Climate change, work-life balance, productivity. Why don’t more people telecommute?

Most of us want to fight climate change, improve work-life balance, and be more productive. There is one thing that can do all three: telecommuting. So why don’t more people work remote?

This is a recurring thought. Especially when I’m stuck on the subway due to emergencies and maintenance issues. Or when I see traffic jams starting at 6 AM.

I’m fortunate to work in a flexible environment, including work-from-home days. But relative to impact, there’s too little corporate and government support for telecommuting. In fact, some companies are reducing remote work options.

This makes no sense. Companies should be expanding remote work options. Governments should be encouraging telecommuting in transportation policy. It would be far cheaper than public transit or highways. And, unlike them, it has unlimited capacity.

My sense is the technology and culture of remote work has been immature. So remote work hasn’t always worked well. But now tools like Slack and Zoom are addressing the technology gap. And companies like Auttomatic and Zapier are showing how to address the culture gap.

I hope more companies and governments look at telecommuting with fresh eyes. It’s a single, simple, cheap solution to many modern challenges and complaints.

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