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A permanent shift towards home working…

  • by JW

“Millions of people will get the chance to experience days without long commutes, or the harsh inflexibility of not being able to stay close to home.”


Last week, Tim Bradshaw writing in the Financial Times gave a few tips on working from home:


Millions are now trialling remote working

While the tech may be in place, the rules of engagement are not

Silicon Valley has been entranced by the idea of “remote working” for decades. For all the billions that Apple, Google, Facebook and their start-up imitators have spent on elaborate headquarters, many software engineers would be happy to swap their starchitect-designed offices for a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones and work from anywhere.

So while few would be quite so crass as to admit it, China’s coronavirus-enforced lockdowns make for a fascinating case study of remote working on a massive scale. Millions have had to work from home for weeks, prompting a spike in second-hand laptop and tablet sales in China and driving Alibaba’s collaboration app DingTalk to the top of the Chinese App Store charts…

Coronavirus and the etiquette of working from home |


Work-at-Home Dad | Flickr
Work-at-Home Dad | Flickr

With a few more tips from the Guardian:

Working from home? Video conference call tips for the self-isolating |


The only problem is that many parts of the UK, including Devon, do not have very good internet access:

Coronavirus: politicians warn that working from home could lead to problems amid ‘unprecedented reliance’ on internet |


What’s interesting is that this might change the work landscape permanently:


Covid-19 could cause a permanent shift towards home working

Covid-19 could permanently shift working patterns as companies forced to embrace remote working by the pandemic find that their employees do not want to return to the office once the closures are lifted…

But it looks increasingly as if the situation will not ever go back to how it was: many employees for companies who have sent all staff home are already starting to question why they had to go in to the office in the first place…

“This is not how I envisioned the distributed work revolution taking hold,” said Matt Mullenweg, chief executive of WordPress and Tumblr owner Automattic. Mullenweg’s company is already “distributed”, and he predicts the changes “might also offer an opportunity for many companies to finally build a culture that allows long-overdue work flexibility.

“Millions of people will get the chance to experience days without long commutes, or the harsh inflexibility of not being able to stay close to home when a family member is sick… This might be a chance for a great reset in terms of how we work,” he said…

Covid-19 could cause permanent shift towards home working |


This theme has been touched on in these news pages:

The future of work and leisure

And the Futures Forum blog has looked at the wider questions of what work is all about:

Futures Forum: The Wrong Job: the postwork civilization is a giant fraud

These issues are gaining considerable interest in mainstream media:

Will all office workers go flexi? Millions now work from home and hunt for properties with ‘office space’, but LEE BOYCE asks: Is it all it’s cracked up to be? |


The problem is that Sidmouth’s economy is dominated by the hospitality and care-home industries as well as home-servicing businesses – which cannot be done from a laptop:

Devon workers among lowest paid in UK

Low wage seaside

And young people want more:

Futures Forum: Neighbourhood Plan: survey for the Valley’s youth >>> calling for more wide-ranging jobs and facilities for young people

Although, more space is being made for the digital working life:

New work hub to open in Sidmouth

Watch this space…