Judging from the responses we've received to our guest commentators, telework is something that is here to stay. The motivations are clearly present, and the means to the end are many. From my perspective, I have come to better appreciate the many facets of telework and am even more convinced than ever that it has a place in our present and future. We give thanks to our guest commentators and to those who have constructively responded to our guests.
Telework travels were among the highest points of interest for me during 1997. It was a thrill and honor to be invited by Jack Nilles to speak in Lisbon in April at Portugal's first national telework conference. The side trip to visit with friends Bill and Marcia Spacy temporarily residing on the coast of the Gulf of Cadez provided me with a rare and exciting adventure: driving alone in two countries without appropriate skills in either Portuguese or Spanish languages. The natives were most kind to me, though.
Working with the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida resulted in telework-related education trips to Tallahassee, and Norfolk, Virginia. It appeared that the momentum for telework in those regions is increasing in direct proportion to mounting traffic problems, air pollution and the desire for quality of life improvements.
The same held true for a visit to Boulder, Colorado, where environmental interests for clean air and quality of life are high on the citizens' agenda.
Working with telework program directors in the states of Arizona, Oregon and Washington brought a short-lived acronym to the telecommunity: ACOW (Arizona, California Oregon and Washington). Later, ACOW was changed to the Telework Collaborative. The collaborative produced an educational kit with a video and guidebook specifically for managers, focusing on what makes telework work for managers. The reviews have been gratifying. I will never forget the creative and productive fellowship of the collaborative.
A recent visit from Peter Arnfalk of the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University reminded me of how my telework interest was first piqued in 1983. Sweden, too, is looking to telework to mitigate adverse environmental impacts. Although internationally we have a way to go to truly use telework as a mitigation measure, the level of awareness is taking hold globally - and what we perceive we can achieve!
Personal Highlights of a Non-Telework Nature
In September, I attended a reunion with 70 "ole" buddies who had been campers and counselors at a Boy Scout summer camp from the late 1940s to 1963 at our beloved Camp Kia Kima, near Hardy, Arkansas (USA). Among our reasons for the reunion was activating the newly organized non-profit Old Kia Kima Preservation Association, Inc. Old Kia Kima is that special place where the land and the river inspired us in our youth to become something more. Our vision is to preserve the legacy of our past and help shape the lives of future generations. The OKKPA mission is to provide an environment where elders may pass on knowledge and experience to enrich and shape the lives of young people today. We are well on our way toward that vision.
Lis, my partner and wife, continued her second year as a volunteer at the California Raptor Center and as an English tutor. She continues teaching me the finer art of bird identification and appreciation while enjoying our mountain and coastal hikes here in California. The strenuous weekend hikes along the Pacific Crest Trail and coastal areas are taken with my long-time hiking partner and friend, Carl Schmid; the hiking pace Carl sets gives me little time to smell the roses.
With a new set of golf clubs made by my friend Dave Burger (the Web site instigator), my fondness for the game has been renewed. Since our daughter Tova's arrival in 1975, only occasional golfing fit the schedule. Now that Tova has left the nest, this once-addictive sport has returned for my enjoyment.
Back to the Future
In the months to come, we will continue offering fresh commentaries about the evolution of telework and the teleworkforce. Your continuing interest and ideas on the subject or on how we might better deliver this service to you are most welcomed. In the meantime, Tom and I trust the information we provide will enrich your lives. Telework is here to stay in the 21st Century.
Best wishes for a happy holiday season.
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