You would think: this is the time to work from home. The perfect moment to stop having to stand in a traffic jam at the same time. But the opposite is true. There are more traffic jams than ever, as I recently read in Het Financieele Dagblad . Especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays you can walk over the hoods at any time of the day. That’s because of ‘hybrid working’ – the combination of home and office that we’ve been talking about for three years but still no one knows how to do it. Because employers don’t have the guts to come up with clear work from home rules, they leave it to their managers who have to coordinate all the wishes of their team. And then you soon come out on Tuesdays to go to the office. Because Monday is three quarters off (four times nine o’clock), Wednesday the children are at home and on Thursday they want to go home a bit earlier because they are already quite tired from the working week. I heard recently about someone who couldn’t come to the office on Friday because she has yoga. And so on Tuesday the whole country is fixed. In recent years, 360,000 cars have been added (!) – undoubtedly also for a large part when we were no longer allowed to use public transport during corona. Those cars kept everyone nice after the pandemic. It is of course not very woke to say, and I am ashamed of it, but I do understand those traffic jam drivers. It is wonderful in the car. Thermos with tea, sweets from the gas station. Sandwich, picking your nose, nice and warm, come home to that – super cozy even when it rains. Of course with cans of brown beans in the back, a warm blanket (such a gray one from the Red Cross), fire extinguisher, double-barreled rifle, fishing rod, 83 fully loaded power banks, rain barrel, Swiss army knife, a brazier – for when you really get stranded – and singing along to the power ballads on Radio Veronica. I know someone who drove back and forth from Nijmegen to Amsterdam once because she was listening to such a nice podcast. The NS has not been a real alternative to traffic jams for months. The company now offers passengers during rush hour who are eating an egg sandwich on a full balcony, malodorous armpits at nose level and the fumes of toilets that, according to de Volkskrant , “sniff early in the morning whether everyone ate asparagus yesterday” not to mention the folding bikes. Defense is currently training its marines in the train rush. Better than three hours on the highway. The traffic jams are of course also the fault of the Tesla – they are just too comfortable. In any case, those new (electric) cars. I was recently picked up from the station by a Polestar and I didn’t know what I saw dude. That thing drives itself, accelerates faster than a Tesla, tells jokes, does your laundry, blow-dry your hair and afterwards it turned out that he had emailed my colleagues that I could not be reached for a while – no colleague can compete with that. Maybe we should start working more from the car, my publisher said recently – he has a Tesla and would prefer to sit in it all day. “Then you can start earlier and you don’t have to drive that far.” Because then you can also meet at a P+R together. Or everyone leaves their car at the office and moves in! An immediate solution for the tight housing market and it just looks very ambitious if your car is always at the office. Rush hour tax may also work. Whether it is compulsory to work on Wednesdays, that only people who are on their way to work are allowed during rush hour (and grandparents who look after the children) or that you are only allowed to drive on the road after thirty years in public transport – it is better to get all the boomers off the train with their oversized backpacks, windbreakers, folding bikes and umbrellas. You could also oblige people to alternate: the odd years of birth are allowed by car in the odd years, the following year they have to take the train and the even years of birth are allowed to go on the road. Or that the train workers are allowed to work from home full-time. Students and pupils get priority in public transport anyway – duh. Or if everyone is already behind each other in a traffic jam, just hold your meetings there – nice and quiet for the cyclists and public transport passengers at the office. A separate lane for stationary car offices! Driving at a walking pace for the stand-ups and back to full throttle when that jerk from sales is talking. The national police force drives on the hard shoulder with flip charts, Elon Musk provides stable WiFi with extra masts, Sodexo does the mobile lunch. If we make it to lunch already! Because when the talks are over, everyone takes the next exit and returns home – ideal. But it would of course be best if we made NS a factor in this country again. So that we also keep the planet a bit livable. And there won’t be any more cars, like moving middle fingers to the next generation. Yes, you too, with your Polestar. Make NS great again . About that next time! This was (for the time being) the last column of Japke-d. Bouma at the Economics editorial board. From 1 November she can be read at the Leven editors and her column will also be about other topics, in addition to career and work. A version of this article also appeared in the October 19, 2022 newspaper