. Personal computers and sophisticated phone systems have almost eliminated clerical workers
. Not needing traditional office space and often working from their homes, employees locate in cities preferred for lifestyle reasons
. Transportation becomes less important with a preference to travel shorter distances for one’s sustenance
. Because travel is often limited to flying out to another city, commuter traffic issues can be minimized; the need for the expansion of highways is questionable
. Hotel use is up because of the number of workers use these occasionally to visit a central office or to attend meetings with their colleagues or clients
. Online shopping has led to an increased need for 3rd party logistics and fulfillment centers that, in order to reduce travel distances and the cost of shipping, or more likely to be located closer to the consumer
. Curb side pickups have affected traditional retail and grocery stores that are increasingly smaller and more likely to accommodate customers who stop by to pick up packages that are ordered online
There remain a large number of traditional office operations that are not set up to align themselves with this new paradigm, but the number of these is more likely than not to decrease over time. Organizations are rethinking their entire structure in order to attract the highly qualified professionals that refuse to commute long distances to accommodate tradition work environments.
37signals founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson recently co-authored the book, Remote: Office Not Required. It is a detailed account of how their organization, consisting over 300 workers worldwide operates with a minimum requirement for office space. It addresses communications, online meetings, recruiting and hiring and the establishment of corporate culture.
I encourage every business owner to get a copy and reflect on its potential as relates to his business operations.