable journey, you need to look into models that will. A new car will have enhanced safety features that are vital for you with the mileage that you do. If you don’t have the time to source the best finance deals, use an online financier such as Apply and Buy; they can identify the best deals and enable you to to make sound investments.
There may be colleagues who live near enough to you that you can carpool. If you are sharing your journey to work, you will be able to save money on gas, and have company on the commute too. If your employers don’t already, why don’t you set up a carpool network at your place of work? If you are feeling the strain of your commute, others will too. You can take it turns to drive which will reduce the running costs of your own car, and allow you the opportunity to relax on your journey. Carpooling is also a sound environmental option that will cut back on emissions and reduce congestion on the roads.
Driving in heavy traffic is stressful in itself, but if you can, change the way that you think about your commute. By reframing how you perceive your commute to be, you will be able to escape the feelings of dread that accompany it. Use your commute to listen to audiobooks that you haven’t had time to read yet, or listen to CDs that help you learn a foreign language. If you start to use your time in a way that benefits you, you will be able to decrease your commute anxiety.