Spreading the work, spreading the wealth

Remote working is an essential part of making the most of more human-scale ways of living like this possible.

Attractive towns and cities will endure, but the dominant model of suburban sprawl knit by car commutes needs a rethink. This is where the hybrid workplaces model is fit for the future. Already, urban and municipal planners are reimagining the “15-minute city,” where outdoor spaces and restaurant parklets are joined by grocers and childcare, all within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. Remote working is an essential part of making the most of more human-scale ways of living like this possible. (And arguably, this communalism is hard-coded into us; medieval cities of old consisting of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers generally were only a couple miles wide and could also be traversed in 15 to 20 minutes — all without automobiles.)

For other people, a variation might entail living the rural dream in pretty, post-pandemic revitalized villages, with a once-a-week departure (by flying car, perhaps?) to the centralized urban office nest, hub or “showroom” — a meeting place for heads-up interactions and meetings with clients or colleagues.