“Replacing” Your Commute During the COVID Pandemic

Sure, commuting takes up a lot of time, and it can be stressful. But even so, many people find themselves missing the comfort of routine now that they’ve been relieved of their daily commutes in favor of teleworking.

Here are some creative and interesting rituals newly minted telecommuters are using to stay sane, connected, and productive in the face of this abrupt change:

Video coffee dates

When we started asking around the office, one of our team members said, “I’ve started having some morning video coffee dates with friends, providing a ritual and giving some personal interaction as I start my day.” Sounds like a great way to stay connected!

Vary your surroundings

One respondent offered, “I’ve been switching rooms every other day with my partner to change things up.” Another noted, “Going to a different physical space [to work] is a super helpful practice.”

Different scenery adds variation, which can be psychologically important to people who aren’t used to sameness and monotony.


This was an interesting response: “I replaced commuting with meditating in the back yard for a few minutes to get started in the morning. Then, after work, I do a workout outside to tell my body ‘I’m done.'” This bookends the day with mental and physical breaks.

Get a pet

One emphatic respondent insisted: “If you don’t already have one, get a furry friend because they give you a great excuse to take five or ten minutes to give them the attention they want (and deserve!). Having something else that needs you is a great way to break up the day.”

Another pet owner added: “My dogs are very good at telling time, and every day they know when it’s dinnertime and that I should stop working and feed them. They’re very persistent, and help keep me accountable to healthy scheduling.”

Hop on a bike

“I’ve replaced bike commuting with post-work riding,” said one new telecommuter. “I usually pick a part of town to ride to and explore it.”

Another cycling enthusiast added: “I love exploring neighborhoods and nearby areas I had no idea existed. It’s become a vital way to separate myself from work and connect to the world around me in a way I never expected.”

All that, and it’s fantastic exercise!

What’s your work from home ritual?

What are you doing to create a new routine, break up your work day, and separate work time and personal time? We want to know! Tell us in the comments.


Tips and (Surprising) Facts About Telework

Offering telework commuter services is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and improve organizational resilience.

Providing telework options as a commuter service is a strategy that benefits businesses and employees alike. On the business end, telework delivers three major bonuses.

First, it can generate major savings on parking costs. Offering or requiring employees to work from home instead of coming to the office just one day per week has the potential to cut parking demand by an immediate 20 percent. Since parking is often a major cost burden to businesses, this approach can deliver much-needed relief.

Beyond engaging commuters, telework also helps businesses keep other overhead costs under control. When employees work from home, businesses save on office space, energy consumption and other day-to-day costs that are part and parcel of running a company.

Finally, telework commuter strategies provide a big boost to organizational resilience. Transit shutdowns, traffic congestion and bad weather don’t affect people who work from home. Thus, businesses can stay productive even in the face of problems that would otherwise cause major headaches.

Telework commuter options can also help improve employee retention and recruitment efforts.

A growing number of employees place a high value on telework commuter options. Working from home offers valuable flexibility, helping team members achieve a better work-life balance. That, in turn, leads to higher morale and improved rates of employee satisfaction, both of which are vital to employee retention.

Similarly, telework flexibility can help businesses attract better candidates during the job recruitment process. Human resource professionals note that financial compensation is far from the only thing a candidate considers when evaluating a job offer. Job seekers also value flexibility and forward thinking, and in cases where candidates are fielding multiple offers and salary, working hours and advancement potential are consistent across the board, commuter benefits like the ability to telework can tip the scales in your favor.

Engaging commuters with telework options

Up until very recently, companies were generally hesitant to offer telework options to their employees. Managers typically feared that employees would be less productive without supervisions, and that reduced on-site attendance would harm employee cohesion and collegiality.

Those attitudes are changing, thanks in significant part to research that shows employee productivity actually tends to increase when people work from home. One famous study, carried about by Stanford University economist Nick Bloom in 2010-11, revealed some surprising findings that helped change employer attitudes toward telecommuting:

  • Teleworkers posted productivity gains of 13% when working remotely
  • They also self-reported significantly higher rates of job satisfaction
  • Home workers were 50% less likely to quit their job compared to staff members required to work on site
  • The company involved in the study saved an average of $2,000 per year for each telecommuting employee

Working from home also reduces stress, as it helps employees avoid what is, for many, the single most unpleasant part of their work day: sitting in traffic or fighting crowds on public transportation during their morning and evening commute. In short, it’s one of the best creative transportation solutions companies have at their disposal, and interestingly, it’s one that doesn’t require any transportation at all.

Help employees build good work habits that support productive telecommuting

Some people find the adjustment to working from home more challenging than others. As more and more companies offer telework opportunities as an alternative to traditional on-site attendance, productivity experts have weighed in. They have identified five key strategies that help remote workers stay happy and productive:

  • Create a schedule: Remote employees should set an alarm, plan to be at their desk at a certain time, take scheduled breaks and lunches, and conclude work at a pre-planned hour.
  • Add a social element: Working from home can be isolating and lonely. Employees should brighten up their work days by meeting a friend for lunch, heading to a library or coffee shop, or scheduling a class or activity during the work week.
  • Stay active: As with on-site desk work, remote employees need to be conscious about sitting too much. A midday walk, jog, or bike ride can work wonders for health and morale.
  • Communicate with coworkers: Telecommuters should try their best to feel like a part of the team. Attend on-site meetings and workplace social events to help forge and maintain connections with colleagues.
  • Stick to an agenda: Create a to-do list each day, in keeping with management and supervisor expectations, and plan your day to make sure you reach your goals.

RideAmigos supports telework commuter services by providing businesses and organizations with the technological tools to incentivize and track participation. It is one of the best commuter apps for businesses looking to make life easier for their employees, and it supports a wide range of other creative transportation solutions that encourage employees to carpool, make better use of public transportation, and discover active commuting routes for a healthier lifestyle.

Get started today with more commuter tips, a free commuter program analysis, or a detailed consultation with one of our transportation demand management experts.