Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Monday Morning!

Saw an interesting chart in Time Magazine (yes, got desperate, was waiting for an oil change and all that was available was Good House Keeping, People or Time. Choose your poison.)

In any case this chart was not only interesting because of the drastic difference between the populations of cities during the work day and not, but that it provides additional support for my call for corporations to fully endorse telecommuting to work. I remember working and living in Chicago and remembering how downtown Chicago was literally a ghost town when the work day was over and how the buildings were effectively fixed assets wasting away for 16 hours a day. You could literally do 55 MPH (sans the local representative of CPD) on city streets and probably drive faster down LaSalle Avenue than most small farming towns. But what I also remember was driving through Chicago and hitting the south side at about 430AM and seeing people QUE UP AT THE STOP LIGHTS ON THE ON RAMP TO THE INTERSTATE. Alas my call for mass telecommuting.

However, the chart also visually displayed something I hadn't thought of before and that was if telecommuting was fully pursued, then not only would the value of oil drop, but the value of another commodity would drop;

commercial real estate.

If massive skyscraper buildings were no longer needed to house millions of cubical monkeys, then their value would plummet like modern day condos.

Alas, this is probably the real reason corporate America doesn't want to endorse telecommuting.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Do you think the socialist elite in the newly formed People's Republic of Australia would endorse tax cuts for companies that have staff who telecommute?

Anonymous said...

"Alas, this is probably the real reason corporate America doesn't want to endorse telecommuting."

I disagree. If a company started doing the telecommuting thing, they could sell their existing office space to someone else.

Companies don't care what the price of commercial real estate is. They care what the price of their commercial real estate is. If they can find a way to get by without it, I don't see why they wouldn't.

I think the reason they don't have people telecommute is because the people who actually make the higher level decisions in most companies are old and stupid, or at least ignorant of the possibilities of that sort of technology.

Anonymous said...

I see your points, but if people cna telecommute to work, what's to stop your employer from just outsourcing your job to some other country where they can do the work cheaper?

Anonymous said...

I think you're on to something here -- real estate savings is usually the big driver for corporate-supported telework. So, therefore, we must be inventive...and proactively offer alternative uses for those behemoth shrines of corporate power.

I think the trick is to get to the root of power -- what's wanted more than power, control, and wasting people's time at meetings is wealth. Until we can demonstrate that telework will generate greater corporate profits, they're not listening. (Hey Capt., aren't you an economist?) Beyond this (which is no small order mind you) you're right -- we also need to find meaningful uses for those buildings. Any ideas??

And we need to get managers to let go of the delusion that 'face time' equates to productivity. (See today's Christian Science Monitor for an article on this:

Good thing there are lots of us with determination to change the face of the workplace!

Happily Teleworking in PA

Andrew L said...

Great chart, but it's weird that they didn't give the actual population numbers. The legend just says "low - medium - high". I guess the numbers wouldn't really be all that useful anyway, but the from way it's presented they could be skewing the figures by presenting them on a logarithmic scale or something.

It's also interesting that the average daily commute is only 34 min. I live in Saskatoon (pop. ~ 215,000) and I used to have to drive for 20 to 25 minutes to get to work. I would have thought that a big place like New York would have insane commute times.