Let’s be honest, put your hand up if you felt that not having to commute during Covid was one of the few positives of lockdown? Me!
What’s not to love?! A little extra time in bed, no rush to the bus stop, avoid bad weather, no one sitting on your lap because the bus is too full! At first, I couldn’t see a downside, who doesn’t love a lie in!
Well, after a week or two I really started to feel the effects of missing my commute. Although initially I didn’t realise it was this I was missing!
My morning commute pre-Covid was getting up at a set time, showering, cycling in or taking the bus, stopping for a coffee and a Pret mini breakfast baguette (avo and egg if you’re wondering) getting into the office early enough for a catch up with the team, before going through my day plan and getting started on my to-do list.
Working from home initially lived up to my presumptuous hype, I got an extra 45 minutes in bed! I was saving £25pw on the commute, saving money on lunches and coffees too and I’ll be honest, some days I didn’t put pants on. Come on...everyone’s done this at least once from working from home!
After a couple of weeks working from home and going through my new lazy routine, I started to feel really fatigued and it was taking me longer to wake up and get into the day. I started having extra cups of coffee and working longer hours to accomodate this. I kept thinking, how could this be happening? I’m sleeping more, surely I should be more alert?!
One morning, I woke up and it was a glorious sunny day, so I decided to take my coffee a walk around the park at the end of my street and get some sun, as I’d barely been outside all week. What a difference it made!! This was the most productive day I’d had in some time and it was fantastic. It was then I decided that I would make this morning stomp a ritual and dub it the ‘fake commute’. I originally went for the Con-mute but it didn’t catch on!
In hindsight, I’ve now realised that the benefits of the morning commute are huge! The walk to work gets your blood flowing and switches you on mentally, the fresh air blows off any cobwebs and makes sure you’re fully alert on arrival at work. You can read more about the 10 benefits of walking to work in this BusinessBlogsHub article.
So now, every morning I get up at a set time, shower, put on some work clothes (this really helps), grab my mug of coffee and go for a lap of the park for 20 minutes. If I want a treat on a Friday, I’ll walk a bit further, to the Pret around the corner for a coffee and those delicious mini baguettes. Seriously, they are a game changer! By the time I’ve got back home, I’m awake and raring to get going with my day. I feel more motivated, focused, able to multi-task better and overall I’m happier and enjoying work more.
If you want to take it a step further make sure you have a proper lunch break. Find your local Greggs and march over for a vegan sausage roll just like you did when you were in the office. Go run to Boots to pick up a meal deal or your prescription. Every now and then I also do a 20 minute walk after work to clear my head, so I can fully enjoy my evening at home, and it doesn’t feel like a continuation of the workday.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that despite the pandemic, our contract/interim division has just had a record breaking 6 months and we've just welcomed 2 new team members Beth and Ric as this area of the business is continues to grow! (You can check out our latest marketing,digital and technology contract/Interim opportunities HERE)
I’m sure a lot of you may already be doing a fake commute, if so I’d love to hear your thoughts on how it’s helped you. For anyone who hasn’t tried this yet, give it a go!
Paddy Wells is Contract Recruitment Lead at Forward Role, specialising in marketing, communications and events.