May 22, 2015
People have been talking about the death of the office for at least a quarter of a century. Leaving aside the often misleading conflation of flexible working with homeworking that is often involved, the underlying premise of such talk has been the same for all of that time. The main argument is, and always was, that there is an alternative to the tedium, aggravation and expense of travelling to an office solely to work inside its hermetically sealed and fluorescent-lit, blue-carpeted interior alongside people who can drive you spare, before you schlep home again. The problem with the argument is that, in spite of its evident drawbacks, office life maintains an attraction for both employers and employees and there will always be an upper limit on how long people want to spend home alone. Things are changing but the death of the office is a myth.