California can’t fit all of its environmental regulators in its 25-story Environmental Protection Agency headquarters, and it doesn’t want to shell out tens of millions of dollars to find them new digs, either.Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration found a solution that will sound familiar to any longtime traveler squeezing his knees into tight airplane seats: His agency wants to slash the size of standard cubicles in the EPA headquarters.The administration is asking lawmakers to set aside $23 million in next year’s budget to gradually reconfigure the headquarters so it can fit another 1,100 workers in downtown Sacramento. The headquarters today has 2,800 cubicles.
There’s another way of dealing with this problem: Having staff work outside of the centralized, commute-in office in home offices and neighborhood co-working spaces. Despite state policy dating back to the late 1980s, the state continues to operate as if it were 1975 and there was no Internet or today’s advanced information and communications technologies, requiring staff to report daily to cubicle farms.
One might think the frugal Brown administration would be eager to avoid the cost of “officing” all those state workers. Not to mention the transportation demand they create and associated carbon emissions the Brown administration wants to reduce.