‘Fake commutes’ help to break up days spent working from home


NATIONAL (CBS Newspath) – Danielle Perrotta’s morning commute starts like many. She leaves her house and stops off for a cup of coffee or tea. The educator and tutor then heads to her job, but not at a school. She actually goes right back home for another day of working remotely.

Perrotta says, “I’m doing it online at home using Zoom, so still doing a lot of the things I was doing before, but now through a computer screen. I feel like being in the house all the time, there were days that would go by that I was just like, wow, I haven’t left the house in five days.”

Once a week Perrotta does what’s known as a fake commute. “It separates my home and my work,” she says.

Perrotta will often include a walk in her fake commute. She says, “It makes me feel like I’m going somewhere, even though I’m just coming back home.”

Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Georgia Kristen Shockley says that a fake commute can help people clear their head. “Research shows that this idea of segmentation, so keeping work and home life separate tend to have some beneficial effects for work, life balance,” she says.

Professor Shockley adds a fake commute can help with both mental and physical health. “If you’re able to do something like walking around the block, you’re going to get the benefits that come from both being outside and getting that activity in,” Shockley says.

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