No more rush hour. The work day is changing.

The old rule of work was nine to five and a morning commute to the office everyday. The new work day is anywhere and any time. Fast Company contributor Jay Cassano poses an interesting question: “Does The New York Subway Know The 9 To 5 Is Dead?“. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is having problems planning the train schedule because people have started traveling outside the traditional morning and evening commutes. Ross Perlin, also for Fast Company, takes the discussion further in her article “These Are The New Rules of Work“. The digital era is changing how, when and even where we work – making both employers and employees more flexible, and maybe forever allowing us to bid farewell to rush hour?

I recently covered the rise of digital nomads – people leading a nomadic lifestyle; traveling and working from anywhere. When looking for a creative and productive space to work in, the traditional office might not be the best answer any more. With digital technologies, we can just as well work from home, our favorite café, or from the other side of the globe. Like the amazing Commune246 space in Tokyo’s Aoyama district, as shown in the photo above.


For the Swedish sustainability magazine Sapir I wrote a piece discussing what it means to be productive in today’s society, and what kind of work climate is optimal for the well-being of employees. Is it the traditional working hours, sitting at your desk, staring into your screen, or is it the possibility of being more flexible? Of working from where you feel the most inspired. Some days that might be the office, other days the sofa in your apartment. Shouldn’t you be able to make that choice yourself, just as long as you manage the work load and deliver on time?

And as for the employers; shouldn’t healthy and happy employees be their key objective, along with reaching business goals?

Already two years ago, Kenneth Rapoza for Forbes wrote: “One In Five Americans Work From Home.” And 54% say they are happier that way. Many predict that it will continue to rise.

But it’s not only how traditional office jobs are changing, with the possibility of employees being more flexible in their work; we are also seeing more self-employment. People working with different clients and projects. Both in their country of residence and with other clients and companies around the world. Like myself.

Co-working spaces are appearing everywhere, and is now estimated to over 20,000 across the globe—a doubling globally since 2008, according to Perlin in her Fast Company article.

I’m currently on the look-out for a co-working space in London, as we will be leaving Tokyo in less than a month. Somewhere to go to outside the traditional rush hour, where I can meet with and be inspired by like-minded and brilliant people. Let me know if you have any tip for me!


Emelie Fågelstedt

Independent communications strategist supporting organizations with their digital business and communications strategy since 2010. Founder of digital agency Fågelstedt Kommunikation and co-founder of Svenska Nomader, Sweden's largest platform for digital nomads. Public speaker on tech, social media, e-commerce and the future of work.

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