There was a stretch earlier this fall where I was fortunate enough to have a car in Brooklyn. Though the car never went anywhere beyond weekend destinations, there was something soothing about knowing there was an escape even if it mostly stayed parked on the street.
Until Monday. For my spot, it was Monday when street cleaning would occur, which meant I would have to relinquish my parking spot for an hour and a half until the street cleaner would come by and the allocated time had passed in order to not receive a ticket.
Most times, the cleaner never came. But what I learned is that other’s had the same routine. There were people watching from their apartments like hungry hawks when it came time to move their cars back into their normal spots.
There was squatters sitting in their cars, bringing their laptop inside their car to crunch away at some work during the time. Maybe once every four weeks did the street actually get cleaned, but for one, there was a morning routine that even with it being a little different, felt like a morning rather than just another day in the work-from-home coronavirus life.
While I’ve never had a commute via car (I’ve commuted by train and subway for my entire career), the coronavirus pandemic has not only stripped our day-to-day freedoms; it’s also made most of us forfeit our commute.
For those who love to read, it was a great time to dive deeply into some uninterrupted moments of letters. Music and podcast listeners were able to catch up on your news and tunes and even those who needed a few more zzz’s, there was a seat (or wall) where you can rest your head on before the start of the day.
Every commute is unique to however one chooses to go about it, but working from home has done with the early rising days and introduced us to the roll-out-of-bed, grab a laptop, and begin to work routine.
The time spent on commuting is being redistributed between sleep and additional work during the COVID-19 crisis, according to studies, and even despite commutes being one of the biggest stressors before even walking into the office, the lack of commute has people, well, missing their commutes.
One person speaking to The New York Times said he’s saved about 300 hours since the start of the pandemic by not commuting via mass transit, but even with the time-saving, it’s the little interactions during the day that makes him upset.
“The first thought was, ‘Oh, wow, this as an amazing amount of hours,’” the commuter told the paper. “But then it’s, ‘Oh wait, it’s the people you say good morning to and say have a nice weekend to, and all the other things that are the dedicated time on the train,’ ” he said, adding, “It’s your time.”
Another, who had a long commute from Brooklyn to Midtown, Manhattan, said: “There was always this moment, specifically about the train. It really was a place where you were underground, you kind of have this pause. I can focus.”
Regardless of what your commute provided for you, it’s a piece of the workday that forever could be changed. Companies have kicked around the idea of working remotely permanently, which means it might be time to start investing in your commuter at-home.
Mashable listed several tips on how to create a commute inside your own home. From the bedroom to your working situation, here are a few of our favorites.
- Brew your coffee – It’s a quick-fix routine that can get you heading in the right direction first thing in the morning.
- Interact with what’s around you – Whether it’s children, roommates, outside, et al., get some interaction.
- Your workspace is now the office – Working in your living room is great, but the TV shouldn’t be on.
- Shoes? Clothes? – Getting fully dressed can mentally put you in the right place.