Home from home


By Cliff Moore, Account Director, Deep South MediaCliff 2

Back in the dim and distant past there was a theory.

You should realise I’m talking about a time when the only fonts the public had heard of were made of stone, at the back of churches and filled with holy water.

It was a time when word processors were ladies with fast fingers who sat in typing pools.

And a time when the epitome of computer games was Pong.

This theory was that the fast-advancing charge of new technology would change everyone’s working life to such an extent we would end up with more leisure time than we knew what to do with.

Alas, the theory proved somewhat flawed.

Technology did, indeed, change our working lives – but it the ‘efficiency’ it increased put so many people out of work that everyone else had to work twice as hard to keep up.

So much for more free time and flexible working.

But there are, once again, 40 years later, signs on the horizon that different changes may be afoot.

I read of London-based agency M&C Saatchi deciding to get rid of most of its desks and computers for what The Times described as ‘free range’ working on laptops and smartphones.

This is following the model used by conglomerates such as Facebook and Google – and, indeed, here at Deep South Media.

Flexibility is the key, desks are so yesterday and the likes of superfast broadband (yes, I know it’s not everywhere) and phones that have more capability than most of us can imagine enable such working.

The natural next stage in the process is working from home and while there are occupations that preclude this (Red Arrows pilot, beach lifeguard, ticket man at Fulham Broadway Station, for instance) many workers may be able to take advantage.

A survey (yes, another one) reveals that UK ‘remote’ working has increased over the past three years by 37 per cent and that nearly two-thirds of human resources bosses thought such an arrangement would boost productivity.

It is a truism to say a happy worker puts in more effort and if happiness can be achieved by allowing home working then it surely is a no-brainer to facilitate this state of affairs.

I am, of course, writing this in the office…