Our customers cover a wide age range, while many are retired, a lot are working and some work part-time. Almost two years ago, many parts of the country came to a screeching halt as companies sent their employees home if they could work from there.
For many, returning to work never happened. Some people took early retirement, others started to work for themselves and others found that they could do their jobs from home just as easily as the office. Being at home is excellent for your car’s odometer and protects you from catching COVID-19 or other communicable illnesses. It’s not always good for your mental state.
We all hate our commute, whether you drive, use public transport or ride there on a bike, traffic is awful, there are too many people and it’s always a mess. One of the few things people were happy about back in March and April of 2020 was how quiet the streets were. But, your commute can help your physical and mental health.
Your commute gets you moving. Even if you drive to work, you have to at least walk to your car and change your sitting position. Then you walk from the parking lot to your office. You get more steps in if you use public transport. And, if you walk or bike to work, you get a ton of exercise. When you work from home, you just have to move from your bed to wherever you leave your computer. This causes back problems and a lack of movement.
Your commute also lets you mentally change gears. When you leave your house in the morning, you change into work mode. In the evening, the travel time gives you a chance to disconnect from work and relax into your night. It puts boundaries between you and your job where you have a clear stopping point and move on to your home life, literally “leaving it at the office.”
We haven’t adjusted; even after almost two years, people still struggle with it. So, now that you’re home every day, how do you compensate for the change? Fauxmuting. Having a fauxmute can lower your stress and help you disconnect from work.
“Before and after work, get outside for a short walk, cycle or run, or simply spend 15 minutes doing something you enjoy,” said Joseph Devlin, Professor of Experimental Psychology at Univ. College London.
Having a 15-minute break that purposefully gets you away from doing anything work or task-related can help ease your mind. That means not switching from work to prepping dinner — that’s work of one kind to another. Take a 15-minute break to just breathe and do something for yourself to get out of one mindset and into the other. It’s preferable that it’s something physical to get some movement into your day. It will also help you physically shake off your thoughts, so you aren’t tempted to send one more email or double-check one last thing. You can reclaim your evening by mentally clocking out and going for a walk at five.