Change is coming, we need to embrace it

Friday 31st July

It is going to be a hot day, possibly the hottest of the year. Even in Buxton there is not a cloud in the sky, and the few remaining swifts are screaming and calling as they fly at high speed and low level through the ravines of the local streets.

I can hear them through the open window in the front room, where there is still a cooling breeze gently blowing through.

Having the window open is a luxury, as Gabby, the Gabster, my Romanian rescue likes to bark at everyone and anything that dares to go past the front of the house. This is annoying. At times very annoying.

But as I write she is distracted by a fly that is patrolling the house in a random way, and ignoring the opportunity for freedom that the open window provides.

Today is the day that in the past I have referred to as my working from home day, but of course like many people I have been working from home for the past four months. Right wing shock jocks gets angry and hot under the collar about us. They demand every day on their radio talk in slots that we go back to our place of work, unable to grasp that we can be more efficient working from home, and we don’t all sit around in our under wear or pyjamas drinking coffee and playing on line games.

They are angry expressing a wish to get people back to work to support the hight street, which in some cities is suffering from the lack of commuters. Coffee shops and sandwich shops now rendered uneconomic due to a collapse in demand.

But times are changing. Covid -19 has made many people realise that the daily slog into work, wasting several hours crammed together on a stinking train or bus, or sitting in traffic jams inhaling traffic fumes isn’t necessary and that they can work more effectively and yes more productively from home. Technology, the internet, zoom, mobile phones, even Alexa allow this and we should embrace it.

Of course there will be consequences for some businesses, and for office accommodation in the centre of cities, but this might provide opportunities to use the redundant office buildings as housing, and so creating new business opportunities.

In addition to benefiting commuters, pollution levels would drop and those that need to use the road, delivery drivers, emergency services would have a less stressful time and be more efficient. City centres might even become communities again.

We need to embrace change when it is for the better and not cling on to old habits just to preserve the status quo. Or to protect business models that we no longer need.

Of course working from home does not mean never going into the office, there will still be a need to have face to face meetings and to meet up with colleagues, but that can be the exception not the rule.

Change is coming, embrace it, enjoy it.

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