Frakt’s article on health effects of commuting resonated with my past life of an eight to nine Monday through Friday worker. My commute to work became increasingly difficult and stressful when we had our first child. Leaving in the mornings were filled with anxiety of getting our baby to daycare on time and missing traffic to get to work on time. Then the commute home meant leaving work at a certain time to get the baby before the center closed. That anxiety led to stress at work. I was afraid meetings would run late as they often did or there would be traffic on the way home which would all delay me from picking up our son. My husband’s commute was even worse so there was never a chance to switch responsibilities. By the time we got home, we were both exhausted from the day’s stress, leaving us with little energy to really enjoy time with our son.
We were on the verge of breaking down when we were both offered opportunities that allowed for flexibility and a significant cut in our commute time. Working with EBC, I don’t have to commute and can work from home or my nearby coffee shop. Eliminating our commutes thanks to our new flexible schedules gives us more time to take care of ourselves and our new baby boy. In positions where a flexible work schedule was not offered, I felt an extra stress from my job plus a feeling that my employer did not care about my personal life outside of the office. Those factors often lead employees like me to resent their job and care less about the quality of work they produce. With this new opportunity for flexible work and less overall stress from a daily commute, I want to produce quality work for an employer I know cares about my well-being. It goes a very long way to show your employee you trust them by offering options to help balance their work/life. We can all benefit from less time in the traffic zone and more time at home.