Do you commute to work? Does commuting seem like just wasted time? It doesn’t have to be! You can learn how to get better at commuting every day to and from work. Keep reading below to find out our six commuting tips that will help you survive your everyday journeys to and from work.
Do you have to commute to and from work every day? You’re not alone. 2016 census data shows that there are only 7,5000,000 of the 150 million employees in the US work from home. The others have to commute just like you. What’s more, data shows that the average commute is 26.9 minutes each way in 2017, increasing by 18 seconds than the year before.
Today, many workplaces have started to adopt work-from-home policies and offer employees more flexible schedules. Yet, for those workers who work in industries that can’t offer work from home benefits, commuting times continue to grow and become more annoying than ever before.
Whether you commute by your car, by train, bus, bike, or on foot, and no matter how long your commute takes, it doesn’t have to feel like a drag. You can use some tips to make your commute less stressful and less of a waste of time.
Here are six tips on how to make your everyday commute to and from work more pleasant.
1.Rethink your commute transport method
Do you commute by car, train, bike, or bus? Whatever transportation method you are using, maybe you should rethink it based on some of your location’s specific factors.
For example, if you commute by car and you get stuck in traffic jams every morning and afternoon, maybe commuting by bike or train could be a better idea. Or, if you commute by train or bus, but these public transport methods are always packed with other commuters, they don’t respect a fixed schedule, or make you late for many other reasons, maybe commuting by car could be a better idea.
Take a minute to think of your commuting method’s advantages and disadvantages and the pros and cons of other ways to commute and choose the one that has the most benefits in terms of less wasted time and less stress involved.
2.Avoid rush hours
This tip may seem obvious, yet the fact that streets and public transportation are packed every rush hour in the morning and afternoon shows that very few people actually find alternatives to avoid commuting during these times of the day.
But how can you avoid rush hours? Well, even leaving by 10 minutes earlier or later than you do right now can make a difference in how busy the streets, busses or trains will be. Now, you may be thinking that leaving earlier to work will make you get to the office too early.
But what if you’d create a pre-work routine for yourself that will keep you busy in the extra time you spend at the office before you start your actual work? Or, if you leave later from work back home, you can spend the additional minutes you stay at the office to get some task done that you have for the next day.
3.Get a fuel-efficient car
One of the biggest drags of your commute can be the costs of it. If you travel by car, there might be a big hole in your budget, mainly created by gas prices.
If you commute by public transport such as bus, train, or metro, there’s a bigger possibility that your employer can offer a benefit that gives deductions to reduce the cost of your commute. Check with your employer to find out if they provide such benefits and, if they do, how to sign up for these benefits.
If you travel to and from work by car, you can see how much it costs you every month in terms of gas and car maintenance, and pretty soon congestion prices. If the final numbers really affect your monthly budget, and your employer doesn’t cover these costs for you, there’s still one more solution to reduce your commute costs: buy a fuel-efficient car.
Sure, there are other aspects to consider as well, such as safety features and comfort. But, if you want to save some money on your commutes, change your car with another one that has a better gas mileage rating.
Carpooling services like Uber or Lyft may not be for everybody, but it may be the right solution for you (and the planet, of course). Research also found out that car-sharing can help reduce stress levels since you “give up” control and in terms of the social interaction that is inevitable during the ride.
Yet, if you are an introvert and prefer quiet commutes that involve no or very little social interaction, maybe car-sharing isn’t the best choice for you as it can stress you more. In other words, if you are an out-going person and don’t want to have boring and quiet commutes anymore, try carpooling. If you are an introvert, it may be best to stick to your usual mode of transport.
Today, there’s an app for almost everything you want to do, including traveling and commuting. There are a number of tools and apps that can make your commuting time less of a drag.
For example, you can use traffic apps such as Google, Waze, or similar to see traffic updates and travel times. Or, if you travel by public transport, you should follow transit social feeds because these pages can help you find out if there’s any delayed train or bus or any traveling condition that may influence your commute.
Another important tool to have when commuting by car is a parking service to no longer have to hunt for spaces or investigate dozens of potential garages. A parking service can help you find a parking spot close to your office and book it for an entire month. For example, in Seattle, the city with the worst traffic congestion in the country, and where parking is a hot issue, finding a parking spot can be a real challenge. But a Seattle monthly parking subscription can benefit you in terms of convenience, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness.
6.Don’t have the “race” mentality
Sure, getting to work on time is important, so when you are in a rush, you think that weaving, speeding up, and surging is a good idea. It may help you gain a few minutes and a huge price to your stress levels and extra wear to your car. So, it’s best to drive calmly. Your commute will feel more pleasant, and you also don’t risk causing or being involved in a road accident.