Rethinking work hours can create a new ‘space’ age!

I love it when great ideas collide, offering far reaching solutions.

One such idea I just came across was the concept of a 14 Hour Working City from James Calder reflecting on new solutions for efficiency in London.

As with many great ideas, it melds common sense with new thinking.

Calder is offering a new spin on the 70s idea of flexi-time where people can choose to work lark hours starting early in the day, or owl hours starting and working late.

Both work groups have a crossover time when they can meet and work together between midday and four in the afternoon.

The 14 Hour Working City then emerges, significantly impacting rush hour traffic and crowded public transport. It allows work teams to be more flexible about the times they are at work, and opens up more opportunity to work remotely; in the field or from home.

And last but not least, for business owners, the resulting sharing of offices, meeting rooms and desks requires less space, leading to potentially significant savings on the office and work spaces required.

There are many wins in the idea of overturning the old paradigm of a 9 to 5 working day. Information technologies, our need to reduce huge pressures on urban infrastructure, our need and desire to create new models for working together and find efficiencies all converge.

The interesting aspect from a property leasing perspective is this leads to new thinking about the space we need; that business growth in the future is not going to equate to a growth in space needs. In fact, it may end up being quite the reverse.

I find myself increasingly talking with businesses about these new paradigms and how critical it is becoming to match business growth strategy with property needs strategy; examining the trends and the needs to get the most efficient predictions for space needs.

The new ‘space’ age is going to be more and more about flexible working spaces where less is more and a new dynamic for working emerges that is potentially more productive, innovative and efficient.

Take a look at James Calder’s white paper on the 14 Hour City at:
http://www.metropoliscongress2008.com/images/PDF_languages/Research%20Publications/Publications%20II/CityRegions_6.pdf

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