Grow your own, and plenty of remote working and is Flex really the future?

What a week last week was. I mean it was spooky in many ways. The main one was that I worked from four different locations and was productive at each of the four for different reasons. Of course I worked from my home, I also worked from a co-working space in Sheffield (good to see more of these spaces are materialising, my local coffee shop and then a client site. So no “office” work for me last week. A few things that caught my interest last week are:

A great way to spend my morning walk on Monday was listening to (or rather catching up) this Caleb Parker podcast with a BOLD title – Is Flexible Working REALLY the Future of Work? The two speakers – Sandra Panara & Robert Kenward – bring a contrasting point of view to the same point, what does the future of work look like? Caleb has long been a champion for the collision of hospitality and commercial real estate. The real stark point for me which I agree on is that the future of hybrid working is a mix of what the employer needs and that the individuals need – creating division with remote vs office is harmful. It should be remote + office. Flexible working is personal – we all have different reasons for wanting to work in different locations and we should respect each other’s choice. 

A slightly different podcast than the above but the same theme – remote and flexible working. EatSleepWorkRepeat brings a wide array of guests and speakers but this episode saw a few people from remote organisations discuss. My key takeaway is the remote first not remote forced analogy. That said I am a huge believer is hybrid rather than remote first or office first – but the reflection is key that working under lockdown scenarios with children at home is NOT the scenario going forward and we must not forget that. The balance of how companies are managing to interact and bring the team together on a day to day basis and also more wider larger scale gatherings. There is still a HUGE benefit of meeting in real life. The conversation drivers are interesting between businesses that benefit from remote first so the blended chat with an organisation who don’t shows a more balance view between face to face and remote. 

Recently I’m working my way through a great book called Restorative Cities: urban design for mental health and wellbeing – there are many facades to how cities can be made, well, better and making them greener is one. It touches on a number of our senses. This new design for The World’s Tallest Tree-Covered Skyscraper is pretty cool. The new tower is set to rise 365-metres above Melbourne and feature not one, not two but 5.5km of greenery – creating a true vertical garden. 

And keeping the gardening theme of the last few weeks I really enjoyed this Gardeners World – a discussion with Monty Don with advice on how to grow your own. It is clear from the discussion that there is no magic formula that means you will have beautiful gardens, plenty of vegetables and blossoming fruit trees. You need to experiment, practice and above all keep notes of what does and doesn’t work. The fun part of the year is coming up as we plan for the garden of 2022. For us we’re experimenting next year with melons in a cold frame but will continue to grow some staples – there is a great feeling of going into the garden to pick your tea. 

And lastly I write this sat in my conservatory. Watching the hailing rain bounce against the floor outside. Inside it’s pleasant and cosy but with the clocks changing it reminds me that the nights are drawing in and the work outside will need to move inside. Indoor DIY projects are coming but also more time to read. I do love to read. So hit me up with any recommendations.

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