Saturday, May 3, 2008

Reason Number 903 to Cultivate Remote Work:

Air travel. What a nightmare. The airports are full of folks either sitting very, very still in despondence waiting for their (air)ships to come in, or folks like me sprinting at top speed trying to make a connection that is only possible because not only did my flight get delayed, but so did almost all the other flights, too. It's just madness and the reasons why people are traveling are equally mad.

For example, I spoke with a guy who was flying home, having been brought in from parts distant for a two hour meeting. Seriously, his employer paid for a $600+ plane ticket, and because of the timing of the meetings and the flights, he had to spend the night in his destination city and for what? To sit in a conference room with his regular colleagues, folks he works with from the satellite office on a daily basis. No special major announcements were made, there was no introduction and vision statement from the new overlord of the company, nor anything monumental like that. It was just a regular meeting.

And they do that all the time, apparently. Like once or twice a month.

What an utter waste of his time and the company's money. Just the toll on his good will is staggering -- his company is forcing him to spend significant portions of two days sitting in an airport waiting. Not working...waiting.

Maybe people should consider whether big face-to-face meetings are even needed -- try this helpful list of questions. And more to the point, why can't the company just take the money it's spending on plane tickets and luxurious hotel rooms that its executives end up spending a total of nine hours in (seven of those asleep) and wasted time of its executives, and put it into a high-end telepresence system instead? The company would save a fortune, get more work out of its people, position the firm as a technology leader, reduce executive exasperation, burnout, and carbon footprint -- well the benefits are just too many to list.

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