I have been putting a lot of thought recently into how the Australian and NSW government are pouring money into road infrastructure in Sydney.

I think they are about 20 years too late, and believe they should stop throwing that money away and change directions. We are living in a world where telecommuting is a reality. I am fortunate enough to work for a great company where I can do that. I am also (un)fortunate to be in a role that sometimes requires me to head into the office for meetings with customers, and for important meetings, thus at the moment I do live close enough to work to facilitate this.

I am extremely surprised that every single time I ask a recruiter about “working from home”, “distributed working”, they all say no. Thus the conversation never goes further with them. It’s a great way to get a lay of the land (I also use it as an idea on working environments, and salaries). – Special thanks to all the recruiters who contact me.

Back on topic…

What about instead of this money going into roads, why don’t the 2 governments put it into finishing the NBN and building ‘Community Hubs’. These could be buildings that are like shared work spaces. Several stories high. Companies that usually take up massive space in the city (often spread across several buildings), could rent a floor in each of these community hubs.

Locally people could travel to work 5 mins drive away (they could even walk or bike), instead of spending maybe 2 (or more) hours commuting. In this space, they can have a locked floor just for their company, would meet people from other divisions (imagine; sales, marketing, IT, etc; all in one room…). Just think of what they would come up with. People you never met before at your company, that you didn’t even realise they lived in the neighbouring suburb, and who probably commuted on the same train!

Because you were working for a large organisation, you were already spread out (across multiple buildings in the city), so you already have teleconference, video-conference, instant messenger, and the good ol’ phone to communicate with others, so not much changes.

Think of the massive benefits:

  • better work/family balance
  • better work/social balance (playing sport socially)
  • ability to see your family doctor (have a family doctor)
  • less congestion in public transports and on the roads
  • cross functional people collaborating
  • less sickness (contained area, as well as rested people)
  • happier, healthier people, companies and government budgets

I see this as a win for everyone.