The benefits of revamping the morning commute that lasts all day

The dreaded morning commute. Whether it lasts minutes or hours, the stress of daily commutes takes a toll on employees’ moods and motivation – and in the long run, on a company’s bottom line. Jon M. Jachimowicz, PhD Candidate at Columbia Business School, and Geraldine Delplanque, Sodexo Global Marketing Director of Mobility & Expenses, shed some light on how we can offset the adverse effects of commuting.

The practice of commuting has evolved quite a bit recently – how do these changes affect commuters?

Jon M. Jachimowicz: Over the past several years, commuting time has been steadily increasing. Due to factors, such as urban sprawl, it’s becoming more and more expensive for employees to live close to their place of work and therefore, commuting is becoming more prevalent and widespread. Currently, the average global commute time clocks in at 38 minutes each way – a figure that equates to roughly 300 hours per year, or more than 10 percent of the total working time. On top of that, a number of forecasts project that commuting time is going to increase in the years to come. And let’s not forget that employees consistently rate commuting, especially the morning commute, as the worst part of their work day.

Geraldine Delplanque: I agree, urbanization trends are greatly impacting commute times. This is a growing concern given that in the context of the war for talent, commuting is emerging as a key topic. That said, I would also like to point out a piece of good news: innovative commuting solutions are also underway. Not so long ago, we had very limited commuting options: personal cars and public transport. Today, multimodal solutions are a reality. You can begin commuting by car and finish with a city bike, for example – or even use ride sharing platforms. Dynamic parking is also developing. It may even be possible that seeking out these types of varied solutions may reduce the negative consequences of commuting.

How does reducing the negative effects of commuting correspond to how the rest of their day will go?

J.M.J.: Commuters are not just moving between physical spaces, they also psychologically occupy different roles. For example, when you’re at home, you might take the role of a parent, and when you’re at work, you take on the role of a coworker or a manager. Someone who uses their commute to not only physically, but mentally as a transition from home to work role is ready to start their day and take on the demands of their respective work roles as soon as they arrive. Our research has shown that when we don’t transition adequately, we experience displeasure that can drain us and lead to job dissatisfaction and exhaustion.

G.D.: Yes, I have seen this firsthand with our clients – a bad commute leads to stress in the workplace, which can have huge consequences on efficiency and focus. Can also lead to lower interaction with colleagues and of course, cause health problems such as headaches, sleep disorders, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems problems. All these factors can ultimately fuel employees’ demotivation.

Jon, in your research, you speak directly to this point of combating commute-related stress. Can you provide some insight?

J.M.J.: Depending on where we live, we don’t always have much control over the means of commuting; however, we do have some control over what we do or think about while commuting. That can include either things that bring immediate gratification – daydreaming, listening to music – or things that provide more long-term value – thinking ahead about plans for the day, goals and schedules. Our research shows that individuals who score higher on one personality facet, trait self-control, are more likely to engage in thoughts that reflect a long-term orientation. In other words, these individuals are more likely to contemplate the work day ahead of them. As a result, they are also less likely to be negatively affected by long commutes because this work-related prospection allows them to transition into their work role during their morning commute more efficiently.

What can companies do to improve employee commutes?

J.M.J.: It is important that companies understand the commuting affects the way that people feel and behave at work. For this reason, management shouldn’t only care about employees from the moment they step into the office; they need to have a more holistic view. The way in which employees commute and the duration of their commutes influences the way that they feel about working and how they will behave and perform at work. It is linked to their likelihood of staying with – or leaving – the organization.

G.D.: Companies can also play a key role in fostering new practices and opening the door to new ways of working – for commuting this means allowing for customization and flexibility. Commuting has become multimodal and versatile, meaning that a company’s role will not only be to help employees get to work in the morning, but also to give them access to the best transportation options at any time of the day.

Pioneering companies are also currently searching for unique alternatives to the traditional workplace. Today, the physical presence of some employees is no longer required. In this respect, working from home or a nearby co-working facility is a great way to avoid commuting altogether. In addition, offering flexibility in arrival time has proven to be very efficient, and it clearly enhances work-life balance, allowing employees to organize the day in a way that is most efficient for them.

Geraldine, can you tell us a bit more about Sodexo’s multimodal solutions?

G.D.: We have one solution that has been specifically designed to remove, among other things, the commuters’ pain points: the XXImo Mobility Card. These cards enable commuters and business travellers to travel and pay hassle-free with one single solution – whether by car, taxi, train, tram, bus, car share, public bike share and plane. The XXImo platform and merchant network make it possible to digitalize the whole expense process, from transaction, authorization and cost allocation to direct processing in the accounts.

It even goes one step further in facilitating mobility for employees with the new MILO app that helps commuters to get where they need to go, on time and with the best itinerary. For example, a quick toggle between the car and public transport and the route will be automatically recalculated. You can also pay for public transportation, taxi and parking with Milo. The concept behind this app is to develop a digital assistant that proposes multimodal alternatives and perfect timing.

And finally, Jon, in your experience, are there any tools that companies aren’t making adequate use of to improve the employee experience?

