The current global pandemic context is serving as the justification for a new instalment on how to maintain ( one of ) capitalism’s biggest trend : instigate people to thrive by keeping movement as a commodity.
This is backed by two main arguments concerning an implicit relation with time ( therefore the speed of execution and of availability/access ) and space ( concerning mostly where we produce professional activities ) with the ability to move, commute or even displace our participative capitalist habitat through the notion of mobility.
I can state that 5G is not the answer to the notion of mobility : it’s only a medium in which new approaches and specifically new professionals can develop new and innovative ways to gather more and better information, establish productive connections and enhance existing opportunities to develop pre existing valuables. It’s definitely not radical, it’s possibly harmful and should not be overrated – as it is right now. We can presumptuously do more and call it “better” but only if our intellectual abilities are adjusted in tandem with the new set of digital tools and, in my opinion, they couldn’t be farther away from one another as they are right now. Nonetheless, faster, sooner, quickest are the ( wrongfully ) used terms to describe performance when they represent ignorantly the inherent vice of a poor use of time. This is ironically the status quo in which every single one of us can find comfort when describing work related positions.
We have to realise that it takes time to produce an environmental change able to conduct a forward momentum specifically aimed at surpassing the unaware state in which we can position ourselves and the ( supposed ) ethical, political and productive leaders of our time. It takes time and training, meaningful and restructured training. Prepare individuals, train groups and reset corporations into the ecology of time is an enormous task and again, takes an enormous amount of time itself to be done properly, productively and efficiently. Time is key in this context of mobility as a commodity and speed/connectivity could be the misunderstood relation between execution and process.
Home, individual, collective and almost all of the different categories of living, are not prepared to be used as an indiscriminately answer to the topic. This intimate human habitat is not arranged to be fruitful in the answer to the professional activities we are discussing right now. It does not includes a mandatory set of conditions we can universally acclaim as representative of a modern day workspace. One can have a designated space with a perfect desk, state of the art digital instruments and all the broadband connectivity in the world and still, be missing the biggest asset in this home setup : the implicit mindset of the surroundings relative to the ongoing activities.
As a note take this argument as being applied to the workgroup as well as to the liberal individuals and as a generic statement, representing the need to peer recognition in order to satisfy the social urge to reward composite behaviours by expecting communal reunion routines. Again, not universal.
We have to stop thinking about working from home as a better solution for these times, comparing this with an appropriate workspace at a purpose built office. Cumulatively we cannot deny that a garden or even a public square can make us more productive than an enclosed one in certain moments or conditions. There’s a range of opportunities for us to profit from this, acknowledging first and foremost that this is not an universal truth applicable to everyone but rather a different vision, mostly driven towards a better education and in order to the accepted as a positive change within a much needed diversity in the home-habitat-work context. This is also not a services/desk only based opinion, as we can find that most of production-line workers need differential inputs in order to keep their motivation going and the diversity of spaces during work routines is a proven one. I affirm myself in line with the internal positioning proposition of a space and time relevant only for the individual in every specific task, not as an universal model or even a undisputable solution but a diversified approach to increase equilibrium, hierarchical achievements and a fruitful life-habitat-career curation.
I am proposing that we must be trained to practice how to work hard and how to rest hard; how to identify the difference between personal life and professional character; how to utterly engage our creativity at work at its full potential even acknowledging the lack of context and adequate conditions to submit a different type of intimacy to that limited yet public community scrutiny; how space needs to be adequate to range every set of needs while uses as a definition need to be fundamentally distinct from functions in order to propose individual appropriations.
This reflects itself in an immediate need to dissect time and space as a dissertation of use and function in order to propose the context for the next level professionals. Mobility is key and connectivity is the foundation for this progression to even exist, thus considering time and space as the core instalment of this conundrum.
Despite being able to profit from mobility people prefer to settle. Despite being able to roam the entire hemisphere, remember how the agricultural revolution and individual/small proto urban settlements were dethroned by social gatherings of larger and larger scale. These behaviours are the defense mechanisms of every single ethnographic group in a defined range of identifiable anthropological tactics. Rationality led us to the development of civilisation’s biggest argument : safety within a group of equals. Race defined that we only want to be together because we need to, but I can assure you, we need to be alone most of the time. A time and space for meditation, mediation and self recognition is lacking every time we are not able to admite we should be better with ourselves in order to be better by being in a group. I admit this is a satisfying and comforting way to provide and feel the full dome of safety upon us but I also recognise we are no longer dependant of walls to defend our cities and protect our crops. It’s time to move on, accepting diversity, migrations and mobility beyond just the compulsory behaviour capitalism intended it to be. Travel, transport, move, commute, but deflect the mandatory peer acceptance of social bucket list and the ” have to visit ” politics as they are the categorisation of poor individual mental skills.
Does this mean we should consider the next step in the direction of work as a standstill in mobility? Should we engage in working from home as an evolution of a person career or can we reposition any workspace to start working from within ourselves? Should we engage in new types of social peer recognition in which we stand out and suffer estrangement from workgroups or should we try and start coworking from wherever because my position/activity is no longer geo dependant? Should develop an individual space, indifferent from physical position, established by each one of us through proper training?
It is not hard to acknowledge that even a factory worker can apply this tactics into is individual career strategy, considering time and space as training dependant in order to achieve awareness and sustain an emotional stability conducing to successful equilibrium in individual-habitat-production insight.
Maybe, we can benefit from choices, better ones, about solitude, hermitage and awareness and could become more selective about travelling and spending hours commuting, but surely this is not the point. We must reposition our own perspective on time and space and exchange the expected with the improved, starting from within, and when needed, with proper training. Despite being able to travel without moving, when we do we still don’t go anywhere with a meaningful and progressive state of mind. We travel and visit common places, because we have to and not because we want to, and work is not different in any point from this context. We rarely develop a critical knowledge of where, how and who we cross paths with.
The pandemics is not the excuse but surely can be a catalyst, not for home office and extended work hours while having family interactions in between, but for rethinking our position, value and careers into the future of a participatory workforce disconnected from the expected strain of capitalism and politics of production.
This is a methodological positioning on how to identify the conditions for a solution to be applied in a capitalist context. From home, from an office or even from an unidentified place in the world of nature, one thing that you can not argue is that we only need to work autonomously is to pre-emptively design our mindset.