Believe it or not, some people working from home are starting to miss their morning commute, so much so that they’ve started “fake commutes” and experts are applauding the decision.
“At first I didn’t miss it. I thought ‘oh well my workday starts as soon as I wake up,’ which was nice at the time,” said Joshua Chickasawa.
Chikasawa is an accountant who went from an hour long, 10-mile, bike ride to work each day, to work at his fingertips within minutes. However, after a few weeks that got old.
“Even though I don’t have to bike to an actual destination or anything like that, I have been going on a bike ride for an hour or so,” said Chikasawa. “Sometimes, I’ll bike by the office I am supposed to be at.”
He’s now getting up again at 5 a.m. and does, his “fake commute.”
“It is just forcing myself to get out of bed, so I am actually going outside and having a real start to my day like I used to,” he added, “instead of just rolling to my laptop and starting the work day without having any real distance between my personal life and work.”
You might be surprised how normal these fake commutes are becoming.
“I have actually heard this from some of my friends and colleagues,” said Jon Jachimowicz.
Jachimowicz is a professor at Harvard University.
“There is this tension that we are experiencing right now where we are actually beginning to understand that even though we hate the commute in yester-year time when we actually went to the office, there was also something valuable about it,” said Jachimowicz.
The professor recently published research showing one of the biggest benefits was the time the commute gave us to transition between personal life and work. Also, that the transition period in this new normal can effectively be replicated with a fake commute or new before and after work ritual.
“I don’t think it actually matters what exactly it is,” said Jachimowicz. “It can be something as easy as putting on work clothes, which is what I do.”
Companies are even starting to see the need for this. Microsoft recently announced it’s adding a virtual commute feature to its Teams platform to help workers transition in and out of work mode. Although, the company has not fully outlined what that will actually look like.