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What can traffic tell us about back to work changes?

Because I absolutely don’t want to always start with security, let’s dig into a few around the world of work.

Wondering about the change in vehicle patters?    Well, they aren’t back to pre-pandemic patterns, but could go that way.    Research by StreetLight Data shows tht while miles traveled in Feb 2021 was still below the previous year, it rose in March to nearly the pre-pandemic baseline.     37 states showed an increase in March 2021 compared with Feb 2020.  Also of note – the rush hour in the afternoon became a rush afternoon generally, and the morning disappeared.   Instead, traffic simply builds to become the high point in the afternoon.

Last week I talked about Apple’s plans to return to the office three days a week.  Maybe not – employees are pushing back.   There’s an internal letter in the company coming two days later, which is making requests for additional flexibility.   

As we consider work-from-anywhere, The Information is reporting that Google is working on additional Workspace features around productivity, including RSVPs for meeting invitations specifying in person or remote, as well as meeting availability outside organizations.      While I won’t dive into too much of Apple’s announcements from their WWDC event this week, one big one of note – FaceTime is getting Android support via the web, as well as the ability to schedule calls AND share content.  

Why do we care?

Commutes are a byproduct of the changes for sure.     If course… do employees want to take on that load?  That’s the question facing Apple.  Management had one idea… and employees clearly have another.

The opportunity remains in the connection of culture and technology to meet the business needs.    Apple just threw their hat in the ring for collaboration.   Sure, it’s heavily consumer focused… but that doesn’t necessarily matter for smaller companies.     Google is looking to absorb ideas like Calendly into their product, so this is the area of innovation to watch.