Prevent Career Burnout with a Fake Commute

Apr 19, 2024 | Career Advice, Career Counselling, Career Planning, Mental Health

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The fake workplace commute is an effective and enjoyable strategy to help you overcome career burnout. We’re living in a new normal where the future of work is hybrid. Many of my clients at Canada Career Counselling work from home, in an office or, do a bit of both. There are so many benefits to hybrid work: less burnout, more autonomy, more productivity, and improved well-being. In fact, research shows that 85% of employees prefer this new way of working (Dowling, 2022). But we’ve lost something along the way: the workplace commute. It serves 2 roles from the scientific perspective: 1) commuting gets you from Point A to Point B, and 2) It helps you transition from home mode to work mode, helping you create separation and boundaries.

So, take a fake workplace commute. Do a walking meditation outside. Leave the comfort of your home to stop and get grounded before your day begins.

  1. Put on a coat and head outside. Take a minute to stop and breathe and just be.
  2. Walk down your street, around your block or go to your nearby park or beach.
  3. Get into a relaxed cadence with your walk, whatever feels natural and notice your footsteps and the sensation of your feet on the ground. Take a few deep breaths and feel the crisp air filling up your lungs.
  4. Spend the next few moments in silence and take in all the sensations for a minute: smells, sights, temperature/touch, sounds and tastes. Absorb it all.
  5. Look at your work calendar while sitting on a park bench or while you walk. Who are you meeting with today? What do you have scheduled and what do you need to prepare?
  6. When you’re ready, start walking home. Maybe you want to pick up a coffee on your way back or do an errand to pick up your laundry. Go ahead and do that.
  7. Make your way back to your home office.

You’ve done something very important for your brain on this mindful walk. You’ve allowed it to fully transition from home mode to work mode and you’ve honoured your brain’s need for compartmentalization.

After today’s fake workplace commute, I hope you feel calm, centred, and ready to tackle your workday ahead. Try to do this daily to improve your energy, mood and attention while working from home to minimise stress.


Dowling, B., Goldstein, D., Park, M., & Price, H. (2022). Hybrid work: Making it fit with your diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. The McKinsey Quarterly.

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  • Laura Cohen

    Written by Laura Cohen, a Career Counsellor and Registered Counselling Therapist at Canada Career Counselling – Halifax. Laura is experienced working with clients in numerous industries including finance, the military, business, education, non-profit, arts, IT, and healthcare. She completed her MA in Counselling Psychology at McGill University. If you’d like to connect with Laura, email [email protected] to schedule a 15-minute complimentary consultation. You may be able to use your insurance plan or extended health benefits to cover counselling and assessment fees.