The homeworker has become a pitiful Zombie
by Eduard Schaepman, on 5 Nov 2020
I do nothing but think about the future lately. How will it be in the post corona era? I've written quite a few blogs about it and put my vision for the future of the real estate market on paper. I did the same for the Valuation Summit two weeks ago, and last week I was a guest at the Talking Tables, of UitdeFileaanhetWerk, where we talked about mobility. Of course, also about mobility in the future, because corona has changed a lot.
Where at the beginning of the pandemic, people were still cheering about being o-so-happy with working from home, we now hear a completely different sound. Depressions, mental breakdowns, anxieties, stress complaints, physical complaints: the fun of it is really gone by now. The office worker has been sitting for months in a small room, at the same desk, on the same chair, holding one video call after another. Relationships break down, creativity is suppressed, and what about all those corona kilos, which don't do either physically or mentally any good. No, the office worker is ready to go back to the office but has to stay in the starting blocks for a while.
Because that's where they are, believe me. For the moment that they are 'allowed to go again', I foresee total chaos. Squealing tires, overcrowded trains, traffic jams, queues at the coffee machine...! Maybe we should turn that first 'normal' office day into a national holiday, in the office. Cake, bubbles, hopefully we'll be able to shake a lot of hands and then use our wits again. Because if there's one positive aspect to this whole crisis that can come out of it, it's that we're learning that there are really good sides to working digitally. Because we've been in 'isolation' for a long time now, we've lost sight of them for a while, but they're really there.
Perhaps you think that I - as Chief of a flexible office operator - think that we should go back to the office from 9-5, but nothing could be further from the truth. I've always been a great supporter of a good balance: a few days at the office, a few days from home, or closer to home. Because why should you have to spend an hour in the car every day, while you can also work closer to home? Or even all the way home - and yes, then you get the children out of school yourself and work a little longer... No, let's not go back to the traditional 'office bat', as Jort Kelder puts it so well, but embrace digital working.
After all, what's the use of getting in line of traffic jams, day in and day out? Then you automatically find yourself in a rut again... And to be honest, at the beginning of the corona crisis I had a brief moment of happiness on the A1 motorway to our location in Amsterdam... A traffic jam free highway on Monday morning, unprecedented!
Fortunately, we are already seeing some changes at the larger companies. For example, they are opting for so-called 'hubs'; where their employees have an office closer to home, so that they can keep a better balance. Or companies that have employees sign up for a day at the office, so that they can still have that social contact. Slowly but surely, companies are setting themselves up for a future in which you no longer have to come to the office every day, and that is a win-win situation. Saving time for the employee, and saving costs for the employer, because they really don't have to have a fixed desk for everyone anymore.
As Chief of a flexible office operator, I am in favor of flexibility! I like to go along with more flexible products: you can now take out a monthly subscription, pay per day, and for one of our members we even go so far that you can pay per hour. Are you curious about what we can do for you or do you need some advice? Let me know, we will be happy to talk to you!