Back to the Farm

August 29th, 2006
[ Office Gossip ]

People often ask about the way we work. Some are actually curious, some just need a small-talk topic. Working at home, surrounded by your family all day, no commuting, no boss except your clients, etc. People tend to speak about, and view, this model as being new. I think of it as old.

Within my family, my parent’s generation was the first to leave the farm. Both my father and mother grew up on working farms in the Maritimes. They were surrounded by their families all day, didn’t commute, and had no boss except their clients. As well, they stayed within their communities, spending their days there, living there, eating there, etc. They kept all their energy within a certain geographical area instead of commuting elsewhere to spend their time and money.

I’ve always felt commuting will eventually be viewed as a failed experiment. To me, we’ve been dabbling in the past century with a new model based around commuting. The way I’m able to work today is really a step backwards to a model that’s existed far longer than todays. I think we’re seeing the beginnings of undoing a mistake we made. It may take a few more decades still but I think our larger companies will eventually come ‘back to the farm’ as well.