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Friday, January 20th, 2012, 5:02 pm

Digital Work in the Broadband Age

Forgotten shed

AS SOMEONE who has worked from home since 2006 I can gladly say that motor vehicles are possible to avoid for those who wish to and whose work is location-independent. Spare office space too can be discarded. Both removals would be beneficial to the environment and reduce the impact of overpopulation.

I used to drive around a lot as a teenager, but when jobs become more sedentary and possible to carry out over broadband, what really is the point of driving to another office — an office like one that can be set up at home? This question is troubling sometimes, especially because of answers that are commonly given

To some people, the idea of going to work is the idea of escaping the confinements of a home, “going out” so to speak. To others it is about separation/buffer between home and work — the illusion of having two places to lodge in. Where interaction with colleagues is not necessary (or bossing over one’s shoulder) the idea of lacking the motivation to work whilst at home might only imply utter disdain for one’s work. Just changing location — putting peer pressure and supervision aside — does not provide any more or any less motivation. One can make one’s workspace more pleasant.

The reality is, many people do not work from home because the boss does not permit this. In that case, the boss needs to reassess the old myth that work should not be done remotely, i.e. not from home. People do not need physical access to paper files, for example. Everything changes, except old habits.

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