Why the 9 to 5 Office Must Die
3 of #100DaysToOffload
I feel for people desperate to return to their offices to work.
Is life terrible enough that the commute, city streets and noisy environment, appeal more than working from home?
Work is an activity, not a destination – Unknown
Over the past ten years, writers have foretold of the end of office work; technological advances will give people the freedom to work from anywhere, anytime.
Forget about philosophising on God, alien life or how Trump became President. There is a more significant question.
Why was it ever tolerated to bring children to school and adults to work, all at the same time, on the same roads, and create the rush hour?
Rush-hour is nuts; pollutes the earth and is avoidable.
Rush-hour is a time suck in which millions of workers lose precious days of life travelling back and forth to work, day in, day out.
My commute was 2½ hours per day, four days a week (one day on average working from home), for 43 weeks a year – 430 hours or nearly 18 days a year.
All to reach a destination and do what I can do from home.
Private and public sector industries need to embrace the COVID-forced evolution, build trust with their staff and enjoy the improved productivity off-site working affords.
People being present in an office does not guarantee productivity.
Starting a new job in 2000, my employer gave me two Windows PCs – one for the office and one for home. At the time, there was only dial-up internet.
While the gesture would save me a 96-mile return trip per day, I couldn’t do it more than once per week, or people would talk, or at least raise an eyebrow.
But I got more done on the home days.
Now we’re in a world of broadband, powerful home computers and video conferencing. There is no excuse for insisting on office-only work.
It’s a matter of trust.
Everyone has different circumstances. Some people live with space in the countryside; some people confine themselves in high-rise apartments.
Other examples include:
- The lonely widow or the happily married couple.
- The childless couple or the young family stressed out over home-schooling.
While we need to feel compassion for different circumstances, is it their home-life that makes people yearn for office life?
The Fountain of Life
Five months into full-time #home-working, I have my life back. I feel younger, have more energy, and every day is equal.
Before, on the commute, Monday’s were fine, come Friday I was exhausted. I lived for the weekend.
Not because of the job, but the commute.
Recently, I needed to attend headquarters and set off in the car, and enjoyed lighter traffic.
But once I arrived, left the multi-storey car park, what were the first things I encountered?
Dog poo, someone’s spit on the footpath and a man coughing into the open.
What else do I avoid when working from home?
- Poorly ventilated public transport
- Shared toilets
- Office distractions
- Polluting the environment
- Wasted travel to meetings
- Calorific sandwiches and crisps for lunch
Organisations need to change, learn how to trust staff, recognise work done and nurture a culture to embrace a hybrid of office-based and remote working.
Now let’s reflect on something more important: We need to stop and think about the loss of life. At the time of writing, nearly 800,000 lives have ended around the world due to COVID-19.
Eight hundred thousand human beings gone because we interfere with nature.