|Expedition 35 inside Soyuz TMA-07, preparing for undocking from the ISS. |
(l-r) Thomas Marshburn, Roman Romanenko, Chris Hadfield.
NASA Wikimedia Commons
Recognise wireless productivity
But when I commute I jump on a bus, connect to a train, and walk to the office. In that hour long journey (more if I try to do it at peak hour), I've caught up on readings, agenda items for coming meetings, checked the minutes of past meetings, replied to emails, sent emails, and maybe even further developed that funding application. In other words, on public transport and with wireless Internet I'm productive.
Relieve transport congestion
But people still cram the roads, buses, trams, railways and airways at peak hour, trying to get to work by 9am. They leave their homes sometimes 2 and 3 hours earlier, or elect to drive if it reduces that commute time by a few minutes. Then they leave work at 5pm, or later if they're avoiding the peak hour, arriving home long after the kids are in bed and barely spending any time with their significant other or enjoying the life they work to sustain. Couldn't their working days include the commute time, if wireless Internet is a productive tool? Wouldn't this improve their life considerably and reduce peak hour transport congestion?
Make affordable housing viable
Housing within an acceptable distance from central business districts is unaffordable, and shows little sign of easing. This is forcing suburban sprawl, and further straining transport systems. Wouldn't people working while commuting make affordable housing a viable option if their quality of life is not adversely affected?
Implement flexible and ranging location work
So why not let me get on that morning bus at 9am, connect to wireless and start work? Likewise, why not let me leave work at 3 or 4pm, and continue the online work on my commute home. I'll have a happier family life, a less congested commute, and can now reach affordable housing without severely damaging my quality of life. Wasn't flexible work and ranging location a pearly promise for professionals increasingly working online?
Monitor and measure effectiveness
If my supervisor is nervous about my wavering discipline, agree to report productivity data each month. How many emails were opened, read, responded to and sent between the hours of 9 and 11am, and 3-5pm. What does the edit history on documents say in those hours? What notes were generated on readings in those hours? Etc. Or simply make the job task-oriented. Each month, meet and review tasks. If projects are progressing as normal, then we're ok. Reward people who can be more productive with their time.
But not everyone has a job that can be like this. Many admin, service and front of counter staff are simply required in at specific times. They will no doubt come to begrudge the further flexibility and improved work and living conditions of those who now have that flexibility. But these people can still have flexible work hours. They could start earlier or leave later, so long as they are where they need to be at the time's they're needed. Many clientele may in fact appreciate opening hours starting earlier or ending later. Why on Earth Australian retailers haven't realised the benefit of late night opening hours all week is a mystery to me!With the professional staff physically arriving late and leaving earlier, so it goes that the admin staff may be afforded some of that flexibility as their workload intensity shifts. And there would be other opportunities to manage equality and improve moral across the board, I'm sure.