top of page
Knowledge Center

An Interview with Matthew Zenkteler regarding Nomadic and Remote Work Practices

Transcription of interview with Matthew Zenkteler, PhD student of Queensland University of Technology, and Principal Regional Planner of Gold Coast City Council, Australia.

Research and Development Department

Victoria Gálvez, Senior Project Manager,

Flavia Cáceres, Project Coordinator,

Pablo López, Research Coordinator,

Andres Delgado, Research Coordinator,

Andrea Cañizares, Research Coordinator

(August 23rd, 2021)

01:57 Flavia Cáceres: Mr. Zenkteler, are you okay with the interview being recorded and the later transcription of the recording for our use? 02:15 Matthew Zenkteler: Yes, sure. Is it going to be video recorded, just audio, or both? 02:20 Flavia Cáceres: It's going to be both. 02:23 Matthew Zenkteler: Alright. That's fine. 02:25 Flavia Cáceres: Thank you. Now, Pablo is going to explain the purpose of the interview. 02:43 Pablo López: Okay, thank you Flavia. Well, good morning from here. Good evening to you. My name is Pablo, and on behalf of our team, I would like to thank you for being here and for taking the time to join us today. I know it's late over there, so thank you. 03:10 Matthew Zenkteler: Thanks for inviting me guys. 03:13 Pablo López: So, today we would like to discuss some topics related to remote working and virtual teams. To do that, we crafted some questions to guide our conversation. Before we start, please be sure that your insight is of great value to us. All the information obtained here will be studied, analyzed, and used to create further knowledge based on your experience and expertise to support organizations in working better remotely. 04:05 Matthew Zenkteler: Okay. 04:07 Pablo López: Having said that, let's start with the first question. As Flavia mentioned, we are a remote team. We have been remote from the very beginning. As such, we know from experience that remote teams face different problems compared to those of an on-site team. A lot of people talk about different issues when working remotely, and everyone has their perspective. That's why we want to ask you, what have you identified to be the biggest challenges that teams experience while working remotely? 04:33 Matthew Zenkteler: All right. Thank you. To start with this question and the answer, I will give you a little background about my research. My research has been mainly focused on how the growth of remote work is changing the way that cities function and what it means for the cities moving forward. One way for me to address this question was to engage with remote workers and just ask them questions about what their experience is, how they interact with themselves, with the city, and with the neighborhoods, what kind of barriers or benefits they see while working remotely, what aspirations they have, and so on. So, my research has been mostly focused on city planning, but obviously, I managed to collect a lot of data that may be of interest to you. With this one, essentially, as part of my research project, I did three large data collection activities. We had a survey in 2018 before Coronavirus when we were engaging with the home-based business community in the city of Gold Coast in Australia. It is a city of roughly 600,000 people, and it's got a very big community of people working remotely. Because Gold Coast is a beautiful lifestyle city, it's attracting a lot of people to settle down and work from here, so I was curious to understand what they think about the future growth of remote work. And then, the second activity, the second research, as part of my Ph.D., was a workshop and a design charrette. I was trying to engage with remote workers to get some insight into how they operate in cities. Lastly, somehow in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic in October and November last year, as part of me working for the local council here in Australia, we did a large survey, again, asking people who work from home to share some insights with us, like how they see that type of work moving forward. Now, moving through your question, sorry for the lengthy introduction. Essentially, we asked about the benefits and barriers or challenges that people experience working remotely, and the number one response was “None. We don't see and we don't think there are any big significant challenges associated with remote work.” So that would be the first and, I suppose, the most interesting response to your question. In the last research survey, we collected almost 900 responses from people who work from home, and 91% of them said they actually really enjoy the type of work and they don't have any issues with that. It was only a small proportion of people who actually identified some challenge or barrier. Now speaking about teams, because your question is not about individuals, it's about teams, we also collected a lot of responses from the local government in the city of Gold Coast as part of this research. So, you know, it's a large organization. Again, the employees were very happy about working from home and they didn’t notice any significant challenge, but the response is sort of slightly different amongst the supervisors and the team leaders. They complained, or kind of identified, certain issues related to the ability to supervise staff and make sure that everyone is doing the right thing. But then again, there is a concern or challenge reported by team leaders about the staff supervision, but at the same time, the employees don't tend to report any concerns about work not being done or reporting that they don't really work from home. In terms of asking about productivity and asking the participants about actually doing their work, they generally report that they actually find working from home to be very productive. Essentially, the bottom line answer to this question is that there are no big challenges. Staff supervision can be at times a challenge, but it's not the biggest one. It's just reported by some proportion of the leaders. Also, some of the participants of my research said that what was challenging was just the software, hardware, and furniture at home or the places where they work from. When they compare what they are used to working within the office to what they are working with at home, they see a bit of a discrepancy, and it might have some impact on the way they work. Lastly, there is social isolation. People who work remotely complain about isolation, but it's not really considered to be a challenge. It's more like a side effect of remote work. I would be happy to talk about it later on. All right, so are you okay with this answer or would you like me to elaborate more? In terms of really identifying challenges in my three pieces of research, the key answer is that there is no challenge. Everyone is really happy with that. 10:55 Pablo López: Yes. Sure. That's something you hear a lot from people that work remotely. They usually say, “Yes, I can be more productive. I can be more relaxed in my home.” But for the managers and supervisors of the company, it's really challenging to have a remote team, and it has been challenging since the pandemic. 