But many Americans still must get on the move to get to work. For example, a typical day in my hometown of New York City involves millions of people in transit. They cross streets, highways, rivers and state lines on their way to and from the workplace.
Not far from my neighborhood, Mt. Sinai Medical Center is a big employer. Just about everyone from the cafeteria servers to the brain surgeons have to get there to interact with patients. There are not that many opportunities for them to work at home.
But many of us knowledge workers have more flexibility, and can tap the telephone and the mobile technology to do work.
A business executive, Rick Johnson of 3C Contact Services in Canada, is making the rhetorical argument that “commuters will soon become extinct.” He calls on employers to ask a basic question:
“Do you have a technology solution that can allow [employees] to work from the cloud, reducing their time in the office to 1-2 days per week?”
Johnson argues — and I concur — that the workplace has to change.
Some employers are assertively looking for new ways to get work done. For example, Johnson pointed to an ongoing experiment in Sweden where one group of Gothenburg city government employees has a workday of 6.5 hours, while a second group works the traditional eight hours. The goals are to reduce traffic congestion and increase worker satisfaction.
Most insurance agencies do have a technology solution — it’s called the internet — that allows workers to telecommute and work remotely. Lucky us. We don’t always have to schlep to the office to get the job done.
— Sharon Emek, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
Work At Home Vintage Experts (WAHVE)