A year ago, many of us were not happy with our commutes. At least 1 in 4 people complained about their commutes, according to one study. Our commutes were taking longer and longer. Census Bureau stats showed the average one-way commute was about 27 minutes.
Then COVID-19 hit, and the commute was a thing of the past. While at first people loved the freedom and extra time each day thanks to working from home, that’s not the case for everyone now.
For example, Shayne Swift told the Washington Post she likes talking to friends and family in her Jeep at the end of her workdays. While she doesn’t miss her 30-45 minute one-way commute, she misses the time she had to speak with her loved ones.
And she’s not alone. People say they miss having the ability to decompress after work that commuting afforded them. Now people work longer days and forgo set hours. One workday blends into the next.
Gone too is the time to listen to the radio, audiobooks or podcasts. And if you rode mass transit, there is no more time to read a book or magazine or take an e-learning course.
Fake commuting to the rescue
The people who miss their morning commutes more than they thought are now starting a new trend, the fake commute.
Fake commuting is when people take time out of their day to walk, drive, read, listen or sleep like they did in the old days of bumper-to-bumper traffic and packed subway trains.
Some people call it an excellent example of personal care time as it sets up boundaries that don’t exist when you work from home.
One word of caution, though. What works for someone else’s fake commute might now work for you. You may want to focus on getting exercise while others may enjoy a car ride around town to clear their head.
Fake commuting might have to do until you had back into the office. But when your office does reopen, remember how commuter benefits can save everyone money on the “real” commute.
Employees can set aside $270 tax-free every month to pay for their commutes with commuter benefits, with businesses benefiting from a decreased payroll tax payment every month. If you’re interested, check out the eight different commuting solutions you can select right now, with more on the way in 2021.