5 ways to improve your commute to work
How do you deal with it? Head down? Constantly moan to whoever will listen on Facebook? Begrudge anyone who sits next to you and loudly chews? Or do you do it differently?
The daily commute can be draining and expensive. According to the BBC, the average UK commute is 54 minutes with Office for National Statistics figures showing 3.7 million workers travelling for two hours or longer. And it’s not just the time. According to a Total Jobs survey, the average UK employee spends £146 a month commuting, totalling £135,871 over a lifetime.
So how can you save money, benefit or handle it better?
Five ways to improve your commute to work
1. Improve health, lose weight and save money
Walk from the mainline station to your place of work rather than catching the tube, or opt for the park and ride rather than driving to the door. Transport and parking are expensive so by looking at different options you may save hundreds of pounds which you can put towards a holiday! If you combine monetary savings with exercise and weight loss goals, you could be onto a winner. An average person walking for 20 minutes over five days will burn around 500 calories a week.
Cut back on expensive comfort food. Rather than opting for a high-fat latte and almond croissant, costing around £5 per day, bring something from home, a bottle of orange juice and a tuna sandwich for example. Over a few months, your leaner body will help you feel more confident in your beach clothes which you can wear on that holiday!
2. Stress reduction
Do a daily review. Feeling out of control is a major contributing factor towards stress. Spend time on your commute going through a checklist to make sure you are on top of things at home and at work and nothing is falling through the gaps.
Quiet time, screen break. Rather than surfing the web and reading about other people’s ‘perfect lives’, do something to build you up. Practice mindfulness, pray, use an adult colouring book, or read a novel.
3. Ask your employer about telecommuting or flexible working options
Flexi-working. Many people feel locked into the daily drudge and haven’t explored other possibilities with their employer. Have you asked about condensed working hours or shifting your core hours so you miss rush hour?
Remote working. My husband’s commute from Oxfordshire into London cost £550 a month. When he got a job that allowed him to work from his home office we were able to move out of the commuter belt and purchase a family home; £550 a month is a lot to put towards a mortgage.
4. Fulfil your dream or gain one
Write that novel. Whether driving or sitting on a bus or train, you can use the time to fulfil that dream. Fiona Mozley wrote her debut novel, ‘Elmet’, on her phone while commuting within London and it was shortlisted in 2017 for a Booker Prize.
Life planning. Don’t have a dream? Spend the time visioning: imagine what you would like your life to be like. When you don’t have a compelling dream, you are in danger of letting your life slip away without having done half of what you desire or are capable of.
5. Change jobs or move house
Review your commute objectively. Total Jobs has a commuter calculator where you can find out what it is costing you in both time and money. It’s important you stay well physically, emotionally and economically. If you need to improve your situation, find a new job or improve your work-life balance, why not hire a coach to work with you so you can obtain the job and commute you want and need?
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