Load-Balancing The Population

Everything is better when you break out of the standard life structure.

A few weeks ago, I wrote some thoughts about remote work. I had and still have no formed opinion on the matter, they were just thoughts.

Then this week I read about Zapier’s program to relocate people outside of the Bay Area. I love that.

If there’s one reason I think we should all be balls-to-the-wall towards a remote working society, it’s for load-balancing.

Whether you think of load-balancing as spreading the computing load between different nodes, or a thing you do to not break the washing machine, it’s important for a lot of smooth running systems.

Including society.

Cramming Everyone Together

Business clusters suck. They mean you can only do certain jobs in certain places. They don’t let you choose what you want to do and where you want to live.

I want to choose both.

Sure, choice makes people miserable. But you know what makes me more miserable? Crowds. Traffic. High housing prices. Only talking to people who work in my industry.

Those are probably the reasons you’ll never see me move to San Francisco or New York. (Cue two years in the future when I do move to one of those cities and I link back to this post saying, “I know, I know, I said I’d never move but I’m ready now.”)

The Return Of The Small Town

I like the idea of a small town life. The only problem is the variety of jobs available in a less-populated area.

But add remote working, and now we can have small towns full of people working jobs you currently only find in big cities. And because the town would be full of remote workers, there could be a thriving social aspect. When you don’t get that much social interaction during the day, you’re more likely to seek it at night. (I have no proof or sources to back that up, but it feels right.)

And think about this: in a town with an economy driven by remote workers, there would be no rush hours.

Rush hours are a terrible and completely unnecessary burden on our system because we’re still stuck to the 9-5 standard. But imagine if you smoothed out the times we did things. If you took all the traffic in a day and averaged it out over 24 hours, the roads would never be clogged. We wouldn’t need all those buses and trains that sit idle through every non-rush-hour. The grocery stores wouldn’t need as many checkout lines. Movie theatres could be smaller and sell the same number of tickets. No one would mind if you had a drink at 10am.

Drinks! At 10am!

A load-balanced society is a happy society.

As our populations grow and more people are moving into cities, having everyone on the same schedule is going to strain our systems.

If we want the population to scale, load-balancing is the answer.