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Surviving the Winter Commute

On03/ 11 /16
Commuting to work seems a breeze when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, but as the days grow shorter and the clock change looms, it can seem like you have a polar expedition ahead when the front door closes behind you.

Take the sting out of the winter commute by taking a look at our top survival tips below:



Driving


Check your car – Coolant levels, battery, lights, tires and screen wash should all be checked regularly to make sure your car is properly equipped to deal with winter conditions. 

Be data driven – With more cars on the roads during winter, maps and transit apps which alert you to traffic and update your estimated journey in real-time will allow you to plan alternative routes and anticipate potential issues. 

Have an Emergency Kit -  With more hours of darkness and more treacherous road conditions, you should be prepared with some necessities in case you become stranded or are forced to stay in your car for an extended period of time. Hopefully you won’t need it, but you will be glad to have it if you do. Some essential items to include:

Roadside assistance number/card
Ice scraper and deicer
Torch and batteries
In-car phone charger
Blanket
First-Aid Kit
Personal medication
Water
Snacks

If bad weather is forecast also make sure you have warm clothes, waterproofs and sturdy footwear stowed in the boot. 

Cycling

Be visible – Once the clocks have changed it’s dark by 5pm and to stay safe you need to light yourself up like Blackpool Illuminations. Highlight your presence to road users so there’s no excuse for them not to see you. Small, bright and light rechargeable LED lights are affordable and can be easily sourced. If you prefer to use battery operated lights, be sure to switch out the batteries regularly so they don’t weaken over time. 

Prepare for punctures – Wet winter road conditions unfortunately seem to equal more thorns, flint, glass etc. working their way onto the road and into your tyres at the most inconvenient point of your journey. Make sure you have at least two tubes and a working pump (and check it works if you haven’t used it for a while).

Public Transport

Embrace your transit time - Buses and trains can take longer than driving especially with more delays during winter. The upside however is that you can read, watch videos, work, make calls or do some personal admin when you’re on your way to work. 

Catch some ZZZ’s - With someone else’s eyes on the road it’s a perfect opportunity to catch-up on sleep. Research shows that a good amount of sleep can increase productivity, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a short nap en-route to the office. 

Walking

Set off on the right foot – If you walk to work then dress for the occasion in a pair of sensible waterproof shoes and a rainproof jacket. If you've got a formal dress code at the office changing when you arrive at work signals the start of the working day and switching when you finish helps to signal to your brain that the stress of the day is over. 

Learn something – Take your mind off battling the elements and take the opportunity to learn something. Download a podcast, audiobook or foreign language app and make the most of the alone time.. 

If you battle the traffic and elements to get to work each day and are looking for something closer to home, Bucks and Berks can help you to find a suitable role in the local area. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you to find your perfect role. 

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