I attended a recent community meeting to hear about a proposed 600-home development to be built on what is now one large open space parcel. One of the concerns raised was the fact the developer had only one entrance to the proposed neighborhood, which would connect to a two-lane road. With a normal ratio of homes to cars, that translates to a lot of cars trying to squeeze into a small space during rush hour.
The meeting quickly devolved into a gripe session about the overall state of traffic in the area. My neighborhood has three separate entrances, and it seems the most difficult part of any commute is to get out onto the main thoroughfare at 8:00 a.m. on a weekday morning. Not to mention at the end of the two-lane road, the City is planning to install a roundabout to alter a dangerous intersection. I suggested that training ought to be provided for roundabouts, since I have yet to see anyone use them as anything other than a four-way stop. Polite Southerners mixing with more aggressive drivers from other regions (you know who you are) is an interesting combination.
I am fortunate that I am able to work from my home office when I am not travelling or meeting with customers. By using the calculator found on the Georgia Clean Air Campaign’s website, a daily commute of 20 miles (which is far below the average daily commute of most Atlantans), would cost me approximately $2,500 annually as opposed to working from home; calculated by gas usage, gas price, wear and tear, repairs, etc. Even being able to telecommute just one day per week would provide a savings of over $500 annually, based on the same averages.
Unified Communications solutions, with or without video conferencing capabilities, have become commonplace, and allow employees to collaborate with a co-worker at a moment’s notice. Despite recent news headlines suggesting otherwise, you can be seen and heard working remotely. Why not take full advantage of those capabilities from your home office? You might also be far more productive without having to sit in all that traffic.
You probably already have a high-speed Internet connection at home so your kids can play interactive games and download movies, so why not use that for business purposes? If more people took advantage of working from home even once per week, chances are traffic in your neighborhood would look a lot better, and we might need to build fewer roundabouts.