March 18th, 2008 at 11:28am
There’s an interesting proposal from the unions doing the rounds of the media today.
SYDNEY workers should have commuting time included in their official work day because public transport and traffic troubles make journeys so lengthy, a union boss said.
New technologies mean many employees are able to start their working day while in transit, Unions NSW secretary John Robertson said.
Mr Robertson takes his argument as far as to recommend wireless internet connections be installed in trains, until the state and federal governments introduce fast trains to transport workers from regional and outer suburbs into the city.
I can’t see the proposal working, mainly because of the many inequities in it. For example, this would only really work for people who have office jobs which don’t require much telephone contact with colleagues, let alone the public (it would sound rather unprofessional having a telephone conversation with a customer while a baby screams next to you and it’s announced that “the next station is Redfern”). This would not work for people who have to be physically on-site to perform their duties (cleaners, builders and plumbers to name a few) and would only be viable for people on public transport, as you can’t really write a detailed business email while driving through Sydney’s CBD.
I also don’t understand why he only wants to apply it to Sydney.
Ultimately it might work as an option for a few very select people, but I can’t see how anybody can be as productive in a moving vehicle as they can be in an office when it comes to the type of work which could be done in this manner.
It’s nice to see Unions NSW secretary John Robertson thinking about things, but this really sounds like a case of “I need to say something so that my name can appear in the media today” to me.