Dumb Quote of the Day, on the Effectiveness of Working From Home
For starters, all the telecommunications tools and document-sharing systems in the world are no substitute for the simple act of walking over to someone's desk and pointing to something on a screen or asking a question. It's almost always quicker than any technological alternative, and there's little room for confusion.
Right. Like walking down the aisle is faster than hammering a few words into skype. And typed answers are more confusing than oral ones. But Thompson points our the real benefits of e-work, in the smart quote of the day:
Consider the environmental cost of commuting. More telecommuting doesn't just elimate the costs of those individual working from home, it also reduces traffic which cuts down on all drivers' trips and the corresponding gas costs to both drivers and the environment. This graph of US commuting times indicates that in major cities like Chicago, New York and LA, average commutes can climb to almost an hour. Weber is right that telecommuting will have an impact on office culture, but it's important to balance that with an understanding of the negative externalities of commutes, as well.
Worth reading in the Atlantic.
More on telecommuting or e-working:
Calculating How Telecommuters Make a Difference
Telecommuting is Green and Saves Money, but Most Employers still Resist it
Working From Home Makes More Sense Than Ever