Telecommuting idea has its merits for Greater Victoria

Extending service hours, staggering work hours would work in today’s world

Re: Telecommuting could help with West Shore traffic congestion (Letters, April 28)

Charlotte Gorley raises a good thought about telecommuting, but beware that it takes smarts and great employees – something lacking in many companies and governments. It’s been done, even with employees doing real-time work. Many reservation system employees of Morris Air out of Salt Lake City worked from home, which was especially suited to the demographics in Utah.

Unfortunately Southwest Airlines have become bureaucratic enough that they did not continue that when June Morris sold the airline to them.

I suggested staggered work hours to Premier Clark, who sounded receptive, but had no response to attempts to follow up. Only bureaucracies run limited hours. And many are downtown when they shouldn’t be – for example, BC Ferries should only be at their terminals, instead of in costly space in downtown Victoria.

They are an 18-hour-a-day operation, with at least some employees having to be there well before first sailing. Building supply stores open early so contractors can get supplies on the way to the job site. And of course, emergency services and airlines operate 24/7.

Victoria has improved since I was sneered at for pointing out that WalMart stores in Dallas were open 24/7, but has far to go. And in the category of “money talks for good,” the B.C. government’s truck permit office in Dawson Creek is open 24/7 – can’t have those trucks preferring Alberta oil patch services via Peace River towns. Those companies who can ease the commuting burden of their employees will prosper from having more productive employees and better customer service.

Keith Sketchley