How remote work might change the world
In 2010 only 4.3% of the US workforce worked at home the majority of the time; that number is now up between 47% and 180% depending on which survey you read (and whether you include the self-employed, government workers, or cats)
Let’s just imagine for a few moments that 25% of the current US workforce started working from home full-time. How would that change the things?
- People who work from home drive significantly less. (I have been trying for years to get rid of our second car and we are almost able to – if we had about 80 less kids I would be able to) Effects: less gas usage, better environment, less Hyundais.
- People who work from home wear the clothes they want to wear and shoes that are comfortable and do little dry cleaning. (Apart from my mariachi outfit I haven’t been in a dry cleaners for years) Effects: I’m not sure what is going to be on the end of every sad shopping mall if there aren’t any dry cleaners.
- People who work from home are more involved in their children’s day-to-day lives. (The “mystery reader” isn’t as much of a mystery sometimes at school – its one of the “work from home” losers who stumble in having just taking a shower for the first time in this daylight savings period) Effect: better kids, more showers.
- People who work from home stay within their communities more which can lead to great things like more volunteering, less hollow suburbs, more active local government involvement as well as scary things like a desire to run for HOA president or letter-writing campaigns about how there isn’t a Whole Foods nearby)(On a personal level this has caused me to shop at more local businesses and move away from chains [not gold chains – I will wear those 4 life]) Effect: all sorts of great things.
- People who work from home commit (less) workplace harassment and workplace violence.
- People who work from home do not use “business level” office supplies but use their personal computers, phones, printers, pens, toilet paper, coffee, etc. (We do not need those Cisco phones that look like they cost $800 each and handle 8-way calling, have 5 active lines, and look like they were designed by someone with a grey-tone fetish) Effects: people who sell expensive toilet paper go out of business.
- People who work from home do look for “offsite” locations to work and thus frequent coffeeshops, restaurants, and essentially any place with a table, a chair, and free wifi to the point of direct absurdity. (Note to funeral homes: please never offer free Wifi) Effect: More Dunkin’ Donuts.