The Conversation: Matthew Piszczek on psychological benefits of commuting

Matthew Piszczek, assistant professor of management at Wayne State University's Mike Ilitch School of Business, co-authored an article for The Conversation about the psychological benefits of commuting that remote work doesn't provide. "For most American workers who commute, the trip to and from the office takes nearly one full hour a day – 26 minutes each way on average, with 7.7% of workers spending two hours or more on the road. Many people think of commuting as a chore and a waste of time. However, during the remote work surge resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, several journalists curiously noted that people were – could it be? – missing their commutes. One woman told The Washington Post that even though she was working from home, she regularly sat in her car in the driveway at the end of the workday in an attempt to carve out some personal time and mark the transition from work to nonwork roles. As management scholars who study the interface between peoples’ work and personal lives, we sought to understand what it was that people missed when their commutes suddenly disappeared. In our recently published conceptual study, we argue that commutes are a source of 'liminal space' – a time free of both home and work roles that provides an opportunity to recover from work and mentally switch gears to home."

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