More Treos per square foot: Musings on a Mobile Workforce

As many of you know, I inherited an old, very well-used T-Mobile Treo 600 a couple of weeks ago. Well, I have become acutely aware of people who have them, much like suddenly noticing pregnant women when your wife is pregnant.

Today, I am on-site at a large client in the Philadelphia area, and the office is wall-to-wall Treos — 600s, 650s, and 700s. It’s just astounding to see them all. The comment from the client is that the entire company runs on Treos.

Many organizations have migrated to a seamless wireless/laptop/tethered workflow, to the point where it really doesn’t matter where you are, you can get the job done. You can now get the e-mail out and talk to the client as effectively from the car or the airport gate or cube or home office. WIth IM, Skype/Yahoo Voice, work just happens.

With me, I can work in spurts between 06:00 and 23:00, spreading the traditional work day into manageable useful chunks, done when appropriate, when I am at my best intellectual effectiveness. The paranthetical workday is irrelevant to me. The structured office environment is irrelevant to me.

The other side of the coin is that it is important to realize just how mobile we have become, just as it is becoming more and more expensive to be mobile. Will $70, $80, $100 barrels of oil make the wireless revolution the only economical way to do business?

Is having more Treos/Blackberries/Windows Mobile devices per square foot a good thing? Or is it the only thing that will work until we wean ourselves from oil?

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