Commuting time should be counted as part of the working day?

Consideration is being taken into whether those who use public transport into work should use this travel time as part of their working day. Since hearing this on the news, I am not keen.

If you feel the need to use your travel time ‘to work’ ‘to be working’ then something is not right with your workload or internal processes. Perhaps the company work-life balance needs a review or new precedents need to be set.

As noted in the Personnel Today article, the breach of GDPR implications could also be risky. I am sure you would not be happy to know if I was working away on your employee relation cases on the train at the view of other passengers. No matter how much I pseudonymize the data, it is still no-one else’s business.

Whether or not the courts integrate this travel time into the Working Time Regulations, I am still under the belief that people need sufficient time to not be working. This is inclusive of the time spent running around at home looking after our loved ones.

Traffic or not, the break away from work that I gain on my drive in is my time to choose as I wish. Of course there are times when it is a useful space to reflect on a particular case and take a step back to review the matter, but I also value the chance to sing loud and proud to The Greatest Showman soundtrack. Importantly, that choice is mine to make and having the option helps me manage my work or stress as I see fit.

If it helps you, physically or mentally, to maximize your time by sending those e-mails on the bus into work, go ahead. But just ensure you are working healthily and safely – so you can continue to be efficient and awesome throughout the day.

Why not consider using your travel time to:

  • Stop and appreciate those around you;
  • Plan your day; or
  • Meditate – gain some awareness of yourself, your breathing and find those positive thoughts. By investing this time in yourself, you can gain time back by being calmer and more focused.

Essentially use the time for you – not your employer or customers.

This article was written by Matilda Swanson and originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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