If we had to choose between commuting or sleeping in, the answer is pretty obvious. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sneak in a few more zzz’s in the morning? Also, without a long commute, we have an additional hour or two for preparing meals or going for a jog before the workday officially begins.
When the global pandemic hit, we got exactly that. Remote work became the norm, thus eliminating the daily commute.
These days, we don’t have to roll out of bed frantically to catch the train or bus. We don’t even need to change into work clothes anymore. And sure, it was definitely satisfying in the beginning.
However, some of us actually miss commuting to work by this time. Or at least, the idea of it. Although it can be a pain, it also turned out to be a critical part of the work day in and of itself. For many, the daily commute provided the time to hunker down and plan the rest of the workday.
Furthermore, the daily commute isn’t without its benefits:
The Daily Commute: Surprising Benefits
Guess what? Our most creative ideas usually come out when we’re in the shower or in the middle of a train ride. Mundane moments create enough space for our imaginations to run wild, sometimes with great results.
Harvard Business School’s researchers even found out that people often use their daily commute to map out their day. Coming to work prepared certainly makes us more productive and efficient. So, by extension, the daily commute can give us the time and space to do exactly that.
Wait, what? How is this possible? Believe it or not, commuting has its own health benefits as well.
The long walks between stations and running to catch the bus helps you mindlessly burn those calories, for instance. Walking at least 30 minutes every day also strengthens our immune system.
More Opportunities for Social Connections
Sure, we’ve all encountered rude passengers or loud tourists on our way to work. But let’s not forget the warm smiles and short exchanges we shared with kind strangers too.
Human beings are social by nature. If you live alone, these small, accidental interactions can help you feel less isolated, especially after a tough day at work. Emoji’s and gif’s just don’t offer the same comfort.
Now that we’ve established the benefits of commuting, is it possible to replicate them even if you’re just working from home?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. You can actually replace your traditional commute with a virtual one.
What’s A Virtual Commute?
The term “virtual commute” was first coined by Microsoft Office. It introduced a software that allows remote teams to create to-do lists, rate their days, or join guided meditations. The concept is simple: plan and start the next day by reflecting on what you have accomplished today.
It basically tries to replicate what most of us do during our daily commute. Here, you create a space or ritual before starting and after ending your work day. You carve out time to lay out the tasks you need to finish for the day, and then plot out the same for the following day before clocking out.
Since a WFH set-up gives you flexibility, you can also incorporate a new ritual like (finally) starting your day with a jog or walking your dog to the nearest park. The point is to establish a routine that clearly draws the line between work and play, just like a daily commute does.
Lastly, it helps to dress up for work, even if you won’t be leaving the couch. Anything that helps you define and retain boundaries ought to be beneficial.
You probably already have a few ideas for designing your own virtual commute. But if you’re wondering how you can encourage your remote teams to develop their own routines as well, we can help you out.
Remote Staff has been helping AU SMEs and entrepreneurs like you find and train the best skilled remote workers from the Philippines for more than a decade. On top of that, we’ve already got some tried and tested systems in place so you won’t have to start from scratch.