04\ YOUR COMMUTE!
No need to quit the day job (sorry). But a few wellplaced words with your boss could make all the difference to you both
The Fear Work might spike your stress levels but getting there is even worse, with a long commute raising your odds of depression by 33% – making it 40% more likely you’ll suffer financial problems and increasing your obesity risk by 21%. In short, our reliance on planes, trains and automobiles is running your health into the ground.
The Truth According to the Royal Society for Public Health, the average commute is 56 minutes – almost an entire working day per week. Londoners spend an extra 23 minutes getting to and from the office, which, depending on your point of view, may well serve them right. But, whatever your postcode, the long slog to work is bad news, with the ONS finding that after the first 30 minutes of commuting, each subsequent minute significantly slashes your life satisfaction. And it isn’t as simple as sucking it up; The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found your to-and-fro leads to high blood pressure and higher cholesterol, while daily travel encourages depression, anxiety and social isolation. A steep price to pay for spending an hour a day with your face stuck in a stranger’s armpit.
The Plan Stay at home. If you’ve been in your job more than 26 weeks, you’re legally entitled to request flexible working. “It can be anything from reduced hours to working from home,” says employment lawyer Philip Landau (landaulaw.co.uk). Explain to your boss how doing so will improve your efficiency and be prepared to negotiate; three days at home is punching, one or two is more reasonable. Remember: employers want happy and healthy employees, too.