Los Angeles and Orange Counties reign supreme when it comes to the amount of time we residents sit in traffic jams. (We're at or near the tops in housing prices and foreclosures, too, but that's fodder for another post).
My BloggingStocks colleague Tom Barlow weighed in on the Texas Transportation Institute's newly released study just today. But because I often actually sit in this traffic, I couldn't muster his same sense of mirth. Or is that schadenfreude?
Why don't more employers allow for telecommuting? The technology is there. I am using it now, sitting in Los Angeles (not in my car, thank you), while my bosses sit in New York City or Seattle. They know when I'm logged on and working away. If they need to tell me something they can simply ping me (using instant messenger) in real time. Or they can email me. Or they can be very quaint and even telephone me. By what misguided sense of control would I need, in my line of tech-enabled content providing, to ever get in my car and drive to, say, Santa Monica or downtown LA, burning fossil fuels and contributing to gridlock and wasting both my time and my employers'? So I can email my work to my boss in the next office?
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal (subscription still required) suggests that workers who telecommute are much happier and more loyal to the company than those chained to their cubicles.
There are many jobs that could be done just as well (better, in fact, if you take into account the gratitude factor) from a well-connected home office than from the office office. Factor in a Blackberry and you're pretty much connected to your work 24/7. Having to drive to work is just so last century.
Sure, telecommuting doesn't work for lots of jobs. You can't examine patients at home or fix the plumbing or file the paperwork. But I argue that in this connected day and age, there are millions of jobs that can be done from home. And more importantly, should be done from home... if only employers would stop worrying about control and join the 21st century.