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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why does productivity have to be lost when it snows?

      Our snowfall today once again shows how weather can impact normal activity and business.  While it is nice to slow down and take a break from normal routines it does mean that productive work has to be delayed.  Just speaking personally I had two meetings cancelled and will have to be rescheduled.  While this is only a small loss in the larger scope of things but with today's technology I wonder if these meetings could have been held using the technology of GoToMeeting.  Video conferencing and online presentations are now realistic alternatives to bringing people together in one location for a meeting.  Most people today have barely touched the surface in using the new technologies in their work efforts.  Some of these technologies will probably only become the norm when enough younger tech savvy persons move into leadership positions within organizations.  Persons of my generation are just too used to the work environments and technology of the pre-digital era.
       The snowfall didn't mean a lost work day for those workers who have the capability to telework.  With high speed internet connections most of the work the people do at their work desk can now be done at home or any other internet connected location.  The only real limits today in having this become the norm for many workers is the nonacceptance of this new reality by some employers.  Not having the ability to see that employees are at their workstation is still a hurdle in getting employers to embrace this opportunity.  The need for less office space, wasted travel time and less work interruptions are just beginning to be recognized by employers.
     It maybe hard to remember that our present work place set up was only developed in the 20th Century when transportation allowed employees to live great distances from where they worked.  Living above your workplace or doing your work in your home was the norm in the early 20th Century.


 I was reminded of this when I walked around Savage recently and saw all the worker houses that were built around the Savage Mill.


    You see the same thing in Ellicott City with the worker houses on Old Columbia Pike with the houses for the Ellicott Flour Mill.
     So as we move into the 21st Century we maybe moving to a model where where we live and where we work will be unconnected.  Workers will not have to move for employment.  Trust me it will be here within a generation.

P.S.
    For all those who have not used video chat you have an easy, no cost way to experience this technology.  Google Hangouts are free and allow you to video chat with  Google HangoutsYou do have to have a Gmail account and join Google+.  If you haven't opened a Google account and got a Gmail account you are missing the revolution that Google is rapidly developing for online capabilities.

2 comments:

Stuck at Home said...

Not all of us can work from home when it snows. Parents who have young children who would be in school or daycare have to spend their day caring for the children instead of working.

RealCool said...

There are times when all the high tech in the world won't matter because there are family and weather related chores that get in the way of working at home. With all the snow that got dumped around February 13, you had to shovel, plow, rest, recover and begin start again. After the snow has fallen, the snow plows keep pushing snow back in the driveway preventing cars from leaving and entering. Then you got fallen limbs and branches everywhere to clean up. At least a tree hasn't fallen in my property or that would be an all day affair. All the contractors are busy to help. These chores go on top of caring for the family and helping out neighbors in need. When there is a lull, the last thing I want to do is work. Exhaustion and muscle pain sets in.