Once upon a time there were things called jobs, and they were well understood. People went to work for companies, in offices or in factories. There were exceptions — artists, aristocrats, entrepreneurs — but they were rare. Laws, regulations, and statistics were based on this assumption; but, increasingly, what people do today doesn’t fit neatly into that anachronistic 1950s rubric. Jon Evans TechCrunch 5th Oct 2013.

In a bygone era life was simpler. Work and home were separate. We went to work (often in an office or factory) and we travelled to work to and from home. This assumed certain things about work and life. That work was conceptualised singularly as a “job” (more often than not 9-5).

For many, life is not like that anymore. Indeed for an increasing majority it certainly is not that simple at all. Indeed, the internet and mobile smart devices means we are always on always connected. A large part of society now tele-commutes in some form or other and we are increasingly physically commuting between a primary place of work, home and possibly a second base and an assortment of third places (often the coffee shop as a meeting place). This is not accidental but a by-product of the social, technology and economic trends of our time.


Do you work from home or have an office? Do you have a second base and where are your third spaces? What do you in each place and space? Have you considered how you use each and the various modes you operate in?

Increasingly, organisations who are considering flexible work arrangements and activity based working initiatives need to consider these projects not in isolation but in the broader context of work and society – technology and place.