Unexpectedly Intriguing!
July 23, 2008

Commuters, in Their Natural State... Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, the authors of Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It, recently stumbled across our tool that considers whether or not it makes sense to move closer to work and used it for evil.

Evil, that is, where the distrustful people* who run your company are concerned! After all, how can they adequately determine whether or not you are actually doing the work you are supposed to be doing unless you are continually monitored to ensure that you are doing it?

But with today's telecommunication technology and an ever-growing list of occupations that don't need to be continually done at a given location, not to mention the increased cost of getting from home to work and back each and every workday, shouldn't you be freed from the shackles binding you to the specific place you work?

In other words, why not telecommute? Or reschedule your commute to support an alternate work schedule? After all, working eight hours a day five days a week fifty weeks a year might not be totally necessary. What if something else works better for you? What if there is a better way to work?

Cali and Jody put it better than we can, as they consider the move by a number of businesses and governments to impose four-day work weeks for their employees:

While well-meaning politicians, corporate executives and school administrators begin exploring, and even mandating, "four-day workweeks" to fight the pain at the pump, we scratch our heads. Why not shift the work environment to one where physical presence, the quantity of hours one works, and the commute itself are rendered obsolete?

It’s time to start viewing office work as something we do, not related to a place we go.

Merely showing up at a job doesn’t deliver business results. People are showing up at their jobs today, and may or may not be getting anything done. A four-day workweek only sustains this system of time equating to productivity.

Yes, we agree that reducing your commute by one day may save some money, but let’s offer people the opportunity to experience some real savings – and for businesses to unleash the full potential of their employees.

That's the kind of evil we like! So much so that we've tweaked our original tool to focus purely on how beneficial it might be for you to alter how often you commute for work. All you need is to consider is your regular commuting costs and options, we'll find out how it affects your personal bottom line with the latest gas prices:

Basic Commuting Data
Input Data Values
Price of One Gallon of Gasoline [$USD per gallon]
Mileage Your Vehicle Gets During Your Commute [miles per gallon]
One Way Distance for Commuting to Work [miles]
Commuting Frequency Information
Number of Days You Commute to Work Each Week
Number of Weeks You Work Each Year

Approximate Annual Commuting Costs
Calculated Results Values
Your Annual Commuting Cost

Normally, we'd share some insight that we discovered through using our tools, but in this case, Cali and Jody have already done the heavy lifting for us. Here's what they found in using our not-quite-as-optimized-to-consider-this-question tool (emphasis ours):

Final note: check out this nifty calculator that lets you figure out whether or not you should move closer to work in order to save money on commuting costs. You’re supposed to fiddle with the cost-of-the-new-house variable and the distance variable, but we played with the number of commuting days a week. Moving closer to work can make a difference... but only driving to an official physical office space two or three days a week saves you BIG.

Now that you know how big those savings are for you, don't you think it's time to get with your co-workers and add all your commuting savings together and really unleash some evil at your office?

* We won't name names, but you know who we mean. They are, after all, the same kind of people who require their staffs attend a neverending series of meetings!

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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

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