Many of us have little choice but to use a car when it comes to getting to work – it’s the highway or no way. But there are ways to make it easier on ourselves, and on the environment too – and the tide may be turning in favour of smarter working practices that could spell the end for hellish commuting.
Talk to your boss about flexible working. You can write to them once you’ve been working for them for 26 weeks, though of course you’re free to raise the idea informally whenever it’s appropriate, and some jobs have flexible work built in. Technology has allowed remote working to be a reality for years, but it’s becoming more of a mainstream idea as cities get more overcrowded, broadband gets faster and commuting gets no more pleasant. Sound the boss out on the possibilities – maybe you don’t need to be in the office every single day after all.
Get in and out later
Even something as simple as moving your working day along an hour could be good for you. Commuting is safer when the roads are less busy, and if you don’t have to leap out of bed so early you’ll be more rested and alert..
It’s just a small thing, and if you prefer to be in your own little world then it’s probably not for you: but using a lift-sharing or car-pooling service like BlaBlaCar could make a great difference to your commute. Splitting costs is one benefit, and a bit of friendly chat is another. Maybe one day or two out of the week you can relax and let someone else drive. (Make sure you’ve got your car insurance in order, of course – adding other experienced drivers with a good driving history to your policy could help bring the cost down.)
Get on your bike
Could you swap the car for a bike one day a week? Maybe get a folding bike that you can magically whip out of the boot whenever you need it. Cycling gives you a different perspective, and it’s good for you and the planet. If you don’t have a bike, ask your employer if they have a cycle to work scheme. These are designed to promote employee health by subsidising the cost of bikes for employees.
If you spend a lot of time in your car, why not make better use of it? Line up a few podcasts and audiobooks to listen to, and do something useful with your commute.
Before you go anywhere it’s good to make sure you’ve got your car insurance in order. Use our car insurance comparison service to look for the best deal for your needs and think about how you might spend any money you save.