11:15 Matthew Zenkteler: Once again, there is a bit of a discrepancy here. At least, what my data is saying is that at the employee level, at the worker's level, no one is really saying, “We are not fully working, we are kind of just sitting at home.” No one is saying that. People genuinely say, “We are more productive, we are very happy. It’s all right. We just have that isolation issue that sometimes doesn't work very well for us, and we have worse computers at home. But other than that, it's okay.” Having said that, I think it's more of a perception thing. Many managers and leaders say they still have that old-fashioned way of head counting, like, “I want to see my employees in front of me, and I want to see that they are working,” and if they can’t see that, they are anxious. So this might be an issue for the managers to overcome somehow, but it's just the perception, I think. 12:20 Pablo López: Okay, great. Thank you. 12:21 Victoria Gálvez: Sorry, I'd like to add something. Should I go first? 12:23 Pablo López: Yes. 12:25 Victoria Gálvez: Well, my question is, in the survey that you conducted, was there any specific industry in which this happened more often? Like, the perception of leaders finding some challenges in terms of monitoring productivity in their employees? 12:44 Matthew Zenkteler: Well, not specifically. One aspect of my research is that I was trying to keep it anonymous. We were just trying to encourage people to open up a bit, and that's why we didn't ask them any specific questions about who they worked for specifically. We just happened to know that many respondents were from the local government because one of the questions was about their industry classification. Many respondents said, “Oh, I work for the local council.” So, in a way, this is how we managed to capture that large organization. In my research, I wasn't very much focused on who was working for whom. I was more focused on the impacts of remote work in the neighborhoods and cities. 14:02 Pablo López: Okay, since we're talking about those challenges, we’d like to change the second question. We wanted to ask you about the solutions you have identified related to those problems, but this time we would like to ask you, what are the main advantages of working remotely? What are the respondents saying about advantages, like productivity, flexible hours? 14:34 Matthew Zenkteler: All right. I think we probably have to touch on that like a face-to-face thing. Something that's coming through the data of my pieces of research is social isolation. Many people don't find this concerning. They find this to be not really a barrier, but a side effect of remote work. There is a certain understanding that there are many benefits of remote work, and this is the biggest drawback. I think the main solution that makes a positive impact is the ability to keep meeting in person, preferably. I think we see that the rest of the global trend after Coronavirus and the return to the office scenario are that people are very happy to carry on working from home, but there is a one or two days a week go-to-the-office scenario. I think it's like an overall consensus in the office work environment that is needed to have that positive impact on productivity. So, I think that's the golden balance to achieve with the teams, to just give the staff the ability to work from home or work remotely, but at the same time, offer them the opportunity to see each other, either through online platforms or, preferably, face to face in an office setting. Whether this is a permanent arrangement or an interim step, it's hard to say, we do have those early signs that remote work will continue to grow in popularity post-COVID. But for now, I think what's having that positive impact is the ability for staff to see each other face to face preferably. 16:47 Pablo López: Yes, that's something that is still missing, that social interaction, that social bond that you create with people when working face to face. That's something you also hear a lot because people underestimate how much employees, managers, or people within the team need to be face to face to socialize and connect. That’s not possible yet to do via Zoom or Google Meet, what we're doing now. That’s something you hear a lot. 17:21 Matthew Zenkteler: That's right. That's exactly the case. 17:30 Pablo López: All right, thank you. Now, let's move on with the third question, please. And for that, I'm going to hand it off to Andres. 17:39 Matthew Zenkteler: All right. 17:40 Juan Andrés Delgado: Okay. This is the third question. Basically, what are the main aspects to enhance the team’s culture in a remote environment? I know you’ve mentioned that culture is changing, especially with nomadic work practices in which people are interacting with different lifestyles, and cultures. If you add that to multicultural teams, do you think this could impact the culture of a company, a person, or an organization? 18:16 Matthew Zenkteler: Well, look, I was hoping to be able to just rely on the data I gathered through my research to help you with your questions, but this one has been a bit outside of the scalp of my research project. As I said before, my focus was mainly on cities and urban environments, but what is coming through the survey a lot, throughout the pieces of my research, is the role of technology. I think that this is a bit of an obvious statement, but technology has been having an enormous impact on the way that teams perform remotely and virtually. It's not just about those platforms for meetings, it is the whole set of platforms for data sharing, data storage, data distribution, sending files, platforms like Slack, where people can communicate in a more casual and informal way. There are all those kinds of additions and expansions of the Microsoft Office package, where we can enable conversation in a formal or semi-formal setting. When you think about how much it has changed the way we work in the last two years, it's just mind-blowing. Two years ago, no one heard about Zoom, Teams, and whatnot. We wouldn't have a clue about being able to meet between countries to talk about a specific issue. So, as I said, I wasn't collecting any specific data, so I can't help very much with this question. But my gut feeling, and also some indirectly collected data through my survey, says that yes, technology has got the main impact and it's enhancing the culture of remote work to a large extent. 20:21 Juan Andrés Delgado: Thank you. 20:33 Pablo López: Yes, thank you so much for that. I really liked that you mentioned technology because these two years we have demonstrated that remote work is possible. We didn't know and we didn't think that we could do it. 20:50 Matthew Zenkteler: It is very exciting. I started my research before coronavirus, and back then, remote work was a bit like a niche lifestyle thing. People generally didn't do it. Everyone wanted to work in the office, and all of a sudden, we now work in a completely different way and it's mainly due to the technology. So, it's very exciting to see or anticipate what's going to happen next, what new platforms or tools will appear to help us embrace the team culture and help us be more productive. 21:33 Pablo López: Absolutely. Thank you. 21:36 Matthew Zenkteler: I'm just about to start my new job in two weeks’ time. I'm between leaving one office and starting with the other, and I’ll be working from home entirely for at least the first two months. I'm still waiting to see what technology we will be using for the new team, what data platforms they have, and whatnot. It's something very exciting.

