checking his phone, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from opacity’s photostream

As hard as it is to believe, many City of Pittsburgh employees don’t have official city email addresses. Many of these employees, like those in the Department of Public Works and Bureau of Building Inspection, have jobs requiring significant travel around the city, but there is no reason that we can’t provide them with email addresses to keep them connected to what is happening in their departments or the city as a whole. In this electronic age in which we live, email would also allow them to quickly communicate with staff in other departments.

1. Keeping Employees Connected

Many official city events and notices are sent to employees via mass emails. The employees that aren’t provided email addresses don’t get these notices and have no way of knowing about events, training sessions, health assessments, banking fairs, and other opportunities announced by the city.

Just because these employees spend most of their workdays away from a desk and a computer doesn’t mean that they don’t have other ways to access email, whether it is from a smartphone or a home computer. They shouldn’t be denied information about city events just because they don’t have desk jobs.

2. Making Employees Accessible

It is also important that staff within their departments and in other departments, such as City Council, be able to communicate with these employees via email. Public Works field employees and Building Inspectors are the eyes and ears of the city. They are in our neighborhoods every day. Currently Council staffers and others have no way to effectively communicate with them.

It is 2013. There is no excuse for failing to provide city employees with email addresses. It doesn’t cost us anything, it keeps employees connected to their departments, and it allows easier communication across departments.