Friday, January 23, 2009

Straighten Your Office 2007 Learning Curve

If you've recently switched to Office 2007 (as I have), I strongly urge you to immediately go download and install Microsoft's "Search Commands" toolbar (or "ribbon" in the new vernacular).

The hardest part about making the switch to Office 2007 is trying to find the commands you're used to using regularly. While I think the new Office ribbon is very cool, it also takes some time to warm up to it. The Search Commands ribbon speeds the process by providing a way to quickly search for a command and then use it (see below).

Read more about the Search Commands Toolbar in Microsystems' Word Tips and Tricks.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Best Way to Reduce Traffic Congestion and Accidents

By promoting telecommuting and providing incentives to companies with formal telecommuting programs, the government would reduce the number of cars on the road, the "trickle down" being:
  • Reduced traffic congestion
  • More productive man hours
  • Reduced fuel consumption
  • Reduced road accidents
  • Reduced air pollution
  • Reduced wear on roads
Some facts from a 2005 article by Longge Gao in the SAM Advanced Management Journal:

"Telecommuting can have positive efforts on society. One is helping alleviate the number of vehicles on the road (Harpaz, 2002) and, consequently, the amount of pollution and oil consumption (Mills, Wong-Ellison, Werner, and Clay (2001). Other societal benefits include less noise pollution, less potential for accidents, less strain on the public transportation system, and an increased ability by organizations to hire employees with special needs (Harpaz, 2002)."

There are, of course positives and negatives to telecommuting both for employees and their employers. These issues are well documented. But by asking businesses to consider it and helping them make it happen if it's a good fit, the government would be making a great step forward.

Fortunately it appears President Obama will be looking to "expand flexible work arrangements" including telecommuting. Here's hoping he follows through.