22:04 Pablo López: Yes, it is. I mean, we’ve all been working remotely since the beginning, and we all like it the way it is. All right, moving on to the fourth question, we would like to talk about motivation and engagement. Related to your data, I want to ask you, have you gathered some information related to motivation and engagement in a remote setting working remotely? 22:30 Matthew Zenkteler: Look, I was thinking about this one a lot, and there is something interesting coming from my data that might be of interest to this question and to yourselves. Essentially, it's all about perception at the individual level. At the individual level, remote work is all about achieving that work-life 8 balance that we all are trying to have. I suppose remote work is giving us a much better ability to live our lives in the way we want it to go ahead, and it's critical to understand and recognize or reflect upon this ability in the organization of remote work within teams. It's a bit like a game of win and loses. On the loose side, there is social isolation. Not everyone likes to be alone to work from home, but when you think about how much you're gaining through working remotely, this is actually outweighing that inconvenient isolation. In the first research I did in 2018 before the Coronavirus, one question I asked was “Did remote work enable you to relocate to a better place where you can access the amenities that you like?” There was a conversation about the amenities. Actually, half of the respondents, which is a lot, 51% of respondents said, “Yes, we actually relocated to a better place thanks to the ability to work remotely.” When you think about this, it’s a very important benefit of working remotely at the individual level. So, my data and my response from my perspective is that the recognition of the benefits of working remotely should be part of the culture of remote teams. I think this is something that can also have people going and staying motivated. You can achieve that work-life balance better than it would be if you had to go to the office every day and be stuck in traffic for many hours. That would be one response that can be backed up by the evidence and data. So, yes, just building on this insight would be my response. 25:23 Pablo López: Yes. Thank you so much for that. That's a really interesting approach. Indeed, work-life balance also has an impact on our motivation and engagement when working remotely and when working in general. Thank you so much for this answer, and let's move on with the next question, please. 25:42 Victoria Gálvez: Before we move on, may I ask one question? 25:44 Matthew Zenkteler: Sure. 25:45 Victoria Gálvez: I was curious about something, and this can be based on your experience or maybe conversations that you've had with colleagues. Do you think that levels of motivation have increased or decreased after the pandemic started? 26:03 Matthew Zenkteler: I will say that people are still very motivated. I think the pandemic has shown that people are engaged and that they can be more engaged with the work that they have. In the last survey I conducted with the local council, 91% of respondents essentially said, “We love working from home.” I think this provides the message that yes, people enjoy this. And because it was a work-related survey, it wasn't just about sitting at home, it was about being able to perform work from home. To have such a huge level of support and positive response is a great sign that it’s helping the culture for being productive.

