Why aren't more of us working from home?

I was talking with my wife the other day about how we have, right now, all the resources needed to increase the amount of people working from home - or not from an office - to incredible ammounts, and how such a move would benefit the world as a whole.

Think about it: more and more people work in jobs that don’t require physical presence, yet most of us still commute to and from work every working day. If everyone who can work from home did it, we would need less dense urban centres, less cars in the streets, less trains, even less public transportation. In the eventual need for a physical meeting, everyone could agree on a meeting place, or simply go to one of those coworking areas, have the meeting, then go about their working days. Common meetings would be held over videocalls, everyone can share documents in the cloud. We office workers pass most of our days looking at a computer anyway, right? Why do I need to be at the office? A nice internet connection and a working computer, along with chat and videoconference software, and I could avoid going to the office about 90% of the time.

I could live far away from work, outside the big city. Instead of one densely populated area surrounded by smaller cities, we would have several average density towns, able to provide quality service and support to its residents. We would increase the use of public spaces and foster local businesses. Billions of people would save what ammounts to days of commute.

It’s a simple math: an average of 260 working days per year times an average of 1 hour of total commute per day, that’s 260 hours, or more than 10 days, we spend uselessly just going from home to work and back each year. I don’t know about you, but I have a good idea of what I would do with those 10+ days.

Yes, some people read on commute, some meet friends, some study, some even work out. We can do all that without needing to be in a vehicle.

Every physical meeting, in such an environment, would become an occasion, and the quality of both the meeting and individual interactions would increase. Companies would save money on rent and energy. The energy grid would catch a break. I believe some companies would save money even if they offered to pay for the employee’s internet connection and phone calls.

And all that can be achieved right now. We have the tech. Some people already do it. So why can’t we make the jump?

I guess it all comes down to old habits. Most higher management are comprised of people over 50, to whom some concepts still cause suspicions. I remember rearing a former boss saying nobody would work if they didn’t had to come to the office everyday, and I believe it’s true to some people. But I also believe my generation - I’m on my fourties - could have already achieved a healthy 90% out of office work.

What do you think? Does your type of work allows for telepresence? Would you do it if offered? If you are one of the lucky ones already doing it, tell us your experience!


I would for our Local Authoriry (Council) and the security that the IT systems need to be linked to is a right pain.
For yours you had to be on a council network to connect to network drives etc and more recently we had Aruba devices that you connected to your home router with would give off Wi-Fi but they were £300 each so only the select few had them. Managers really.

In the last 2 months we have been able to connect to our network using a thing called Global Protect. It’s great. You just log in and it’s like you are in work. Emails, network drives, servers and everything else runs as normal. But I tend to only use it when there is the need for weekend work or something out of the norm.

My office is only 4 miles away so it’s no big deal getting to work. I like to see and talk to the people in my building. I don’t think I could cope staying at home. I can’t concentrate long enough to work at home. I’d be out the back cutting the grass or on my phone lol.

Plus I don’t really have the room to have a set up in the house and I can’t be arsed getting stuff out everyday lol.

I do like the thought of it but I don’t think it’s for me right now.

1 Like

When you have to leave your house and go to work, you are leaving one world an entering another. That implicates another way of behavior.

Here in Germany are using a saying:

“Dienst ist Dienst und Schnaps ist Schnaps” :smile:

1 Like


Weren’t you a developer at Spigotmc.org like 5 years ago?

I wish I was a developer… I’ve lost the taste for marketing in the last years, and have been thinking about going back to school and becoming a developer.

Yes, it’s a habit we must break, and breaking habits is never easy. But it’s doable. Bear in mind that telework doesn’t mean necessarily “work from home”, just that you don’t need to go to an office building every day. You can work from anywhere, that’s the point. I have a friend who worked for Bombardier here in Montreal until he was offered a job in Australia, except he didn’t need to move there to accept. He’s as happy as he could ever be, and this includes some meetings at quite odd hours for us - Australia is pretty much half a day ahead, so when his office sets up a lunch meeting, it means midnight for him.

I’m not saying it’s for everyone, only that it should be, at this point, an option for everyone. I know people who can’t concentrate at home. There are solutions for that, too. You can go to a co-working place near your home, or to a coffee shop. I’ve read about people who set a real home-office, somewhere decorated as if it was an office in the company building, and those people even dressed as if going to work, only to enter a room in their home. I guess that would do the mind-trick to get you into “office-mode”, if you have the space.

Then again, space is cheaper outside big cities, so more people could afford it.

My current job allows one day of home-office per month, which is basically a way for the management to say they have a home-office initiative without really doing anything to foster it.

1 Like

I use to work from home, got old fast as I would put off working as long as I could, and then got easily distracted. But, now since I work freight overnight, I love what I do and while it gets tedious and sometimes I don’t wanna do it…I still love it. Occasionally I want to work from home again, but the little freedom I get while at work is my escape from reality and I can enter into my own little world and zone out while working


I feel that when I work from home, it is the only time I can actually get work done as it eliminates the constant interruptions at the office. However, I end up missing those office interactions and I don’t believe I would be able to work from home more than a couple days a month before I would go crazy :joy:.

1 Like

there are plus and downs when it comes working from home. When your at work it’s a lot easier to just walk over to someone’s cubical and go through some brainstorming or get some information instead of through e-mails and etc. But you do need a lot of self control when your working from home or else it just won’t work out well in the long run.


Do Germans have much more passion for their work?:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I really want to work at home, it will definitely increase my happiness!:laughing:

Lol, we all say that u til we actually do it. Some are better at working from home than others

1 Like

No! :grin:

Totally agree. I find that working from home is distracting, especially when you have access to the internet all day. Darn youtube videos and whatnot. There are too many distractions in our own little “comfort zone,” with family members being around, phones ringing, friends calling or coming over, delivery people come to drop off goodies that you ordered while you’re suppose to be working :stuck_out_tongue: :wink: , etc. Yes, it’s nice to not have to commute and interact with the outside world sometimes but I don’t see that as being too healthy for the mind and body. But I can see how some jobs wouldn’t require you to be present. But for most, I think it’s necessary. If not, for the social aspect of it all.


Because I’m always working overtime, I’d rather go home to work overtime.:laughing:

1 Like

It seems that the lot of you lack self control… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: