Telecommuting: Start Your Engines

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Start Your Engines–Or Not

This was also published in the Tracy Press.

Just coming off a wonderfully cool week (sic) in the fireworks booth, my mind is still not all here, so here is quick article showing what I think is the most important saving you gain by telecommuting.


When I was working at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab my friend Clint and I commuted. Not everyday, but, it could have been had we not been pains in our bosses you know wheres.

Our jobs, could easily be done from home except for those rare occasions we needed to go in to install or replace hardware. FYI…we developed, designed, and ultimately operated the worlds largest IP-based video conferencing service at the time (early 2000’s).

Our typical commute day went like this:

Up at 5 AM, shower, dress, eat. Clint arrives outside my house at 5:50 AM (this was a critical time since if we left after 6 AM traffic was horrid). We decided what car to take then piled our stuff into that car and took off. Hitting 205 by 6 AM (hopefully with coffee) we joined the crowd until we popped off in Livermore at Collier Canyon Road (we both love the back roads and several times drove them completely). We wangled our way to 680 and then to 24 hopping off at Fish Ranch then Grizzly Peak. We slowly made our way to the back of the Lab and to work. By the time we walked up thousands of stairs to our offices it was, normally, between 8 and 8:30 AM.

At 5 PM we reversed our course arriving in Tracy between 7 and 7:30 PM. Assuming there were no accidents, no cows in the road, etc etc.

4 to 5 hours per day wasted driving to a central work location where we did EXACTLY the same thing we could do from home or a coworking location. The only difference is that we were live, and tired, in the meetings rather than coming in, refreshed, by video conferencing.

TIME. Lets look at doing this 50 weeks a year for 20 years. How much TIME are you taking out of YOUR LIFE by commuting. Assume 5 hours commuting per day, 5 days a week. That is 25 hours per week (1 full day of your life). 50 weeks a year, 1250 hours per year (52 full days of your life). Times 20 years comes to 25,000 hours (1041 full days of your life). Try to get that back. You can’t.


Telecommuting = Coworking = Telework


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