How Your Email Finds Me

Dec. 1, 2023
Communication was the name of the game in 2023

I love working from home.

Putting on dress clothes and commuting to an office without my dog is not ideal.

When I commuted to my old job, I often became angry about traffic, potholes, and public transportation. American cities used to have trolley systems. Subways would help improve road conditions and safety in mid to major urban areas. Our nation should have high-speed rail connecting cities. It would make highways safer and last longer.

Why doesn’t the greatest country in the world have the greatest infrastructure in human history?

[Cough.] Corrupt politicians. [Cough, cough.] Oil industry money. [Cough, cough, cough.] Car industry money. [Cough, taps chest, coughs.] Excuse me. [Drinks water.]

Where was I?

Oh yes, working from home. Not to brag, but I clean up well for an office. However, when I write, I don’t want to wear slacks and a dress shirt. I’m wearing mesh shorts and a hoodie. If I sit and work for eight hours, shouldn’t I be comfortable?

I’m friendly and enjoy talking to people. However, I hate office culture: Dull and repetitive conversations, an egregious amount of birthday cake, and coworkers who comment on what I eat or how many times I go to the bathroom.

For some, human interaction is worth these annoyances. I get it. But most offices have poor lighting. I’ve worked in offices with no windows thrice. I need sunlight!

My apartment has windows and Bob, a border-collie mix. Dog coworkers help you think through issues and stretch your legs.

The downside to this bliss: communication and team building are harder.

This year, as our team considered the awards submissions for the Top 10 Roads and Top 10 Bridges of 2023, a theme emerged. Most applicants boasted about how well project teams communicated with stakeholders and residents who weren’t on the jobsite.

This resonated with us. Endeavor Business Media allows us to work remotely. The Roads & Bridges team is spread out across the country. Technology makes it possible. Like many of the teams who submitted to the awards, our staff organizes over email, instant messages, and video chats. It takes a lot of effort and teamwork.

Though I am a staunch advocate of working from home, are there times when I wish to be in the same room as the team? Of course! But that’s not the way many of us work anymore, and despite protests from commercial real estate companies, we’re not going back.

This year’s Top 10 Awards submissions are evidence that teams working on a massive project, with departments working on vastly different moving parts, can succeed when communication is a priority.

It is an accomplishment, and it became one of many metrics we used when deciding these awards.

Thank you to all who applied. Determining these awards is not easy. And thanks to our readers for making this a great year.

Good luck in 2024! RB

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