It’s good to see USA Today, New York Times, and even our own SF Chronicle getting into the story on the widening schism between tech workers and their neighbors in San Francisco.
Yesterday, Room 400 in City Hall, was at the epicenter of this issue as Google and other tech companies battled citizens protesting their use of public bus stops.
Google was quick to claim that its buses greatly reduced road congestion and sent a list of talking points to its SF workers to make sure transportation officials understood the green, community-wide benefit of its 100-miles long transportation network.
It claimed that the alternative was thousands of extra cars on the roads causing far more congestion than its buses.
Google neglected to mention that a far greener solution already exists: telecommuting. The Internet eliminates the need for buses altogether.
Telecommuting has made great progress in recent years as HDTV, and collaborative video tools such as Google Hangouts, make working remotely seem as if you are in the office.
Todd Carlisle, Google’s head of staffing, has repeatedly said, “There is no difference in productivity.”
At an Inforum event at the Commonwealth Club last summer, (above far left) Carlisle said Google had studied all the data and found no difference in the performance of teams working remotely, and teams inside the Googleplex.
Why has Google kept this vital information away from city officials? Why wasn’t this information made public in its talking points memo given to its SF workers? Why does Google insist on bussing?
It’s the smoking gun in this entire debate. Telecommuting would stop dead the harmful community conflict overnight with no harm to Google.
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