The Distributed Workplace Model
Today we are challenged with issues of transportation, sprawl, air pollution, reliance on oil, economic viability, emergency preparedness and continuity of operations planning. Our methods have remained relatively unchanged over the past 50 years, relying on an industrialized or centralized approach to these issues.
Commuting and air quality in major metropolitan areas has grown worse over the past several decades as we struggle to improve access. We toil to ‘parse’ our limited highway capacities by methods of HOV lanes, truck lanes, and toll roads, as a large portion of these daily commuters cross our metropolitan areas primarily to use phones and computers.
The increasing price of gasoline costs an additional one billion dollars to the American public for every penny increase. To reduce the burden on the daily commuter, we must find ways of redirecting traffic by redirecting work.
Meanwhile, the advances in broadband technologies have given us converged and collaboration capabilities, but many of the related issues seem to work against the belief that enough of the US workforce will work from home on a predictable basis to effectively alleviate growing congestion or improve emergency preparedness. In retrospect, we have yet to develop local or regional information and communication technology (ICT) planning approaches beyond limited efforts to deploy wireless systems in our metropolitan communities. The technologies exist, but our focus on transportation (mobility) and land use (proximity) does not integrate ICT (connectivity) into the problem-solving process.
If time is money and change is inevitable, we must aggressively leverage the ICT resources we have created. If we are to be more competitive in the global workplace, we must think in new ways and teach ourselves what a truly deployed information workforce can do to improve our economy, security and way of life.
We are limited not by the resources we have, but more by our imagination and our willingness to learn how better to employ them