Better utilisation of office capacity or new workhouses for young professionals?

I know that sometimes it feels like we live at work. What's more, neither is it unusual for certain types of workers to live where they work, i.e. doctors, trainees nurses, etc. Having said all of that, a radical governmental proposal "argues that the empty office space in Britain’s biggest town and cities could be transformed into residential apartments for young workers." Outlined in the proposal is the idea that would benefit about 10 per cent of the workforce, particularly young, single people working for financial, insurance, legal or media firms. It would also "make sense" as it is reckoned that office space is only occupied for about 20 per cent of the time.

Supporters of the plan make the valid point that this is not a dramatically new idea (hence picture of Victorian workhouse!). However, a small number of people asked to comment on such plans didn't seem won over at all. For instance, one respondent was uncomfortable with the thought that their employer could come checking if they were ill. A second commenter said that they liked their colleagues, but not enough to consider living with them as well. A third respondent pointed out that whilst the idea is attractive they were worried that merging work with home was not such a good idea as they preferred to have some distance between the two.

What I found reassuring about the comments was that a generation largely devoid of a trade union membership and activity are clearly conscious of how modern work can impinge upon their non-work lives. However, it would be interesting to know the extent to which they would be prepared to resist such a plan if offered a lucrative package that involved working and living in the same building. See Work to live? Live to work? No, live at work by Jenny Davey of The Times for more details.

1 comment:

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