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Save Power, Surf The Net 15 August 2001 Edition
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Million $ Ideas
At last, the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook are revealed for all to see!
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It's days like today that make me so glad I work from home.

Even though I rose well before sunrise (and not that much after midnight) to a bitterly cold day, my total commute time from bathroom to office was about 8 seconds -- and I didn't even have to reach for an overcoat.

Now I'm happily reclined in my little swivel-chair, with my sock-clad feet resting on a nice warm hot-water bottle and the fans from several PCs blowing warmed air through the room.

If just half those people who work in jobs where they also could work from home actually did so -- how much power would we be saving I wonder?

The small bulb in my office is the only light on in the entire house and my PCs are also my heaters. The total electricity consumption of my working environment is a mere 350 watts.

If you're in an office right now -- look around and see if you can work out just how many watts are currently being spent on keeping you warm and productive -- you might be shocked (no pun intended).

So, in the face of a looming energy crisis, are responsible employers organising staff so that those who can, are working from home?

Somehow I doubt it. But -- if I'm wrong, and you're part of a "work at home to save power" scheme then please let me know!

Readers Say
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From Yesterday...
  • DOS Attack on DSL... - Andrew
  • RE:Turn Off That DSL Modem!... - Joe
  • DSL in NZ... - Paul
  • Webserver from dial-up... - Fran
  • Linux on your desktop... - James
  • Linux on the Desktop... - Geoff
  • Linux on the desktop... - Grant
  • Why no Linux Desktop?... - Allister
  • Have Your Say

    It strikes me that if the government and power companies had half a brain between them then they'd be considering teleworking as a sensible recommendation as a way of reducing electricity consumption during this period of low lake-levels and bad weather.

    Of course there are also huge environmental, productivity and lifestyle benefits associated with teleworking too.

    I contributed nothing to air-pollution or the greenhouse effect during my eight second commute this morning. Not having to spend 30 minutes or more in a car or on a bus just to get to my place of work also meant that (including the effects of a commute home) I'm able to get an extra hour or two's work done each day -- or have an extra hour or two to spend with friends or family.

    Of course some people say they would hate to telework because sitting at home alone would deprive them of social interaction. The strange thing is that when I'm working I'm usually too busy to stop and chat with those around me -- so maybe those people aren't too productive anyway.

    Maybe we need more "work hard, play hard" people in our workforce? People who spend the day head-down, bum-up and leave their socialising until after they've finished work?

    Of course I also realise that there are only a small number of job-types that can be easily fitted into the teleworking model -- but why aren't we taking more advantage of this productivity-boosting, power-saving, environmentally friendly way to work?

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