by Marty Ulrich
Wouldn’t it be nice if
you didn’t have to go to the office to make a living? Many people are sick and
tired of wasting hours, days, ultimately years of their life driving to and
from work. Especially in today’s urban sprawls, driving to work has become
part of the daily norm for many Americans. It seems developers keep building
subdivisions farther away from commercial areas where people take care of
their business. As more cars pile onto the freeway each day, one has to ask,
how much more can be taken? There are alternatives. One option would be to
move closer to the city. Another, likewise, would be to get a job closer to
home. Better yet, you could get a job working from your own home.
Many jobs in today’s
workforce do not actually require you to be at the place of business. Mainly
jobs involving computers in some way. Most companies have some kind of
computer network within their organization. Using information technology, they
are connected over a local area network. In the same way, computers can be
connected to the company network over the Internet. Security advancements make
it quite easy for a private computer network to exist with computers all over
Accountants could theoretically work for more than one company and contract
their services out from home over the Internet. Drafters, computer
programmers, lawyers, bookkeepers, and journalists could all offer their
services without ever leaving home. As an IT professional, most of the work we
do can be done without ever leaving our house. At times, we do have to go
on-site to work on clients’ workstations and networks. But we control our own
hours and rarely get stuck in the daily rat race on the California freeways.
The Internet also
allows us to buy and sell products and services without ever going anywhere.
If you’re a salesperson, then you, too, could work from home. Just about
anything you could need can be found and ordered online. Office supplies,
electronics, clothing, various machine parts, cars, tools, even groceries can
be delivered to your home. Many people have taken advantage of this relatively
new tool in marketing and turned their homes into warehouses and created
If computers aren’t for
you, and you need to work with your hands and be out in the field, you will
still have to drive to work every day. At least finding a good job is a lot
easier, thanks to the Internet. And, if more and more people take on work from
home, there will be that much more room on the freeway for your car. Maybe in
the future, street-legal ultralight aircraft/automobiles will be manufactured,
and you will be able to fly to work instead.
Just about any
conceivable information can be found on a computer connected to the Internet.
No longer do people need to go to libraries or buy printed newspapers. Many
libraries make information available online and just about every newspaper has
an Internet version available. In fact, all of the sources for this series of
articles were Internet-based.
The amount of information available to the average person has been increased
exponentially. Never before has it been so easy to learn so much. The only
downside is that the information superhighway is so big that often it can be
hard to find exactly what you are looking for; but, with a little patience,
you can usually find what you are looking for.
The integrity of
information on the Internet is called into question as well, since after all,
anyone can post information on the Internet. Any credible information on the
Internet will be found on a site with integrity, such as a government Web site
or a Web site associated with a credible organization, such as the American
Heart Association, Bureau of Land Management, and the Environmental Pollution
Many companies are
taking advantage of yet another benefit of computers in the workplace.
Computers allow companies to perform more tasks with fewer people. Complex
database programs can basically run an entire company’s operations. As someone
who works from home, an online store set up properly with the right equipment
could be quite profitable and run by only one or two people. Sure, people will
be laid off from their jobs as computers take over. This is not the end of the
world. As more technology takes over, the bigger the information technology
industry grows, and more jobs are being created every day. It is merely a
shift, not an end to the economy and, if followed in the right direction, will
lead us to balance our equilibrium with the environment.
Marty Ulrich, age
25, works and sometimes commutes in Vista, California, while contemplating how
to improve our destructive lifestyle on Planet Earth.