Remote workers

20May10

Modern communications technology allows many people to work productively wherever they are in the world. Using phones, video, instant messaging, mobile devices and webcams you can exchange information and speak to people without worrying about their physical proximity.

Of course many modern companies don’t choose to make the strategic investment required to equip their premises and staff with the technology to do this. They prefer to see people at their desks even if it means paying thousands of pounds extra in travelling expenses and salary costs.

Which may be why the queue at the payment machine in the station car park this evening was like one of my old Norwich team meetings as I recognised a whole row of familiar faces. Former colleagues now scattered across a variety of companies, all commuting to London. Everyone looked a bit tired after a delayed train journey from Liverpool Street, but also relaxed in the knowledge that they had spent the day within line of sight of their bosses.  We exchanged greetings and scattered to our homes before dusk.

It’s depressing to see how many of Norfolk’s finest minds are obliged to spend hours each day travelling backwards and forwards to London, often to do work which could have been done at home or at a desk in Norwich…

One day in the future I hope that more companies will be far-sighted enough to base themselves where the talent is rather than where the prestige is.



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