Do Commutes Help Our Productivity?


Many of us began our “Work from Home” adventure back in March. Some have trickled back into the office since, although many are still at home adjusting to what may be their new standard way to work. At first, many enjoyed the time saver of not having to commute and the ability to work in sweatpants. Unfortunately, over time we have recognized that the work/life boundaries have been blurred or even completely disappeared. Our days now include more on-screen time with 48% more chats a week with 69% more of those occurring “after hours." Our commute used to define our day with a build-up and wind-down that began and ended our day. Without this designated time, employees feel more burnout and exhaustion as the day never has a true beginning or end. Instead, it feels as if the workday is constant through our “work” hours and “home” hours. These blurred lines of work and home life may offer more time to work, although it has led to less workplace productivity.

“Commutes provide blocks of uninterrupted time for mentally transitioning to and from work, an important aspect of well-being and productivity. People will say, ‘I’m happy I don’t have to commute anymore. I’m saving time.’ But without a routine for ramping up for work and then winding down, we’re emotionally exhausted at the end of the day.”

– Shamsi Iqbal, principal researcher, Microsoft Research

To combat this, Microsoft did a study to decipher what type of experience best replicates a “commute.” It was found that some individuals respond better to a task-based virtual commute, whereas others needed more of an emotionally-based virtual commute experience. As Microsoft had found, productivity increased by 12%-15% when individuals were able to ramp-up and wind-down effectively, so they knew that the “virtual commute” needed to be customizable for the individual. Through Teams, you can customize your virtual commute to start and end your day. This type of routine that has proven to improve your well-being and boost productivity! Through this new Teams experience, you can select from a group of suggested activities that include meditation via Headspace, reflections on your day, and assistance of closing out outstanding tasks from Teams and Outlook.


We all need to take time to take care of ourselves, but it has become increasingly imperative throughout this year. Work burnout and mental and physical well-being have drastically been affected by COVID-19 and how we now need to live our lives. To learn more about the helpful tools within Microsoft Teams, reach out to your Pendello Solutions team today. We all could use a little help finding ways to be more productive and efficient in our new world.

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