The year is 2018, and telecommuting is at an all-time high. Working from home has never been easier and the benefits—both for employees and employers—are vast. There’s just one problem: Google Maps is annoying.
See, here’s the thing. Google Maps isn’t really annoying as a whole, but one aspect of it is irritating to anyone who works from home: the inability to specify that you don’t have to leave your house to go to work.
How Maps Works by Default
Google Maps lets you set your home and work addresses for real-time traffic updates or other commute details. If you don’t manually set these addresses, Maps uses machine learning to “figure out” where you live and work and then set those addresses for you. It’s great for anyone who works outside of the home. It’s not as cool when you don’t have to drive to work.
My wife and I recently bought a new house, and I often joke that my commute is longer than it has been in years because my office is on the opposite side of the house from the bedroom. Harharhar.
Why is This Annoying for Telecommuters?
Please, @Google, it's been years. Please, please let me say I work from home. Please stop asking. Please stop guessing. Please stop automatically filling in some place I go to twice a week. Please. pic.twitter.com/5FahOpjyRv
— Eric Ravenscraft (@LordRavenscraft) September 16, 2018
Oh, I’m glad you asked because it drives me (and many others) up the wall.
Like I said earlier, you can specify your home and work addresses—but if you add your home address in the work entry, it removes it from the home entry (and vice versa). Maps literally won’t let you work and live in the same place.
On the one hand, that’s not super annoying—leave the work spot blank, right? Not so fast! Because Maps is designed to detect work and home locations automatically, it will pick a place that you go to regularly and set that as your work address. The next thing you know, you’re getting real-time updates to the local Starbucks because Maps thinks you work there (I mean I guess you can technically work from Starbucks as a telecommuter, but that’s not the same thing). As an aside, I should probably stop going to Starbucks so often.
That means every few weeks you end up having to remove some location from your “work” entry in Maps, so it will stop giving traffic updates to this place. Unless, of course, you care about those updates…in which case, enjoy.
Can We Get a Simple Solution to this Silly Problem?
Look, it’s petty, I get it. But it’s still annoying. Just because I visit a place on a regular basis doesn’t mean I want traffic or commute updates to that place—and it certainly doesn’t mean I work there. I want to be able to say “I work from home.”
A simple toggle would be sufficient. For example, how about a “Same as home address” button under the work address section? Or hell, just let me put the same address for both!
Either way, all I want—and I’m sure pretty much all other telecommuters will agree—is a way to let Maps know that I work from home so it will stop picking other places for me.