For the first time in nearly 40 years there are no desktop computers in use at home, and, come to think of it, apart from an old TV recorder, there are no disc drives either. In parallel, along with much of the country, we are about to switch over from those two tiny copper wires that have connected our house to the outside world for the last 100 years to one, even smaller, glass tube. I have a sense that we are about to embark on a whole new way of life – driven by technology.
Some of the gadgets we have owned for years will suddenly work as intended but the real excitement is to be found ‘just around the corner’ waiting to change our lives in ways we can hardly imagine.
Covid heralded the arrival of ‘video communications’ via Zoom and Teams, but its real impact runs much deeper – with the concept of working from home proven, an increasing number of employees may never return to work. Instead, their employers are grasping new opportunities. This week we heard that HMRC Customer Service staff will have variable hours contracts seeing them working longer during busy periods.
But the change doesn’t stop there. Estate agents are reporting increased demand for houses with garden offices or at least a dedicated office space. Rail companies are developing flexible season tickets to accommodate TWATs (those who work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the office). Longer term we can expect demand for central office accommodation to decrease while property prices on the longer commuting routes will increase. Later we might see alternative uses for office accommodation that in vacant or underutilised most of the time.
We’re only just getting started….!