The Future is Now
Many moons ago we wrote a short piece about how places needed to evolve to prepare for the future of work. Back in 2018 when we penned the piece entitled ‘A Societal Change to Work‘ we spoke about a need for there to be a complete change in society in how we approached work in order for remote working and regional jobs to be advanced.
Well, the change has happened.
The seismic shift we said would be required, did occur…but not in the way we thought it would!
Back in 2018, which is only three years ago, but seems like a lifetime ago, we said that “in order to facilitate a real change in how we work, the place must change and evolve“. Back then, we said that we needed to “address” having to go to a certain ‘place’ just to do our work, so that certain industries no longer had to be city locations. Only in 2018 we said there was “essential measures” that had to be resolved first in order to make a regional rebalancing of jobs possible.
Back then, we highlighted how “Locations must become more worker-focused than company-focused in their infrastructure development” if we were to enable regional locations attract, and importantly retain, more talent and remote workers. We highlighted that essential measures like “High-speed and reliable broadband, affordable and quality housing choice, exceptional schools, hospitality, recreational and health facilities” were needed first “to accommodate a more flexible work culture” and enable more jobs regionally.
Put quite simply we said regional locations first needed to change through investment in essential infrastructure in schools, transport, commercial properties, coworking hubs, activities and community services before we could attract jobs….
Well, We were wrong!
These regional locations didn’t need to change first at all….we did!
It took a global pandemic to show us the errors in our approach. If were to wait for all of this ‘essential infrastructure’ to be in place before remote workers and new jobs could be attracted regionally, then the reality is it would never happen. The Covid19 Pandemic has shown us that we can just get on with things if we have to, we are doers and make-doers when we have to be. And because we are, we made-do with what we had, and while not everything was perfect and planned, we worked alright. ‘You’re on mute‘ and #WFH became part of our week, technology stepped in and kept us all connected. However, normal is returning, but not everyone wants that normal.
The normal wanted by some sees us going back to our old ways where ‘place of work‘ has to be in the large urban area, and the reasons why ‘remote just doesn’t work‘ are being highlighted again in the media..but it did work, did’nt it?
For eighteen months or so we had a glimpse at the future, because we were living in it. Not everything was right, but that is not because it cannot be made right, it had more to do with it being a Global Pandemic, it was rushed and last minute, to stop us being isolated it became ‘hybrid and ‘blended’ and very much learn as we go. Aspects of it worked though. Regional locations saw droves of people returning home and still managing to get their job done pretty efficiently. We managed somehow to pass our days and keep productive, we found time for a walk on the beach, we baked banana bread and went on marathon zoom calls, we celebrated when the local cafes, shops and activites that we missed began to re-open again. The essentials we thought we needed to be in place first, turned out not to be that essential after all, the real critical infrastructure as it turns out are already in place.
So as the narrative now changes, and people are being told they have to return to their old ‘place of work‘, here in the HQ we’ve decided to stop waiting on the future and help you have a new ‘place of work‘. Now that we have all made the change, the investment can happen, the demand is ready.
As someone once said “The future is now“…so, with the real essentials already in place, a commitment to make things right and learn as we go…We’re no longer on mute in regional Ireland.