Work from home and road congestion

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
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Anondson
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Work from home and road congestion

Postby Anondson » March 14th, 2020, 6:47 am

I ride the bus to work downtown and I’ve been noticing a total disappearance in road congestion through this week of organizations beginning work from home initiatives and remote learning for Covid-19 response.

I’d call it proven that telecommuting solves congestion.

I’m predicting researchers are birthing hundreds of academic papers on highway congestion during Covid-19 response.

mamundsen
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby mamundsen » March 14th, 2020, 6:55 am

It’s also spring break season.

I expect to see bus ridership take a big dip this year. Hope it doesn’t hurt any future plans.

Mdcastle
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby Mdcastle » March 14th, 2020, 7:32 am

Now that companies have figured out people can work from home they'll figure out that people can work from home from India.

Silophant
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby Silophant » March 14th, 2020, 9:52 am

I'm pretty sure most companies are already aware of the concept of offshoring.

go4guy
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby go4guy » March 14th, 2020, 10:06 am

A lot of companies that didn't allow work from home are now forced to make the logistics work. Mine is one of them. We will all be working from home for a month at the least. Once they realize they can have employees work from home, what is the motivation to add office space when a company grows? I think this could have a huge shift in the way we think about workplaces.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby VacantLuxuries » March 14th, 2020, 11:45 am

Offices are overhead. Unless your company needs to invite clients in and impress them, office space exists to give middle managers a fiefdom to lord over and people to talk at in meetings.

Hopefully smart businesses will realize this.

dajazz
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby dajazz » March 14th, 2020, 2:00 pm

While many companies are managing to develop WFH in the current environment, I'm curious what the actual productivity will be. Many jobs can easily be done at home, but I know certain areas of our company are very dependent on in-person resources so numerous projects will be put on hold until we return to a new normal.

alexschief
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby alexschief » March 14th, 2020, 2:31 pm

VacantLuxuries wrote:
March 14th, 2020, 11:45 am
Offices are overhead. Unless your company needs to invite clients in and impress them, office space exists to give middle managers a fiefdom to lord over and people to talk at in meetings.

Hopefully smart businesses will realize this.
I... like working in an office? Working from home the last week has been miserable.

Maybe you've just had bad experiences.

xandrex
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby xandrex » March 14th, 2020, 3:56 pm

Yeah, count me in as someone who likes having an office to go to.

I've been working from home for the last week, and it has been really hard. Socially isolating, easy to get distracted, harder to collaborate, etc. I also don't have the space to have the setup I have at work, so it's just less comfortable.

I'm not wedded to the idea of being in the office every single day. But we're a week in and I'm going stir crazy. Don't know how I'm going to do several more weeks of this.

LakeCharles
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby LakeCharles » March 14th, 2020, 6:01 pm

Agreed. Being able to confer with colleagues directly, and have spontaneous interactions and conversations is very helpful to both my actual work and my sanity.

Silophant
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby Silophant » March 14th, 2020, 6:28 pm

-1, my company finally is going to start remote work (for people who can) next week and I'm not looking forward to it.

mamundsen
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby mamundsen » March 14th, 2020, 6:53 pm

Like most of you, I enjoy my docking station with dual large screens and in person collaboration. I won’t miss the 40 min bus ride. I start WFH on Monday until TBD. I imagine at first I’ll be more productive.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby VacantLuxuries » March 14th, 2020, 7:11 pm

It's probably a combination of my work being something where I need long periods of uninterrupted quiet and concentration and the fact that, yeah, I've worked a lot of places where I've been expected to do that in an open office setup. I would be much happier if my default was home working and I reported into an office as needed.

alexschief
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby alexschief » March 14th, 2020, 9:14 pm

I won't defend an open office. I don't enjoy those and the research I've read about suggests they are not a good idea.

Ideal office design is cubes that are high enough to give privacy while sitting, but low enough that you can stand and easily speak to someone else over them.

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Anondson
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby Anondson » March 14th, 2020, 10:37 pm

I’m of the personal opinion that I want others to work from home more, but with the current role I have I absolutely do not look forward to working from home though technically my job can be done from home.

I get tremendous value from social proximity to others who are also doing my role. I could not have learned as much as I know now, nor will I learn more as much as I could if I’m at home.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby DanPatchToget » March 15th, 2020, 8:33 am

I would prefer working from home and going to the office when needed, but I'm not sure that'll happen. In my current situation I think it would be pretty easy to do work from home, but the only issue would be getting easily distracted.

Once this pandemic is over I wonder how many people will stick with working from home and how many will switch back to commuting to the office.

QuietBlue
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby QuietBlue » March 15th, 2020, 2:22 pm

It's a mixed bag for me. I like having the flexibility to do it when necessary, but it's not optimal for my current situation. I'd feel different if I had a better physical space for it where I could have something closer to what I have in my cube (more monitors, larger desk, etc). The social part is not as big a deal for me, since much of my contact is through email, phone calls, and Microsoft Teams anyway -- we're pretty geographically scattered.

My company is not having us WFH yet, and not everyone could anyway (we're a manufacturing company, so not everyone has a desk job), but I may be asked to soon if the overall situation continues to deteriorate.

talindsay
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby talindsay » March 16th, 2020, 11:17 am

Remember that working from home means more energy use, not less, because an office is easier to heat/cool than a hundred private residences. Some British researchers found that even with saved energy from transportation, telecommuting uses more energy than offices during the winter in Britain. Telecommuting uses less energy in the summer there because most private residences don't have air conditioning; we can assume that would not hold here.

More importantly for the individual worker, your salary *includes* the cost of heating and cooling your office. If you have to keep your house / apartment at a comfortable temperature all day, you pay for that yourself.

Tcmetro
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby Tcmetro » March 16th, 2020, 12:24 pm

Very interesting, thank you for sharing. I had not considered the temperature control aspect of the different settings.

I'm working from home, but my team is all over the place, so I'm normally on the phone/slack all day. The lack of commute is nice, as is being able to cook anything, but it feels weird.

Cat349F
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Re: Work from home and road congestion

Postby Cat349F » March 19th, 2020, 7:29 pm

Interesting about the U.K. I doubt the same holds true here, I am of the opinion most people don’t adjust/program their thermostat to conserve while at work.


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