Building Your Hybrid Workplace Toolkit, Day 2: Review Your Timing

It’s probably been a while since you’ve dealt with a (semi) regular commuting routine, and important things—such as transit schedules—may have changed since then. Here’s how to get back into the swing of things effectively.

This is Day 2 of our five-day exercise to build your hybrid workplace toolkit. Day 1 was about building a travel kit for hybrid work. Stay tuned for three additional exercises.

Now that you’ll be splitting your days between remote and in-office work, it’s time to start thinking again about your commute. Been a while, huh? Though the world is dipping back into a certain level of normalcy, transit schedules aren’t necessarily back to normal, and traffic patterns have changed—not to mention the higher cost of gas right now, making driving less appealing than bicycling and public transportation. If you don’t prepare for these changes, you might find yourself routinely late for work and, despite good intentions, with a bad reputation among coworkers.

On top of this, the little things that were once standard—connecting to Wi-Fi, or gaining entry to your office—may now take up time. You’ll probably benefit from building in more time in the mornings than you used to.

Today’s tip: Review your commute timing.

How You Can Review Your Commute Timing

You need to relearn your commute, as one group of Boston commuters found when returning to the office. Take a look at the latest train and bus schedules and check current traffic patterns (in some cases, peak commuter traffic has shifted as late as 11 a.m. and rush-hour traffic as early as 3 p.m.). What needs adjusting based on these changes? Maybe you want to switch from public transit to a car commute now that traffic congestion is lower than pre-pandemic levels. Or perhaps with fewer trains on the schedule, you want to wake up at a different time to catch an earlier train than you used to. It’ll help if you build more time into your mornings to give yourself the flexibility to make these adjustments.

If you don’t want to rely on public transportation schedules or deal with gas prices and traffic, consider bicycling. Bicycle commuters have the highest odds of arriving at work both energized and on time compared with drivers and people who use public transportation. In a hybrid work environment, you don’t have to commute every day, which gives you the flexibility to reconsider your transportation methods. Maybe when you were commuting every day, the idea of bicycling for miles each way sounded daunting—but doing that two days a week? You might want to take on that challenge. Your work situation is different now, so think of ways you could also make your commute different to boost your happiness and productivity.

Why You Should Review Your Timing

No matter your mode of transportation, you’ll benefit from planning your (potentially new) route to work ahead of time. It’s about having peace of mind, maximizing your efficiency, and keeping your reputation as a punctual, reliable employee.

And chances are you won’t be able to rely on your old schedule, even as other parts of life look more and more like they used to.

“It’s an extraordinary upheaval,” said transportation consultant Alan Pisarski, in an interview with The Washington Post, on commuting. “It isn’t something that’s going to go back to the old normal. There’s no question about that.”

(Doucefleur/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Michael Hickey

By Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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