Is Your daily Commute Killing You?

Sounds a little extreme doesn’t it?

I’m not kidding. Too many hours travelling to and from your work place will eventually take its toll on you, your family and your work life!

I read this interesting piece from the BBC about commuters in the USA who are travelling farther due to changing economic conditions this piece talks about a legal assistant and how her working day starts at 3:30AM as she travels from the outskirts of Maryland into Washington D.C; a place I love and know reasonably well!

But this isn’t just a condition that US citizens find themselves up against, I suspect its the same in the UK.

Over the last 20 years I regularly commuted to my place of work often 50-60+ miles in each direction; oftentimes on the road for some 3 hours assuming there was no Motorway chaos or accidents! Excluding the travelling I did to meet my customers and prospective clients in my role as a sales executive; one year I managed to accumulate 49,000 business miles; that’s a little under 1,000 a week phew! That was nothing in comparison to some of my work associates; some were travelling in excess of 60,000+ at one point we had a competition to see who could accumulate the most number of business miles; at the time I recall a well known oil company swapping road-miles for air-miles to use their fuel!

No wonder I was tired cranky and single I didn’t have time for relationships let a lone time to socialise, my butt started to become almost square for sitting in the car for so long. Often my only relaxation time was my daily run.

Get to the point?

I could never understand why companies wouldn’t allow you to work from home?

I worked so hard to prove and convince my sales bosses that this surely was a more cost effective and productive way of working. Don’t get me wrong my idea of working from home was 1-2 days a week; with a day at the office and 2 days out seeing customers because not everyone of our customers would want to see me every week. It seemed a workable solution it certainly offered a more productive and less tired sales consultant.

Sadly, I couldn’t understand why employers were so resistant! Surely proof of staying at home was PRODUCTIVITY = RESULTS = SALES = SAVINGS  for company with no more excessive fuel and mobile phone bills.

Many years later I set up Digital Print Management and my commute to our offices could be how ever long or short I wanted it to be.

Today, it happens to be a 15 mile commute to Bedford, which fits in with my Boys schooling, my home life and my personal life, all of which are reasonably well balanced. OK it’s a work in progress; like most women and men I battle with work tasks somehow outweighing hours in my hour bank!

Companies have changed their attitude to employees working from home and it appears to be a more accepted norm. I believe wherever possible your job role should allow flexibility and freedom to work from home and office surely this gives you breathing space!  Time to plan, be creative and most importantly 1-2 days a week where you can pick the kids up from School or be there to welcome them home!

If you’re utopia is this: 

Then you really need to think about what it is that makes you get up in the morning and drive xxx number of miles to your work place??

What do you think? Do you travel too much? Or; are you fortunate to have a job that enables you to have a mix of office/home life?


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