Converting Commute to Constructive Time

Life ReimaginedHere is my first blog post on the theme “Life reimagined”. I am inclined to be futuristic on this post and going forward offers a right blend of the near-medium-long term trends in the future posts.

Work-life integration over work-life balance is a nice practice to nurture. But it is a mindset shift and demands the right human balance in the seamless transition back and forth between work and life. I am re-imagining the life with an innovative third space to maximize human outcomes creating more time with work-life integration. Talking about converting commute to constructive work time creating a third space while traveling in an autonomous vehicle (AV) to office from home. Isn’t it interesting?

Traditionally third places include cafes, parks, clubs, or even barber shops. But the growing popularity of ride-sharing and the advent of driverless technology bringing third space to the car. As the driver attention shifts from driving to being driven, we tend to use our time to work, play, consume content, and interact with one another.

This reminds me 2017 when Fiat Chrysler unveiled its Portal concept minivan, which the company billed as a “third space” designed to bridge work and home. The car supposedly will be loaded with a multitude of screens and creature comforts like selfie cameras and docking stations. Chrysler sees the Portal as “an open and serene atmosphere that provides an alternative environment between work and home.” But democratizing such ideas becomes tricky.

Imagine a workday of employees starting at 8 am as they enter the cabin of their AVs, they answer emails and work right through their commute until their AVs drops them off at the office; then after leaving at 4 pm, their AVs pick them up, and they continue working their last ‘office hour’ of the day during their commute home. HR managers can think creatively to collaborate in designing third spaces for their employees in AVs. Also, these types of future workplace reconfigurations will need to be studied carefully and administered fairly by every organization’s CHRO, with clear guidelines established around the expected productivity and use of such ‘commute work’ privilege. This could be a small initiative to start with, but a potential employee friendly move.

Can companies invest in enabling third space in autonomous cars with the right ROI on employee productivity? While we all talk about technology advancement and potential futurism, rightly blending with human connect is going to be the key for mainstream adaption!

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