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Lots of us work remotely in bad weather. Why not more often?

Atlanta's most recent winter weather event led to widespread school closings, lots of flight delays or cancelations - and unusually empty highways .

Ahead of and during the frosty precipitation, Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Natalie Dale repeatedly urged motorists to stay off the roads -  "My advice is to take my advice" and stay put, she said during a radio interview with WSB. Although area police and fire departments responded to hundreds of incidents it seems like many residents decided to heed Dale's words.

"While there were numerous wrecks out there, especially the first half of Wednesday, people seemed to quickly realize the roads were bad," WSB radio traffic reporter Doug Turnbull said. "Multiple jackknifed trucks blocked I-85 in Braselton and I-20 in Covington Wednesday morning. The traffic volume was extremely light Wednesday and Thursday, however, allowing crews to better treat the interstates and side roads. All that said, first responders would not have had their hands nearly as full if people had heeded the warnings Wednesday night."

Georgia Commute Options' Malika Reed Wilkins hopes the temporary traffic respite signaled an embrace of remote working options that employers can embrace even when the weather is fine.

"Any time we have inclement weather it is a great idea to try it. It’s great for employers who don’t have a formal program in place to test out teleworking," she said. "The more we can get people trying transit, carpooling, teleworking - the better for all of us."

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Executive coach, author and broadcaster Brandon Smith, whose who gave a TedX talk on workplace culture has been viewed thousands of times (it's posted below) predicts a move toward more flexible working environments regardless of weather.

"Two or three days in the office, two or three days working remotely" feels like an informal formula that might suit lots of office environments. Obviously, not all industries lend themselves to telecommuting (it would be hard for a chef to cook remotely) but for those that do, Smith advises setting clear expectations for employees who plan to work off-site.

Did you work remotely, take transit, carpool or otherwise change your work routine this week due to the weather? We'd like to hear about your experience. Please email jbrett@ajc.com.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for accessAtlanta.com.

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