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January 10, 2014

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BrendanRead

Brendan

Read

Frost & Sullivan

Industry Analyst

Information & Communications

Yes

Yes

Brendan Read is Senior Industry Analyst with over 25 years’ experience covering business, communications, staffing, and technology. He has worked in, prepared reports, and blogged on a wide range of topics including customer contact, CX, CRM, IoT, social media, supply chain, and BC/DR. He also has backgrounds in construction, manufacturing, materials, resource extraction, site selection, and transportation. He examines the broad economic, environmental, innovation, political, and social mega trends, and their impacts on businesses, markets, and society.

Blog Posts

Blog Posts Posted on
Feb 25, 2015

Posts

Viewing 1 to 2 (2 Total)
Re: Flexible Workplaces Demand Cultural Change

Excellent post. You are correct in IDing the inability of managers and executives to manage workers who are "sight unseen" as a major stumbling block to telework.

The workplace is now and becoming mobile, global, and remote. Executives and managers no longer have the practical ability to "see" all of their staff and teams while they are working. That era ended with the advent of the laptop and the cellphone. Bottom line: if managers and executives don’t know how to manage remote workers then should either learn, or find another career.

But there is another stumbling block to telework, which are the huge subsidies and cost biases favoring offices and commuting that creates a large corporate inertia against change. Employers receive “free” roads and mass transit systems and they can offer parking and transit to employees as tax-free fringe benefits. Meanwhile aggressive corporate real estate agencies and divisions negotiate generous tax abatement freebies from economic development agencies. But there are no such offsets for telework.

Here’s the rub: employers who do not have telework policies, and who require employees to commute, are worsening employees’ quality of life by adding unneeded stress and out-of-pocket costs resulting from commuting, are forcing healthcare costs to rise, and they are accelerating our planet’s demise.

Roads, parking, mass transit systems, and buildings consume huge swaths of life-giving greenspace, wetlands, and farmlands, while vehicle use is responsible for air-damaging and health-harming emissions, from energy extraction to consumption and disposal. Offices themselves are “germ factories.” Meanwhile emergency services as well as health costs escalate from vehicle “accidents”.

All of the factors incur steep costs. And "green buildings" don't offset them if employees have no other choice but to drive to work. But none of these costs are attributed back to the source, which are the employers’ decisions as environmental resource consumers, including whether or not to offer telework, and to reduce their size of their building, transportation, and environmental footprints.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 1:01 PM
Re: Cloud Factories -

One step would be to replace disk drives with solid state devices, which use less energy both for power and for cooling. Another step would be to engineer (or re-engineer) the buildings in order to recover the heat generated and reuse it e.g. for offices. This method is only practical if the offices are nearby to minimize heat loss in transmission, though it makes the case for smaller, distributed, connected, and co-located offices and data centers.

But the most important step is the most basic of one of them all, which is to employ more energy and environmentally efficient computing methods at each stage of the business process.

These are not new methods. Unfortunately many companies are reluctant to employ them because the "downstream" effects of energy waste including pollution (and public health, and loss of greenspace for power generation and distribution), and global warming, do not show up as balance-sheet costs. Only what companies pay for power show up as costs that they are then incentivized to reduce. Only when governments, as the "owners" of the environment, are willing to fairly assign environment impact costs, will companies understandably have an added inducement to employ more energy efficient practices like in their data centers.

Posted on January 10, 2014 at 3:26 PM