The very first step towards achieving commuter sanity is to embrace the inevitable. This is Britain. Weather happens. As does traffic. This is not an easily avoided reality as many people start and finish work at similar times, whilst having the uncanny ability of clogging roads and transport links precisely when you need them.
In order to be prepared for your precarious journey you need to try and find out what’s in store. Make sure to check the weather, via checking the news, internet, radio or even some apps such as the one provided by the Met Office but don’t trust it implicitly. Believe it or not, the meteorologists have been wrong before so take their word as guidelines rather than law.
Dress accordingly and bring whatever equipment you might need with you such as an umbrella, hand warmers (our team swear by these), snow shoes or even a hapless fellow commuter to carry you over puddles.
When selecting your clothes for the work day ahead, you can often find yourself negotiating the delicate tightrope between comfort and style. A good way to compromise between the two is by layering up so that you can have warming garments that are easily shed once you get to the office. If you are cycling and have room, consider bringing a complete wardrobe change with you.
Speaking of cycling, staying safe should be your paramount priority. Sure, it might not be the coolest look in the world but in poor visibility that shiny beacon of a helmet and high-vis jacket might make all the difference. Also, if you’re worried about your bike lock icing over then be sure to stick a bottle of hand sanitiser in your bag. The lower freezing point of alcohol will free things up without you having to break into that expensive bottle of single malt you’ve been saving for a special occasion.
If you are running behind schedule make sure you call ahead to let your manager know what’s happening. Once you’ve done so crack out something else to concentrate on. No matter how much you worry or try to will the other cars out of the way, you won’t get to your desk any quicker. Have a good book on hand to read or the paper.
Also consider downloading some other apps to help with the traffic such as the official one from the AA or if you’re in a real bind you can use the bus checker app to see when the next bus to work is available and how long the delay is.
Be mindful that using the bad weather as an excuse for turning up late regularly will probably wear thin after a week or so of use. Consider catching an earlier bus or train if you tend to use public transport or simply leave a slightly longer buffer of time between home and work.
Of course there are people who get round this problem completely by working from home. It’s a little harder to claim congestion when your commute consists of going from bedroom to office. When you have a fast broadband connection, access to the office’s remote network and a reliable phone line there’s every argument for operating out of your house for the day. Especially when the snow has piled so high you can’t actually open your front door.