Bring Back the Work Commute...Virtually.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to be stuck in my car when even on my worst days, my enviable commute was 45 minutes; but I want the time back. I miss listening to a cool podcast in the morning – maybe something from HBR or my favorite: Hidden Brain. In the evening, I miss shutting down my office, turning off the lights, rearranging the pillows and exiting while chatting for a few minutes with my colleagues - not about work. I usually spend my evening commute with the music turned up while I sing along.
I miss those transitions.
I’m one of the fortunate ones — I have a space in my home that mirrors my “real” office. I have everything I need there. Except for that dedicated time that ensures the boundaries between work and home are not blurred. So, join me and let’s take back our commutes.
Now, I do take 20 minutes for my favorite podcast in the morning, usually when walking the dog or enjoying a cup of coffee with my phone and laptop turned off. By the time I start working, my head is in the game because I’ve satisfied that craving for some kind of mental stimulation that’s different from work. In the evening, I’ve ritualized my time to mimic my previous work life. I text a few colleagues and wish them a good night. I ask about their kids and congratulate them on another day juggling school zooms, parenting and work. Then I turn up the music and sing along.
By the time I get “home,” I’ve left the workday behind and I’m that much more present for my family. It feels normal in a time when time itself is a fluid concept. I’m grateful I have the time and space to fine tune my schedule like this. I think it reduces stress in my work and my home life. Until I can complain about traffic again, I plan to extend my commute to 30 minutes each morning and evening. Join me. And just in case you need some inspiration, here’s my playlist:
Earth, Wind and Fire: September;The Talking Heads: Burning down the House; Al Green: Let’s Stay Together; Hamilton MixTape: Who Tells your Story; The Clash: London Calling; Vince Gill: When I Call your Name; Fitz and the Tantrums: HandClap