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Stuck and Stressed: The Health Costs of Traffic : Review Series Part 2

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.

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Stuck and Stressed: The Health Costs of Traffic : Review Series Part 1

Austin Frakt recently wrote about the physical and psychological affects of commuting to work in his article: “Stuck and Stressed: The Health Costs of Traffic”. Frakt explains that not only is our health being affected by breathing in a copious amounts of exhaust each day but we’re taking on unnecessary stress which often leads to angry and often violent reactions. To read the full article, Click Here.

In response to Frakt’s article, EBC employees want to give their perspective on how commutes affected their work and the changes they have made to practically eliminate the health cost of commuting.

The following is written by Lachelle Rodrigues, consultant at EBC:

For 2019, EBC’s mantra is “Work Life Balance”.  As business professionals, wives, friends, and moms, our personal mission this year is to find that important equilibrium to create a healthy and happy work-life balance.  

One factor that can contribute to a stressful work week is the commute.  With Hawaii having some of the worst traffic in the nation, one fender bender and your 3 mile commute can turn in to a 90 minute nightmare.  We are able to alleviate ourselves from this bumper to bumper hair pulling energy drain by allowing for a more flexible work schedule and working from home when needed thanks to our cloud-based filing and database system.  I personally find myself working at 6am before my daughter is awake, or after 8pm once she is asleep for the night. At first it was hard to adjust to working odd hours especially because before a baby I tried not to bring my work home with me. Now, I view my flexible schedule as a blessing and I do not mind working the odd hours if it means more time with my daughter.

Flexible hours or working at home is becoming more and more of the norm.  The use of the technology has greatly enabled this type of telecommuting, and also the mindset of having a life outside of work is becoming increasingly important.  I do believe this is an important consideration for all companies if it aligns with their business model. I feel less stressed about time, traffic and fulfilling my daily demands in this chaotic world.  I can be more present for my child and my family as well as spend a few extra minutes of me time – even if it’s tending to my orchid plants.


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