Working in a home office has a lot of advantages, without question. These weigh so much that even after the lockdown ends, many employees will continue to enjoy the benefits of the home office. At the same time, this working at home has an isolating effect. It's precisely for those working from home who seek contact that the city of Montreal offers free outdoor workplaces. These little summer islands called Îliots d'ete have free Wi-Fi and even green plants. The workstations in the middle of the city not only revitalize urban space, but also promote the mental and emotional well-being of the people who come together to work here. In perspective, more summer islands are to be made available in the city, perhaps also an idea for Braunschweig.
On the other hand, there seems to be an increased desire to work from home and avoid commuting to work, and many employees feel increasingly comfortable interacting with people remotely. Wonder if the pandemic has fueled the new-work trend in a new direction – or are we increasingly evolving into "homo sociophobico" – people who are afraid of human proximity? Yet increasing work-location flexibility is good for our brains in the first place, because a change of environment stimulates creativity and imagination. From a neuroscientific point of view, however, there is skepticism as to whether we really feel more comfortable at home, alone, in the long run, and whether the world of work should not remain more separate from the private world of thought and action.
Our brains are designed for community and cooperation, this needs to be real in a space to come to full fruition, brains are most motivated to think and work in a sociability with other brains. As the pandemic has shown, this can also be established to some extent virtually. But we have also experienced that it is very difficult to make new contacts virtually and to have informal, but trust-building and cooperation-promoting conversations. In addition, video conferencing is very exhausting due to the constant cognitive dissonance we experience, the brain has to accommodate close to face tiles all the time. In addition, one usually sees many faces (and usually one's own). Accordingly, online conferences always act a bit like Valium pills as far as creativity and innovation are concerned, as they virtually eat up our entire ability to concentrate due to the technical necessities.