Hack your commute: Commute to the continent

As marketers increasingly view flexible working as an important part of an employer’s offer, try taking the opportunity to use a one-off commute to get some much needed downtime.


This commute hack may need to be kept back to use just once a year – ideally on the Friday before a bank holiday – and will require the indulgence of an understanding boss.

Many of us try to get away for long weekends when the opportunities present themselves but often the appeal is dulled by the dreaded combination of Friday evening train ticket prices and the decision of whether to sacrifice annual leave for a quick getaway or lose valuable leisure time by working a full day. So what if you could have the best of both worlds?

Why not choose a Eurostar trip to a continental destination – or indeed a rail-based staycation, if you prefer – and kill two birds with one stone by working those final few hours on the way there?

There are a few more provisos, of course. You’ll need to ensure you’re either on a route with reliable WiFi, have good mobile data coverage, or only need to perform tasks that can be completed offline. You’ll also need to make allowances for tunnels and changes of train, keeping colleagues informed when you’re about to go radio-silent.

It’s a hack to be used with care because, depending on the type of office you work in, it could set precedents that managers are uncomfortable with or be viewed with resentment if others are inconvenienced by your absence or aren’t offered the same freedom. However most marketers now expect a level of flexibility regarding working arrangements, and indeed most brands now understand the need to offer it.

The finding of Marketing Week’s 2018 Career and Salary Survey that 90% of marketers view flexibility as an important part of an employer’s offer is testament to this.

READ MORE: Salary Survey 2019 – Flexible working and career breaks

If you struggle to make time for holidays during the year, meanwhile, giving yourself the option of a continental commute could be beneficial to your health. Research published in August found a 37% higher risk of early death among people who take less than three weeks annual leave.

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