Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ Why the return to the office isn’t working

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

OK, I know schools aren't the same as the office. And also that not everybody works in an office. But as this story makes clear, there's no going back to the way things used to be. "I don't gain anything besides a commute," says one employee. "I see a lot of these ads for these teamwork apps — they always show these pictures of people sitting at a conference table and they have paper and all sorts of things on the wall and they're really collaborating on product development or something," Melissa said. "And I'm like, that's not what we're doing." In 20 years at NRC I did the wall-and-paper based collaboration thing maybe a total of five days. Even if we wanted to, the building just isn't set up for that. For me, going to the office means driving for 40 minutes, sitting in my office all day, maybe having a meeting in a tiny cramped videoconferencing room, then driving home. Amenities - like the building's cafeteria - were removed long before I arrived. I have no plans to ever return to the office. I would imagine there are students who have no plans to ever return to the campus. I wouldn't.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Apr 20, 2024 03:10 a.m.

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