Headline, May 27 2019/ ''' '' OFFICE SMILEYS OFTEN '' '''


OFTEN '' '''


The World Students Society - over a decade ago, was among the very first, truly global organization, that did away with an office.

BUT IT'S YOUNG STUDENTS - the young people who'll miss out most if the office disappeared.

Offices are often the very place where where professional identities are forged - an especially valuable thing in an age of declining religious engagement and deferred marriage and childbearing.

Yes, perhaps that's slightly ominous, just another depressing sign that work has replaced religion as a source of meaning, as Derek Thompson argued so beautifully in The Atlantic last year. 

THE OFFICE FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE IS just plain dead. Google and Facebook are telling employees they can work remotely until 2021.

Twitter is allowing employees to wok from home ''forever''. A number of big banks are contemplating never fully refilling their office towers in Manhattan.

Last week, my colleague Matthew Haag wrote a thoroughly depressing story in which the chief executive of Halstead Real Estate asked him point blank : ''Looking forward, are people going to want to crowd into offices?''

Call me crazy, but I'm still thinking : Yes. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. The modern office may be the target of bleak caricature - the lighting is bad, the meetings are long, the only recourse to boredom filching a colleague's stapler and embalming it in lemon Jell-O [if you work at Dunder Mifflin].

But over the coming months, I suspect that those of us who spent most of our careers in offices will grow to miss them.

What we will miss about them, specifically? Camaraderie, for one thing. Maybe it's office that offices are social hubs - it's certainly an idea that TV sitcoms and dramas have long grasped - but the numbers are still interesting.

Two-thirds of all women who work outside the home, for instance, say that ''the social aspect'' of their jobs is a ''major reason'' for showing up each day, according to a comprehensive survey by Gallup.

I'll admit I fall rather contentedly into this group. Until my mid-30s, I was a serene creature of the cubicle. Not being religious, the office was Where I often found fellowship : not yet being married, it was where I had a work spouse.

For people in that limited period of emergent adulthood - when they're still schmoozers, rather than machers, to use the sociologist Robert Putman's memorable distinction - the office can play a crucial and happy role.

And have I mentioned that offices are great places to find to find actual spouses? A surprising number of marriages start in their fluorescent halls.

[Famous examples : Barrack and Michelle. Bill and Melinda.] The statistics on this phenomenon vary - I've seen seen studies ranging from 11 to 31 percent - but even the smallest number isn't trivial, and the most outlandish examples can make for delightful trivia.

Southwest Airlines announced 21 years ago that more than 1,600 of its 26,900 employees were married to each other. [Under the perhaps inevitable headline, ''Love is in the Air.'']

But the benefits to office life are are more than just social. They are also intellectual. Without offices, we miss out on the chance for serendipitous encounters, and it's precisely those moments of felicitous engagement that spark the best ideas.

Years ago, the productivity philosopher and author Adam Grant pointed out to me the reason we have Post-it Notes is because a chemist at 3M, Spencer Silver, spent years trying fruitlessly to promote his low-tack adhesive in and around the office - until a churchgoing colleague.

Art Fry, finally saw one of his  presentations and realized that the sticky stuff would be perfect for keeping his bookmarks affixed to his hymnals. Propinquity made all the difference.

Another way to to think about this: Working from home rather than the office is sort of like shopping on Amazon rather than a proper bookstore.

In a bookstore, you never know what you might find. You can't even know what you don't know until you wander down the wrong aisle and stumble across it.

In sum, unfortunately, technology has already collapsed the boundary between work and home. The office, at least. was a solid membrane between the two. And it may possible be the last.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on ''The New Future'', continues. The World Students Society thanks author, Jennifer Senior.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare  and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - for every subject in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter- !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Wont & Work '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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