…and sensible businessmen change with them. Dinosaurs go into the tarpit.
Banks are shutting early, choirs are silent, many swimming pools lie empty while professional sport has become an eerie ritual for TV viewers only. The fact that so many are starting to embrace this shrunken life, even as we haemorrhage businesses and jobs, is truly dangerous.
And at the very heart of this zombie economy are the empty offices in towns and cities across the country, amid claims that working from home is not only viable for most white-collar workers, but somehow beneficial and more productive.
It is! Thousands of people have now discovered that. Good luck persuading them the genie has to go back in the bottle…
I disagree profoundly: to abandon our places of work is to make a catastrophic error. The economic arguments scarcely need repeating.
He tries the ‘oooh, you’ll have to have your heating on in winter!’ tactic, but that’s not going to wash if you’re saving several thousands of pounds a year on fares to commute, is it..? Particularly given what’s coming!
How does ol’ Stuart expect to whip workers back into the office if it’s going to cost them more as well?
Offices and their workers are, or rather were, the life blood of city centres which were already dying.
Then maybe this should be considered a mercy killing?
…after a lifetime in business, from Marks & Spencer to my current roles chairing a number of diverse companies, I can tell you that offices are important for other reasons, too.
They are social hubs where lifelong friendships can be made; they provide an invaluable educational tool to workers as a space where people can better themselves by watching, listening and learning from their colleagues; and they are places that buzz, full of creative energy and enthusiasm where ideas get sparked and developed.
None of those things is impossible to do remotely. Harder, yes. Maybe not as effective for everyone. But not impossible.
Rubbing shoulders with those who are more experienced is an important part of growing up.
One of the key ways that people advance is by learning how to connect and how to improve themselves.
You can’t do that looking at a computer screen.
Actually, yes. You can.
It’s not as easy, and it doesn’t suit everyone. But it can be done, and over this spring and summer, a lot of people have found out that it can be done.
There is a case to be made that there should be consequences for those members of staff who are not willing to return, whether that means a reduction in salary or removing other benefits.
He cares so much about Britain and the success of it’s business class. Doesn’t he, Reader?
The fee for this article has been donated to the Mvumi School, Tanzania.