As Singapore supposedly switch working from home to non-default this few weeks, the experience of space starts to diminish while the experience of distance came back in place. The impact on economy, is probably going to be positive in terms of the numbers on paper. There’s going to be more activities, more spending – my lunch expenses have been rising already – and that might mean more labour is needed, and more jobs.
I no longer see distance and spaces the same way again. I feel like we should have learnt the lesson over this pandemic period and working from home that we can expand spaces by getting people to be asynchronous about things: like timing to be in office; and we can shrink distance by using more of the existing technologies: emails, calls, video conferences. We can reduce interruption by creating more boundaries.
Are we learning these lessons? Is our economy being transformed because of the pandemic? For the better: to encourage people to work smarter, live healthier and be mindful-er. Because if we don’t, we wasted a crisis and that, is a terrible thing to waste. The agglomeration driven way of growth, the real estate driven growth, they all have their limits – and we better realise that sooner than later.