In the months of winter, it’s easy to become tired and unmotivated during the working day. We’ve already written blogs about how boosting your health and wellbeing can keep your spirits high – even when the temperature is low – but as a final part to our winter survival guide we’re focussing on rebooting your commute and looking at how small changes to your daily routine can help re-motivate and inspire you for the day ahead.
Get energised and bike to work
It’s not so much a lack of motivation that dents a cycle commuters’ winter miles, more a matter of habit. One or two missed cycling to work days can soon lead to a month or so and before you know it’s Spring and the bikes collected more dust than the back of the shed. There’s only one way to get back into the habit of pedalling again, and that’s to just do it! Here are some ways you can make it easier.
Break yourself in
Don’t over commit, you’ll have no doubt seen a couple of ‘over-committers’ in the gyms during January. Fired up with their New Years resolutions and before the month is out they’ve stopped completely. If you can reboot your commute by commiting to it everyday, great, but don’t beat yourself up about initially riding for two days a week.
If you stopped cycling because you were getting wet, it’s time to invest in more kit. Most good cycle to work schemes will come with kit only options were you can purchase vouchers for the amount of the new equipment or accessories you require. Buy and fit good quality mud guards, get a quality waterproof jacket, gloves and waterproof trousers.
Treat yourself to some new wheels
Tired of the old banger or just feel like it’s time for a change? Treating yourself to a new car could end up in you enjoying the drive to work. Car salary sacrifice is becoming increasingly popular and has great appeal to employees. Some schemes cover all the usual cost of motoring, even insurance so all employees have to do is add fuel. But if the idea of a brand new car isn’t realistic, try one of these:
Avoid peak traffic time
Mornings can be tough and leaving earlier – even a couple of minutes, can make a big difference. You’ll be likely to contend with less traffic and stress! If you want to really cut down on the commute times you could approach your line manager and ask to work more flexible hours.
Try new things
Don’t get stuck in the habit of listening to the same radio station day in day out. They might include different features, but they’ll play the same songs which you’ll soon get bored of. Try switching over and experiencing a new genre whilst you’re stuck looking at the back of a lorry.
Consider using a calming scent in the car, lavender and jasmine can ease stress levels. Or if that doesn’t sound like something you’d be willing to try and you’re bored of the same old radio stations, try listening to a podcast or an audiobook. They’ve come a long way in recent years and there’s often free content for you to download!
Get sociable and share a lift
A good alternative to the Car scheme is a Liftshare scheme. It provides employees with the convenience of travelling by car and cut the costs at the same time. It’s also good for the environment and helps ease congestion problems.
Take it in turns
Some people don’t have a car and could be looking for a ride to work, whilst others are looking to take it in turns to drive to work and save on running costs by leaving the car at home. It works in several ways, but it’s all about getting people together who make the same trips.
Finding your liftshare partner
If your benefit platform doesn’t offer the information to make it work, there’s plenty of websites out there that allow users to liftshare with other commuters. The UK’s biggest site it liftshare.com, to find a liftshare users simply have to register for free and input their details, destination and time of departure and how flexible they can be. The database then throws up users in the same area with similar details and get’s them to connect via email.
Cut the cost of your season ticket with an interest free travel loan
If travelling in a car doesn’t suit you and you have good links to public transport a travel loan may be a more suitable option to an alternative commute. With the increasing cost of public transport, many employers are looking for ways to make transport more affordable and stress free for their employees. Of course you also make savings on the cost of a season ticket, which are often cheaper than paying journey by journey. The simple repayments from your salary make the cost of the ticket more affordable.
Don’t forget Car parking schemes also work in a similar way, this benefit can be just as handy if you decide to drive halfway and commute via public transport to the office.
Find your commuting buddy
You could also find a commuting buddy to share your journey with. Why not agree to meet up at a certain time or a given morning – or even every morning. Travelling to work with a colleague is more sociable, it’s also easier to motivate yourself to be more punctual when you know someone is waiting for you. Having the extra person to share the journey with can also make the commute less stressful and enjoyable.
Rebooting your commute
There’s plenty of ways to ditch the old routine and experience a more enjoyable commute to work. If you already have the best option for you at the very least you can try a different route or think about sharing your commute. A change can be as good as a rest, see what alternative routes are available for getting to and from work. A new route might help you tie in errands or see new places, which could help save you time once you’re home and sharing the journey to work can be less stressful, more economic and more enjoyable.