How to Make the Most of the Time You Get Back Without a Commute as a Remote Worker

By Natalia Wolting  • Feb 1, 2024
A group of friends hiking through the woods

The rise of remote work over the past few years has eliminated commuting from the daily routine of many professionals. Whether you've gone fully remote or have a hybrid schedule, chances are you've regained some precious time previously spent in traffic or crammed into overcrowded public transit. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American spent approximately 27 minutes commuting one way in 2019 and about 225 hours traveling to and from work in one year. Here’s how to capitalize on those reclaimed hours for enhanced productivity and your overall well-being.

Establishing a Morning Routine

Without the need to battle traffic or rush to catch public transportation, remote workers can leverage the extra time in the morning to establish a thoughtful routine. Start your day with activities that set a positive tone such as meditation, exercise, or a leisurely breakfast. Incorporating positive habits into your routine can enhance your overall productivity and mood throughout the day.

Master Time Chunking

Don't squander former commute time scrolling social media or watching TV aimlessly, employ "time chunking" instead. Divide reclaimed hours into blocks spent intentionally on what matters most to you such as passion projects, skill sharpening, strengthening relationships, improving your mental health, or exercise. Statistics show time chunking boosts productivity and motivation by providing a sense of control and satisfaction over managing obligations.

Declutter Your Space

Unstructured pockets of time allow for periodic household organization without weekends becoming consumed by catching up on chores. Briefly tackle the junk drawer before your 2 p.m. Zoom or file away paperwork while taking an afternoon coffee break. Studies show clutter directly contributes to mounting stress levels, so use found moments to establish order.

Invest in Professional Development

Remote workers can utilize the time they save commuting to invest in their professional development. Online courses, webinars and virtual conferences offer opportunities to acquire new skills, stay updated on industry trends and expand your knowledge base. This proactive approach not only enhances your skill set but also positions you for career growth and increased job satisfaction.

Balancing Work and Personal Life

One of the key benefits of remote work is the potential for improved work-life balance. A recent study found that 93% of remote workers say that work-life boundaries are important to them. To achieve a balance, you need to establish clear boundaries between the workday and personal time. Once you have completed work for the day spend the evening with family or friends, pursue a new hobby, or engage in recreational activities in your area. Remote workers looking to relocate to Angola, Indiana can get a free pass to Pokagon State Park where they can participate in activities like fishing, cross-country skiing, or kayaking.

View of Lake James from the Potawatomi Inn

Increasing Productivity and Focus

The absence of a daily commute allows remote workers to start their workday with a fresh mindset. Use the time gained from not commuting to establish a dedicated and organized work environment. Implement productivity techniques such as time blocking, prioritizing tasks and minimizing multitasking to enhance your focus and efficiency throughout the day.

Strengthening Connections

Remote workers can use the time saved from commuting to build and strengthen both their professional and personal relationships. Allocate time in your schedule for virtual coffee chats, attend industry events and actively participate in online forums to stay connected and foster meaningful professional relationships. You can also strengthen your personal life connections by scheduling video catch-up calls with loved ones, helping parents or grandparents troubleshoot devices, or texting a friend you haven’t heard from for a while. Studies show that face time with colleagues and loved ones can boost your mood, self-confidence and provide a sense of purpose.

The transition to remote work has reshaped how professionals approach their daily routines. The time gained from eliminating the daily commute provides a valuable opportunity to enhance the personal and professional aspects of your life. Embracing these strategies not only maximizes the time saved from commuting but also contributes to a fulfilling and balanced remote work experience. As the remote work trend continues to evolve, optimizing the use of time outside of commuting remains a key factor in achieving long-term success and satisfaction as a remote worker.

About MakeMyMove

Remote work has freed millions of Americans to live where they want, and many are making the move to places that better match their lifestyle. In turn, cities and towns across the country are offering incentives like cash, perks and programming to remote workers who move and work from their communities. At MakeMyMove, you can explore all the places, get personalized help to find the one that’s right for you, connect with locals, and access support to make your move a piece of cake.