Kyra Cavanaugh and Jaime Leick, founder and writer respectively, from LifeMeetsWork, discussed “Work, After Sandy” in the latest issue of Work&Place (vol.2, issue 1). They gave some great real-life examples of people just getting on with things, making do, and working in the ways we used to do before we were glued daily to the ‘cloud’ or a laptop!
Of course, “Sandy” was a large storm that wreaked havoc as it tore through lower Manhattan, New Jersey and elsewhere on the US east coast. It is not the first, and will not be the last. But, the very fact that it hit this densely populated part of the US made it particularly newsworthy.
This last year has seen many “storms” of natural and man-made origins. From hurricanes, to political unrest and civil warfare, to terrorism. And even on the very positive side, the disruption (arguably massively over-hyped) that came with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012. Those of us that did venture into central London, against the advice of the government and other authorities, found it pleasantly un-congested as so many people were working ‘elsewhere’ (mostly at home).
What we are seeing is, every time that there is a “storm” of natural or man-made origin, more people work elsewhere. Call it agile working, distributed working, or (not always) home working, more people experience it. Work gets done. Life goes on. More previously resistant middle-managers, with entrenched views on “if I can’t see them, they will not be working”, start to see agile working for what it is – a more sustainable way of working and living.
Chipping away gradually at the old guard, like those hammers on the Berlin Wall, sense eventually prevails and the barriers come down. Agile, distributed, home working, all varieties of ‘third spaces’ – all are gradually coming of age….one storm at a time!