A lot of professions in many industries are service related. In other words, many people have jobs that differ from labor production or manufacturing. It is time that businesses and society in general realize the disturbing truth that statistics are currently revealing about job commuting and its repercussions on people, their families, productivity and the environment.
On average, 220 million people in the US commute more than an hour per day not because their work place is far but because of traffic and collisions on the road. Of that figure, 75% prefer the independence of driving rather than relying upon public transportation. Hence, traffic increases contributing to frustration and anger of drivers known as road rage. These statistics can be found on the internet. The same is happening in many non US cities around the world such as Mexico D.F, Bogotá, Milan, Paris, Cairo the list is endless.
Even more critical is an invisible issue related to the stress of commuting and resulting dysfunction that it imposes upon families for which there is no method of measurement. Domestic violence, verbal abuse, eating disorders, health issues and overall disconnection between spouses and children are increasing. The latter is crucial since many parents depart early in the day to drive to work and/or arrive home quite late. Children suffer from their parent’s absence because the parent is unable to provide much needed interaction or attention. Imagine arriving home at 7:00pm exhausted only to face your parental duties: helping your child with homework, talking about their day, preparing dinner and interacting with your significant other. That’s a tall order when you’re spent! The energy required to fuel these responsibilities is generally eroded after such a demanding workday followed by the long commute of driving home. The result is tension, low tolerance and a disrupted environment.
If we have to acknowledge the reasons why modern day economy should shift into working from home, we might have to check all of the above. On the other hand and now at the work place, there are subliminal reasons that can supplement the aforementioned such as intrigue between co-workers which lends to non productive and distracting affairs or bad bloody situations. In many cases, employees feel intimidated, harassed or tense with moody or mean bosses lingering which in turn affects productivity and erodes a sense of belonging. Have you heard from coworkers that their boss is moody because maybe he/she did get laid? So why everybody else in the company or organization needs to pay from others frustrations.
Another aspect people and organizations are not counting is the tons of paper produced and often wasted by not having a zero paper system in place, where forms and digital certificates play a big role. On the other hand the massive amounts of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere by vehicles on a daily basis commute. Subsequently, many lives are lost on a regular basis due to road accidents and many work days are sacrificed due to climate limitation especially in the winter.
Working from home offers a built-in advantage that allows employees to more efficiently manage their time and promote well being by reducing daily commute. Scheduled office meetings can be coordinated by business managers to gauge company and departmental progress with accountability equal to in-office meetings. Integrating a common ground system would interconnect employees by commonizing duties, interaction and responsibilities shared by all. Scan Archives has revolutionized what Dropbox and Google Docs pioneered thus immensely improving the virtual office concept. Your company or organization can begin a gradual transition. Moreover, the adjustment is primarily about accepting a new method of behavior in work production. It is time to revolutionize the global workforce.
Two of the most significant societal behaviors include working and learning methods. Our next article will talk about how technology is rapidly influencing schools and their educational approach in preparation of our children for a highly competitive future.