So what happens when the NUT strike, and some of the local schools are closed in Reading? Well, the office gets a little quieter and a little busier. Quieter as some parents take a day off to look after their children. And busier as some parents bring their children to spend a day in the office with them (or, in these days of flexi-remote working, some of the day in the office).
Our offices, in Thames Valley Park, are more child-friendly than a typical office – we have an on-site nursery, the canteen has a children’s corner, and the Health and Safety team have been around and done their audits with an eye on safety of all visitors, including children.
And then there’s the child-friendly side of our products and services – so we have things like Xboxes on display in the foyer, with all of the latest games, for visitors to play with.
Which makes our office busier on a day like today, with various children walking around the building with a parent who can’t avoid an office-based meeting. And the Xboxes in the foyer are busy today. For other parents, they’ll be working at home, connected to the network via VPN, doing double-duty as a parent!
The fact that both of these things happen is an indicator of some of the changes that are happening in today’s information economy – where people don’t need to be in a specific place to get a job done, and use technology to time-shift (and place-shift) their job. One of my colleagues wrote “New World of Work” (download) which addresses some of these changes – and it is some of these changes that are starting to impact upon the world of education too. But, for today, education is having a very visible impact on our office!