In 2020, we saw the world come to a halt over coronavirus-related stay at home orders. Now 2021, with the release of the vaccine, we are seeing cities start to spring to life again (COVID-related precautions in place, of course). So what’s in store next? Here are three predictions for commuting in 2022.
Prediction 1: Travel will go back up
Many of us like the convenience of auto pay and monthly passes, but as we continue responding to the current climate of COVID-19, nothing is set is stone. Your commuter payments shouldn’t be, either. If your company has started using a hybrid work model, consider staying ahead of changes by turning off your auto payments and opting for daily or weekly passes.
Employees should also make sure their elections are set up correctly. Avoid worrying about having excess funds (since commuter funds roll month to month) by temporarily reducing their elections to $0. Find more answers to common commuter benefit plan questions.
Prediction 2: Contactless payments will be used more frequently
Contactless payment is when a user adds a credit card to their phone such as the Beniversal® Prepaid Mastercard® and then pays with a digital wallet such as Apple Pay® or Google Pay®.
Commuters can pay with their Beniversal Card through a digital wallet at merchants and vendors accepting the payment form.
It is safer to use because of a protective function called tokenization. The actual data of the linked payment card is never shared with the merchant when making a purchase. This reduces the risk of exposing private information.
First-time digital- wallet users who will be commuting in 2022 can see our digital wallet infographic for more tips.
Prediction 3: PPE advisories will stay in place
While vaccination rates are on the rise, the delta variant still adds uncertainty. Depending on local legislation, riders may be expected to wear PPE. Those with a hybrid work model who are newly returning to work may experience anxiety as part of needing to commute.
Three methods to manage commuting-induced anxiety include:
- Relax. Try listening to music or meditating. Mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand.
- Shift your focus. Give to someone else and practice gratitude for what you have.
- Lean on your community. This may include using available resources from an employer such as an EAP or having phone calls with friends and family during your daily ride to or from work.
- Know your options. If you have to go into the office several days a week, you can take different routes depending on your level of comfort. (For example, you may find that the bus is not as crowded as the train or that a rideshare vehicle offers more space.)
In a time when anxiety can leave us feeling like we don’t have choices, give yourself options.
With the changing workforce landscape, protect yourself physically, mentally, and fiscally by having a plan for your commute.
Do you agree with our predictions for commuting in 2022? Let us know in the comments!