J.M.J.: Many big companies are sitting on a treasure trove of data. They know how long employees commute, how satisfied they are at work, which ones plan on leaving – but they don’t sufficiently analyze all this data. This data makes it possible to build predictive models of who is most likely to leave the organization, why some employees perform better than others, and what they can do to change these. Companies often lack the theoretical background, the analytical skills or simply don’t think holistically. As a researcher, my goal is to work with companies to answer these questions and help them understand their employees better because those insights ultimately help us to advance the state of research.

Dear Stress, Let’s Break up!

Stress, Fear, Pressure…Do you know where are these terms mostly used? Nowadays it is very common in an environment that includes people in formal dresses, working continuously on their laptops. Yes, the workplace, offices has turned out to be such a plaguing highlight. A few specialists have also named it as the “21-century likeness Black Death”. It is a major efficiency executioner and not something which should be possible away with, with the flood of an enchantment wand.

Triggers anxiety

Overseeing anxiety is a dynamic procedure in which the representatives and bosses need to work as one. Organizations are receiving inventive methodologies to address this issue and are making the work environment more proficient and beneficial. As the triggers for anxiety and an individual’s ability continue to differ, so ought to be the techniques that are received to diminish stress. Lack of work-life equalization is one of the greatest reasons for anxiety. Elements for Employees

To create an environment where there is less stress, organizations attempt to do different activities for employees. For example, flexible working hours, telecommute choice, healthy atmosphere, culturally fit, incentives, benefits and so on. Some organizations even offer meeting with nutritionists to help the workers lead a solid healthy way of life.

Components of fun

Employers are including elements of recreation to help workers adapt to stretch. Amusement clubs, for example, movie, music or creative expressions in the work environment, for the occasion, empower representatives to unwind and seek after their interests. Praising authority accomplishments and individual events additionally help to lift up the workplace. Organizations are including sports exercises to keep up the wellbeing remainder of their kin. More bosses are are encouraging workers to take a vacation to give them a chance to seek the innovative advantages of a break.

Keep in mind to Breathe in!

All you need to do is a keep an anxiety detecting wellness tracker, a wearable gadget which prompts the user with a breathing beat. to quiet the wearer by reminding breathing beat. When it recognizes that a particular respiratory rate is come to, or the individual has gone thirty minutes without a full breath, it sends an alert/pings, reminding the person to enjoy a reprieve or take an ideal opportunity to inhale appropriately.

Finding that Star Performer

Lack of thankfulness is one of the biggest stressors and eats the profitability of a worker who feels acknowledged at work. Now acknowledgment by partners/associates is a more prominent inspiration than money related prizes. Understanding this, organizations are putting forth employee acknowledgment grants which could be verbal acclaim or money prizes, and recompenses, for example, Employee of the Month/Quarter/Year, Star Performer, among others. Subsequently, reassuring practices, for instance, distributed acknowledgment projects will be a move in the right heading towards enhancing efficiency, engagement, and kinship.

Happier Workplace

Don’t you think more content groups contribute to more satisfied working environments? Happy workplace creates an environment that can go far in minimizing contrasts, as well as even in building more grounded groups. Employees should take part in open air exercises, for example, treks and undertakings, displaying amusements, and so forth, to de-stress them. Another inventive method for diminishing anxiety would be to utilize coaches for empowering extensive correspondence trying to enhance cooperation at work. These measures could well be the key building squares towards an association’s vision of making anxiety free workplaces.

Hack the pack with a profound career management plan

90% of the people around you spend an equal amount of time doing their job, yet their skill set and growth pattern will differ as of yours. And, only 11% off them will experience extreme success and the rest 89% will be a part of the lot what we call ‘the herd.’ But, the 11% end up in a very comfortable place which we call, ‘the pack.’

So, the question is, what is the secret of getting into the pack instead of the herd? Ever heard of Career Management? No? In a layman’s language, Career Management is a process of planning one’s career with a combination of sound professional goals and giving a tactical ladder to reach the door of the pack. No more thrills, here are some of the best hacks of Career Management which will take you to the place you want to be.

Do we have to remind you the name again?

1 – Goal Setting – In a time crunching hours, spare 15 minutes on personal goal setting. Add another excel to your life trauma and this will be your most favourite one. Break it down with monthly and yearly goals. If you still have and it ages you, last visited that sheet, always add an alert to your Google calendar to remind yourself. Evaluate, Compare and take Action.

2 – Skill Drill – One of the most important aspect to hacking the pack is skill drill. You need to track your current skills and rank them out of 10. If you score more than 8 in every skill you mentioned, find out new skills to add. Keep on pooling in new things to learn and execute.

3 – Career Vision – Where do you see yourself after five years? Sounds one like your interview question? There is a logic behind it. The HR always asks you this question to see your career vision. Most of us fumble, but no one thinks about it even after the interview. Career vision is said to be the key player in your professional success. A very simple trick to get this right is to write down the highest and lowest job roles in your profession and then find out the ways you can reach the desired.

4 – Flexible Role – ‘The herd’ end up doing a similar type of job for a long time which becomes their limitation and they are not able to move out. Always try to explore various roles which can be related to your job, integrate skills and become flexible. A person with flexibility has more chances to grow in a less period.

Follow these simple tricks and voila! Welcome to “the pack.” A profound Career Management plan, based on evaluation and learnings. People usually forget to improvise during the process.