When people think of the state of Georgia, chances are good that the first words that come to mind are not “government invention”. However, Georgia decided to try something unique by getting rid of the physical office space used by their parole officers, and assigning said officers to a car as a mobile work station. The question that lots of people are now asking, both in the private sphere as well as in the public one, is can this really work?
On the one hand it’s true that Georgia has saved a lot of money up front by getting rid of all the overhead that comes with renting buildings, buying real estate, or any of the other things associated with traditional, static offices. It keeps employees in the field, and it helps to make sure that the job’s getting done at the ground level. Also, thanks to mobile technology, it’s possible for those using their cars as mobile offices to maintain access to databases, to file reports, and to communicate with superiors all across the board. In that instance the idea of a mobile office run out of a vehicle is actually a pretty safe, sane idea.
On the other hand, driving isn’t free. The cost of gas is definitely something to consider, particularly if individuals now have to drive more than they would have had to with a static office. Employees need a vehicle that’s big enough for them to do all of the necessary work their jobs entail, and which will support all of the equipment they need to bring into the field as well. Upkeep is also an issue, and unless business and government employees want to keep a constant eye out for “engine for sale” ads then a mobile office might not be the best idea.
Does it Save?
The question, at the end of the day, is whether turning one’s car into a mobile office saves money. Does the cost in vehicle upkeep and fuel, as well as the cost in technology and the sheer inconvenience of being on the road all day, every work day, balance out the costs that would otherwise be spent on a static office? Or, in the event that individuals don’t have an office at all, is using a car as an office cheaper than simply going and finding a physical office to set up?