One of the most beneficial things about working from home (WFH) is that you don’t have to commute and face traffic jams, crowded buses, and late trains. Instead, you simply take a few steps and enter your beautiful home office. At Shomera we call this the 12-step commute.
What a traditional commute does give us however is a clear separation between work and home life (physically and psychologically). Without this distance between home and work, we can get confused and can blur the lines between the two.
Despite having a regular commute to your Shomera garden office (albeit only 12 steps), we recommend taking a few extra actions. Here’s everything you need to know about commuting and its alternatives:
The Freedom That Comes From Commuting
Whether you drive a car to work or ride the bus and train, commuting involves interaction with other people who share the same experience as yours. This allows you to blend in with the crowd and for a minute forget your role as a father, mother, employee, or company owner. It’s a liberating feeling, and believe it or not when working from home people do miss it.
To feel that sense of freedom again, try to be around people outside of your work and home. Have virtual lunches with friends where you can connect and chat, exercise in local parks where others are out exercising too or simply pop to the local newsagent daily to purchase a paper and chat to the shop assistants.
Taking Time To Adapt
When working you’re a professional typically working 8 hours a day. At home, you can be a fun housemate, parent or spouse. When working from home you can’t merge these two roles. When you don’t have time during your commute to create the space between work and home it can be difficult to switch quickly from one role to the next. Commuting gives us the space and time we need to adapt. It allows us to focus solely on ourselves and prepare for what’s next. It’s important to find a way of switching from home life to a professional and vice versa. Try creating a healthy routine in your schedule to create that space and allow yourself to adapt. For example, you can take a short walk before and after you finish work.
Contemplating The Day
Have you ever had flashbacks from your day at work during a commute? Regretting a certain decision you made and trying to find another way you could have reacted or solved a problem? This time we have as we transition from work to home allows us to see past mistakes and react better in the future or likewise to feel proud of our achievements.
When we work from home, we don’t have much time to contemplate our experiences during the day as we switch from work to home so quickly. To make space for contemplation, we recommend sitting by yourself for at least 15 minutes before going back to your family. Ask yourself questions like: “Could I have reacted differently?”, “What did I achieve today? How could have I improved?”, “How to be more productive tomorrow”, etc.
Finding A Healthy Routine
Not being able to commute, have a drink with colleagues after work, or read a paper on the train might not seem like a big deal. However, when you’ve done it for years and it suddenly stops, it can be quite a shock. Luckily, getting back on track is easy. You just need to create new healthy routines that will replace the old ones. Research shows how people with healthy routines get more sleep, are more productive, and overall lead more fulfilling lives. Healthy routines will help you manage your day, but they are also beneficial for your wellbeing. Here are some ideas:
· Exercising (running, stretching, yoga, dancing, general workout)
· Relaxation and meditation
· Taking a walk around the neighbourhood
· Organising your work desk and planning your day
· Caring about your garden and plants
· Doing something creative (DIY décor, drawing, singing, writing)
Don’t Forget To Clean Your Garden Office
Another activity that’s a great alternative for commuting is cleaning up your garden office! It might sound strange but cleaning really is a good way to wind down and transition back to home life. When we work in a shared office our office space is cleaned for us. Nobody but you can take care of your home office. While cleaning, you can do all the things we mentioned above. You can either contemplate your day, listen to music, relax, or even sing a few songs. Cleaning might not sound fun, but it’s a great way to get your mind off problems and start or end your day with a clean slate.