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Saving fuel by telecommuting

Just curious how many of you are able to work from home? My employer has made it possible for me to work from home 4 days a week. In all the ways I hear about saving energy I've never heard any mention about telecommuting. Very surprising since I save myself money on gas and put out much less pollution staying out of my car.

I used to bike to work, but after about 11 years it started to become more and more difficult and dangerous. At the home office I'm very productive and help keep the Southern California roads free of one less vehicle.

Have anyone heard of energy saving campaigns mentioning telecommuting?

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Great idea! Best Buy to stop with meetings, schedules, etc.

In reply to: Saving fuel by telecommuting

I would love for more and more companies to make a breakthrough in work like Best Buy has done:

BusinessWeek cover article: Smashing the Clock - no schedules, no meetings, no joke!

There are many worker discipline issues and of course management would have carry out their job in a new way - but I think it's high time for the workplace and technology to come together and take an evolutionary leap forward!

I think this model will fail at some point and too much finger pointing will be done. I'm sure something of it will fail 'cause it's the first time it's being doing on such a scale in the "modern era" (at least that I know of). But it would REALLY be a shame if they didn't pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and give it another shot with what they've learned.

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In reply to: Great idea! Best Buy to stop with meetings, schedules, etc.

I would say that around 50% of small team meetings (5 or less people) and 99% of large team meetings are wasteful. It depends on the business and the culture, or lack there of, of communication.

In my business, I'm a big fan of succint and in-frequent meetings. This re-enforces the policy that IF there IS a meeting, it's important.

Having "no schedules" is a bit of a joke for an enterprise which spans multiple time-zones and is in the retail service industry like Best-Buy. Notice how the article focused on Best Buy's corporate headquarters and not their stores. Establishing a culture of personal responsibility is more important than any sort of timeclock, timelog, or externally re-enforced work schedule.

For knowledge workers who are "symbolic manipulators" in professional, managerial and creative occupations, work is more about a "state of mind" than any sort of particular schedule or locale.

On a personal note, I had an arguement with a client in Germany once because I did not "show up at office start" (9am) every morning. Instead, my personal attendance varied between roughly 8am to 11am. It's a cultural thing. It took a wee bit of diplomatic negotiation (and more than one late-night last-minute deliverable) to illustrate the "work as a state of mind" principle.

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We could not even get employer to allow

In reply to: Saving fuel by telecommuting

coming to work early and leaving early to reduce time spent in traffic jams. Leaving work 30 minutes early cut drive home by 15 to 45 minutes.

Company's site management refused to consider it.

Two years later, CEO of company came for a late afternoon meeting. Seems he stood at a window, which overlooked the parking lot and asked "Why is the lot empty? It's still 30 minutes till quitting time." Just for the record I was still at work as were all my lab coworkers.

It took 5 years, but the CEO closed the building and laid us all off.

Moral: good ideas should not be implemented on personal initiative.
Advice: never tic off a CEO.
Outcome: all are punished for the mistakes of the many.

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I'm sorry to hear that...

In reply to: We could not even get employer to allow

sorry to hear of the tales about your very non-progressive CEO.

Still...I don't think that's such a cut and dry lesson.
Punishment only exists when the person being "punished" believe they are "bad". If you don't believe you're "bad", I think you'll have lost no dignity or capability.

I agree, never create any negativity around a CEO - creatively/tactfully provide your ideas that inspire the CEO to try something else instead.

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I knew what was coming so don't be sorry.

In reply to: I'm sorry to hear that...

I stayed to the end to help my coworkers with their transitions and to satisfy my curiosity. I learned many things about my work environment due to the facility closing. The illusions and window dressings fell away. The weaknesses and strengths of my fellow workers became apparent. Many where unqualified for their positions and their strengths were not what they could do technically, but how well they could handle the politics. I learned so much that I do not feel punished but I know that there are emotional scares that won?t heal. I would say about a third of my coworkers did not move on well, at least not at first. Many long phone calls and hand holding sessions took place at my home after the facility had been closed for months. I rewrote at least 1 coworker's resume (Yes, they got the job) and made calls to follow up when I knew a person had a job interview. It can take a long time for people who are past mid career to start over. I moved and lost touch with most of them but some have responded to my inquiries. The respondents all are doing well it?s the ones that don?t check in that worry me.

Last thought: nothings every cut and dry. The details are too many the time is too short.

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