Convert Traffic Challenges into Improved Work Habits
It is the final countdown to the Toronto Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games 2015. The congestion on the roads are presenting some major traffic challenges, however, it might also be an opportunity for commuters and company owners to rethink how they do business at the office.
The event is hosted right here in Toronto but also extends to surrounding areas such as Niagara, Hamilton, Barrie, Milton, and Caledon! It is an exciting time for Southern Ontario as we host this prestigious athletic event, but it doesn’t come without a few frustrations, especially when trying to conduct business! The benefits to our recreational and business community are endless, but there are also some challenges to maintaining business as usual at the office.
Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games July 10-26 and August 7-15, 2015
Here are some tips to keep business owners, sales people, and office workers sane and productive during the days leading up to and during the games. Not only is there more traffic with visitors to the area, but there are now HOV lanes implemented on highways throughout the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), so be sure to know the new rules.
Www.smartcommute.ca is a website set up with some considerations on alternative commuting and driving options when getting to and from the office, or to and from business appointments. Not all suggestions are possible for every business, but thinking outside-the-box for these next few days will potentially help with your stress level and productivity.
Look at this traffic challenge as an opportunity to change up your routine. It will help reduce stress, and let you try things that you may end up adopting for the long term.
Work off-hours to avoid the early morning or evening rush hour traffic. With longer days in the summer, starting the day off early or working later isn’t as hard as in the winter months.
Early Morning Exercise at the Office
If you aren’t able to get into the office early to start your work day, consider changing your morning exercise routine. Rather than running before you go to the office, plan a couple days running a route near your office. It will get you ahead of traffic, and you won’t miss your workout. If you don’t have showers at the office, look into gyms close by the office. Sometimes they offer discounted summer rates because it is the off-season.
Schedule breakfast meetings to avoid the morning traffic and check off a meeting in the process. Most likely the person you are getting together with is having similar commuting challenges and will welcome the opportunity to miss the peak commuting rush hour. You might even be able to catch some of the games on the restaurant’s TV. If you require technology and more privacy for the meeting, consider having a local restaurant cater the breakfast so you can you use your office conference room.
Work from Home
This might be the opportune time to talk with your boss about taking a day or two during the weeks of the Pan Am / Parapan Am games to work from home. It will save on traffic congestion that will help reduce your stress level, as well as help pour planet by reducing carbon emissions. With most office IT set up for remote working, technical challenges are not as common as they used to be. One of the hurdles is productivity and privacy. If you aren’t used to working from home, make sure you have a talk with your family so you can have a quiet area to work. With kids off school during the summer, this is sometimes a challenge.
Ride your Bike or take GOTransit to Work
Toronto, Hamilton, and Niagara are some of the top regions that will be affected by the increase in traffic for the Toronto Pan Am Games. The good news is that all of these regions have bike paths, bike lanes and public transit offered as alternative ways to get around. Remember, there will be more cyclists on the roads, so if you are driving, there are some rules and best practices for sharing the road – www.sharetheroad.ca. If you haven’t tried leaving the car in the driveway, this is a great opportunity! It does take a bit of preparation when cycling to work, such as making sure you have a change of clothes and a safe place to store your bike. More tips on a previous blog – Office Design to Support Cycling at Work. More and more people are using the GOTrain or GOBus to get into Toronto from the GTA cities. If you haven’t tried it yet, maybe this is an opportunity to give it a GO! Here is a link to the GOTransit schedules. The advantages of taking public transit is that you don’t have to worry about parking and being stuck in traffic. As well, you can use the time on the train to catch up on some reading.