As a reluctant Office user in a region where the necessity for flexibility and new work patterns are not only a critical element in the growth of our city but a lifeline to growing the work aspirations of the poor, I am totally P’ed off.
Why do we spend so much time driving in very slow circles simply because there is nowhere to P (and I don’t mean toilet requirements) or meet locally?
Time and time again meetings get delayed or cancelled as the traffic and parking are untenable in the CBD. The dynamism of so many concepts gets bogged down, and yet another idea goes down the pan without access to easy first-hand meeting spaces.
This not only contributes to continuing economic slowdown but takes away the opportunity to provide open forums to those who have to travel long over-trafficked routes to their work or colleges … They simply cannot afford the time or cost of long distance commuting back and forth each day… we need to encourage more decentralised hubs where business can be done.
When we look at repurposing of derelict or underutilised buildings (even those with specific zoning) we find that rules apply outside the CBD which hampers development. Talk about im-P-ding progress… the only result is more people trying to squeeze “work” into the city centre.
The City of Cape Town have been trying to unravel this conundrum by implementing the new zoning schemes and overlays – but these options are carefully guarded by the requirement for miles and miles of time-consuming applications to personnel who have scant knowledge of the new rules. Bang goes another bright idea down the P pot.
If we don’t find some way to unblock this particular traffic jam we will never grow new enterprise… we need Office Space in the Southern Suburbs!
It is clear, however, that a simple solution to this problem is slowly evolving. Companies such as Venture Developments are creating new venues such as Workspace Office Solutions in the Brookside Building in Claremont where smaller accessible and flexible serviced workspaces can be rented by the hour, day, week or month at very affordable rates. This more flexible and local approach should be encouraged: it alleviates traffic, reduces wasted time and promotes satellite industry in the locality. The parking arrangements allow for quick in and out meetings for both client and service vendor alike. Workspace Office Solutions is not a new concept overseas but it is very badly needed in South Africa to open doors for our budding entrepreneurs.
Let us hope word gets out that alternatives such as Workspace exist to negate the waste of time and resources that unnecessary driving or travelling create. We haven’t even mentioned the impact of commuting on the environment yet – but we do have an unusually high acceptance of P’ing alfresco here in Africa.
So in the near future, we can repurpose the P word to stand for Proactive and Progress – generating a world of opportunities to add value to the lives and neighbourhoods that are mired in their current inflexibilities.