Published on 2 Nov 2020

Remote working is on the rise, but the office remains indispensable




 

While the COVID-19 lockdown has highlighted the possibilities of home working, bringing people together in offices is still the best way to spur innovation and productivity, says Jonathan Bayfield.

  

Out on a run recently, streaming music through my headphones, I thought of the parallels between the music industry and the commercial office sector.

In the 21st Century, technology has significantly changed the way we listen to music. First, we abandoned our bulky home stereos for MP3 devices; now we listen to music predominately through smartphone apps.

The convenience enabled by the new technology allows us to access millions of songs at the touch of a button. But it’s also worth thinking about what we have lost amid the transition to streaming. Spotify and Apple Music can’t replicate the pleasure of opening a gatefold record sleeve or chatting to the friendly owner of the local record shop about the latest releases. This partly explains the revival of vinyl in recent years.