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Sometimes, a commute can be a nice thing. For one, it can be valuable to have time to wind down after a day at work before turning your attention to your family. It can be a good time to catch up on phone calls (if you don’t take public transportation) or reading (if you’re not driving). It can also be a productive period to work, whether on your “day” job or a side project. But oftentimes, long commutes are frustrating and draining. There are a few ways to shorten them, however. Here are five to consider:

Move Your Hours
If you’re coming in and out of the office when most people are (aka in at 9 and out at 5), traffic and public transportation can be slower and more crowded. But if you stagger your hours slightly by coming in a bit early and leaving a bit early, you can cut your commute time substantially. 

Negotiate Working from Home
Working from home is the ultimate way to shorten your commute, by eliminating it. Start small, by seeing if working remotely on a day lighter on meetings (for instance, Friday) is a possibility. Many corporations are beginning to offer remote positions because research has shown remote workers aren’t less productive and may have better retention rates than in-office employees. 

Download a New Traffic App
If you’ve been going the same way your GPS is suggesting for years, downloading a new app may give you some fresh ideas on shortcuts you haven’t considered. 

Opt for a Toll Road
In many cities, paying the premium for a toll road means a shorter ride to your destination—which may very well be worth it. 

Consider Alternate Modes of Transportation
From trains to bikes to ferries to cars, there are many ways to commute. Try out a few new options for a couple of weeks and you might just be surprised at the minutes you can shave off your routine. 

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