NPR City of Eugene Radio Podcast
‘The Next Normal’. The Future of Working from Home
In this NPR City Club of Eugene broadcast on the future of work, Howard Davis and Frances Holliss evisage the transformative potential of ‘The Next Normal’ for work: expanded flexibility that has the potential to better support workers, families and local economies, and to significantly reduce waste, pollution and stress.
From the City Club of Eugene:
The abrupt closure of office workplaces was a visible and dramatic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, millions of people continue to work from home as our unexpected global experiment continues—and recent surveys show that neither the workforce nor company executives want to simply return to pre-pandemic routines.
“The Next Normal” for work includes expanded flexibility that has the potential to better support workers, families and local economies, and to significantly reduce waste, pollution and stress. The benefits of this change are potentially transformative.
The future of work—one that is more flexible, adaptable, and visible—requires the reconsideration of our housing and the participation of our neighborhoods, and it asks us to rethink how design and policies can better support home-based work.
Our speakers today include two international collaborators from the Workhome Project, a research group that studies the tolerance, flexibility and creativity needed to make future cities and economies more resilient: Architect Frances Holliss from the London Metropolitan University and Professor Howard Davis from the University of Oregon.
Howard Davis is Professor of Architecture at the University of Oregon and has been a resident of Eugene for 35 years as a homeowner in the Fairmount neighborhood for most of that time. His book, Living Over the Store: Architecture and Local Urban Life, is an architectural, economic and social account of buildings that combine residential and commercial uses; examples are chosen across cultures, through history, and in the present and future. He has been part of the Workhome Project since its inception in the first months of the pandemic, following on Frances Holliss’ extensive research on the workhome.
Frances Holliss is an architect and Emeritus Reader in Architecture at London Metropolitan University. She has been researching the architecture of home-based work for over 20 years. In response to Covid-19, Holliss launched The Workhome Project with collaborators from around the world, collectively exploring the impact of home-based work on buildings and cities, laws and regulation and addressing glaring social and spatial inequalities highlighted by the pandemic.