Work from home, shop local, build sustainable communities

Covid has had a traumatic impact on every aspect of society. From the tragic deaths and illness to the mental health impacts, economic impacts etc. We should take inspiration from the post-war consensus and the creation of the NHS and out of adversity build something positive. Working from home has the potential to promote a wide range of benefits, creating more cohesive local communities where people are ‘around’; shopping locally, eating in local cafes and restaurants., supporting, growing and opening local businesses. Reduced commuting means less traffic and more time for families and leisure, including activities within the community. Less traffic means safer roads, better suited for active travel and for children to play out, going back to how things used to be where kids could explore without having to be supervised at all times. Less traffic also means less pollution and all the health benefits of that. Pollution is a major contributing factor to poor health and healthcare costs for society. As companies reduce their location costs and physical footprint, many offices could be repurposed and converted to homes, creating more vibrant city centres where people actually live. Helping with the housing crisis and reducing the need to build on green belt land at the edge of cities. Many offices in Scottish cities are in buildings which were originally residential. Let’s turn some of these back into homes. Many lower paid retail/hospitality jobs would be better relocated to local communities where people can work close to home, reducing or eliminating travel time and costs. wouldn’t you love a local cafe? Book shop? Grocers? For some home working isn’t suitable and businesses should be careful to consider the variety in the needs of their staff. But a more mixed model, rather than over centralised economies could have wide benefits.

Why the contribution is important

The shift to increased homeworking has the potential to improve family and community life, improve mental and physical well-being, increase housing stock, protect green belts, create more leisure time and a more sustainable and green local based economic model.

by Iwantabetternormal on October 11, 2020 at 07:23PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 4 votes

Comments

  • Posted by Thistlegirl22 October 11, 2020 at 20:15

    I really do agree with this but things aren't rosy for everyone... I work in another local authority area and my family/extended family don't live nearby. I live alone (in a flat, with no garden) and have been working from home since March. Whilst the 'big lockdown' was tolerable, the thought of a winter working (and living) in isolation is very daunting indeed. This isn't a utopia - people living on their own are isolated/disadvantaged when working from home (compared to those living with others, or with the space to work). The same applies to people who don't work who are also disadvantaged/isolated by the current situation - eg the elderly, those with disabilities, homeless people etc If home working will be the norm then, as the person above says, there needs to be the infrastructure in place to support EVERYONE in the local community. Time for positive change but with strategic planning to improve all society!!
  • Posted by Alasdair_Deasbad October 11, 2020 at 20:55

    Totally agree with this - there are a multitude of societal benefits associated with an increase in home working which are aligned with the Government's commitment to developing a 'wellbeing economy': the reduction in traffic congestion and associated pollution; allowing people to spend more quality time in their local communities or with their families rather than wasting many hours commuting every week; the removal of the need for a worker to reside close to a fixed office location which could allow repopulation of rural communities with the kind of working age people they often struggle to attract. It would be a hugely regressive step if the post-Covid society just reverts to outdated models of office based working for everyone when these have been shown to be outdated and unnecessary for many.
  • Posted by Bolshygirl October 11, 2020 at 21:20

    Even if everything else went back to normal, as before March, this innovation of home-working where practicable is a good one for the reasons stated by the proposer.
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