The astonishing human potential wasted on commutes – The Washington Post

According to the Census, there were a little over 139 million workers commuting in 2014. At an average of 26 minutes each way to work, five days a week, 50 weeks a year, that works out to something like a total of 1.8 trillion minutes Americans spent commuting in 2014. Or, if you prefer, call it 29.6 billion hours, 1.2 billion days, or a collective 3.4 million years. With that amount of time, we could have built nearly 300 Wikipedias, or built the Great Pyramid of Giza 26 times — all in 2014 alone.Instead, we spent those hours sitting in cars and waiting for the bus. Of course, not all of us have 26-minute commutes. Roughly a quarter of American commutes are less than 15 minutes one way. On the other hand, nearly 17 percent of us have commutes that are 45 minutes or longer. And the prevalence of these long commutes — and of really, really long commutes — is growing.

Source: The astonishing human potential wasted on commutes – The Washington Post

With today’s 21st century information and communications technology, it no longer makes sense for knowledge workers to waste so much time traveling to and from centralized commute-in offices as they did in previous century’s Industrial Age. This article does a great job assigning a personal time cost to the commute.

Organizations have long regarded commuting expense as a cost borne by the employee and not the organization. But there is a significant organizational cost in the adverse impact on employee health and wellness given time spent commuting is time taken away from health promoting behaviors such as exercise, adequate sleep and meals prepared at home rather than take out food. Over time, that can manifest in higher employee health benefit costs, a top cost concern among most employer organizations.

I recently completed a white paper on an alternative workplace wellness concept that utilizes ICT to enable knowledge workers to work in their home communities where they have greater access to these health promoting activities rather than commuting out each workday. I am seeking sponsors for the paper; interested parties can contact me by clicking on the mail button at the top right hand of the site.

California gubenatorial candidate says online education calls into question need for campus buildings, parking lots

For example, the editorial board asked him about the future of higher education. His response: To question whether spending money to add campus buildings and parking lots really makes sense when the next generation of students might end up studying online.

Source: Erika D. Smith: Gavin Newsom ponders the reality of California’s hypothetical future

High urban rents and falling rural land prices drive flight of startups to countryside – Workplace Insight

We’ve reported before on the flight of tech firms and other startups from the UK’s cities to the countryside. Now it appears that 2016 will see an acceleration in the exodus, as a consequence of the perfect storm of expensive rents in the cities, falling rural land prices and a growing number of people using technology and improving digital infrastructure to live somewhere they feel they have a more balanced life. That is the striking conclusion of a new survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Royal Agricultural University (RAU) indicates. Over the second half of 2015, non-farmers, such as those starting-up cottage industries, accounted for around 25 per cent of rural land sales. This figure was up from just 18 per cent in the first half of 2015, according to the RICS/RAU Rural Land Market Survey H2 2015 and the trend was strongest in South East England where non-farmers accounted for 32 per cent of all sales.

Source: High urban rents and falling rural land prices drive flight of startups to countryside – Workplace Insight

In my eBook Last Rush Hour: The Decentralization of Knowledge Work in the Twenty First Century, I discuss this migration trend first predicted by Jack Lessinger in his 1991 book Penturbia: Where Real Estate Will Boom After the Crash of Suburbia.

Lessinger’s book identified real estate microeconomics as the key driver: lower and more affordable housing costs in smaller locales where housing prices declined during the post World War II suburban boom. Less than a decade after Penturbia was published, the Internet came into widespread use, enabling the decentralization of knowledge work out of large metro areas to less populous ones, adding a powerful accelerant to the shift.