A space for me to write down things buzzing around my brain.
As technology improves it is becoming possible to realistically work outside of an office environment. However, there is a social aspect of office work that can be lost when people stop meeting in an office. This could be mitigated by a half way house between solo home based workers and the centralised offices.
For the young and single cities are great, but once children come along the charm wanes as schools and activities become more important. Along with the need for more space at home many people move out from the cities where they have been working to the suburbs and some even further out to the commuter belt.
This is when the daily commute starts to become a real pain, taking an hour or more out of each end of the day. This adds even more to the pressures of balancing family and work, as well as distancing people from the local community.
The solution that I propose is to have something similar to the shared office concept, based more locally, ideally located within walking distance of schools, especially primary schools, so that parents could take a short break from working to pick up children.
The offices would be geared towards supporting parents in balancing work and family by providing facilities for their children before and after school, maybe offering clubs and activities as well as areas for homework etc.
Each office could provide a shared IT infrastructure with private links (VPN) to each company’s network, with local support pooled. This could also enable video conferencing to link up to other community offices as well as the company’s other offices.
The office would also have a canteen to help people link up and chat. This is also one of the other benefits of having local offices, which is to promote a feeling of community.
I can see the best way to get this started would be a lead for government as an investment in communities and a reduction in the office costs.
Anyway, I’ll try and come back to this again when I put more thoughts in order.