27:35 Victoria Gálvez: And compared to before, now that we are on lockdown and remote work has kind of been imposed because of the quarantine, since work-life balance is very important to achieve, then my question is, do you think that now it is more difficult to find that balance?

28:05 Matthew Zenkteler: I think that the pandemic has made it possible for everyone to enjoy. In my response to the next question, I think I was just hoping to touch on that in a better level of detail. Essentially, before the pandemic, I did a bit of my research, and then after the pandemic, of course I wasn't planning the pandemic, but what happened helped me and put me in a position where I could compile what people were doing before and after, which is kind of an interesting outcome of my research. Essentially, before the pandemic, only people who chose to work remotely were doing this. They were generally very happy with that and they were very motivated to carry on like that, remotely. Once someone tried to work from home, people were saying, “I don't want to go back to the office ever again.” Then COVID happened, and we were all forced to work from home. We did the survey after the first lockdown in Australia. Things went back to normal here in October and November last year. Everyone was back on the streets, living their normal life, but work from home stayed. And we had that 91% of respondents saying, “Oh, we love it. It's helping us achieve work-life balance as well.” We asked about the benefits of working from home, that was the question. So, those people who said, “Oh, we actually love it,” mentioned work-life balance as one of the key benefits of that.

29:54 Victoria Gálvez: Okay. Thank you for your answers. 29:56 Pablo López: All right. Let's now talk about skills. Well, there are a lot of people saying that there are some skills needed to work remotely. Everyone has their own opinion about this. But again, we would like to know, relating to your data, what skills you have identified to work remotely.

30:26 Matthew Zenkteler: What I was doing through my tool surveys was that we were asking for a place of residence. We were inviting people to participate in the survey online. Across both surveys, we had over 1000 people who participated and provided responses. It's a lot. Then, we asked for a suburb like, “What's your neighborhood?” And people were providing not their street address, but the name of the suburb. Then, we checked the responses and the suburb, and we looked at the social-economic data that's available for the suburbs to understand some dynamics or some correlations between the social-economic status of the areas and the proportion of people who work remotely from those suburbs. We straight away saw a number of interesting synergies or observations. Essentially, the story is that —and it’s generally before the pandemic, but we also think that after the pandemic, it will carry on that way. Essentially, before the pandemic, it was the suburbs with a very high social-economic status. What it means in Australia is that quite often you have those medium-aged creative professionals and people with professions in design and media. Also, those office-based managers and entrepreneurs. Those people tend to have a specific occupation, and they tend to have that high level of income. They are usually in a certain age, usually in their late thirties or early forties. So, relying on the data, we started to see a narrative that is that the individuals at this certain stage of their life are very confident about their skills, their experience, and in a labor full of people. At that stage, many individuals are like, “Okay, I'm ready to go out to work remotely on my own,” presumably right. Or for someone else, “I want to be up there, like in the office market.” So, this is what we initially saw in that first survey that we did. And then, we were doing some workshops in the city of Gold Coast, which was the case study area. We invited people who are working from co-working facilities to do a workshop with us and talk to us about how they see it. One of the questions was the design persona. Do you guys know how to do the design persona exercise? It's a pretty cool exercise, which I enjoyed doing at the workshop. Essentially, we asked the participants to imagine the ideal remote worker. We gave them thousands of pieces of paper with portraits of people, men, and women of different ages and different kinds of houses. We asked them to create an ideal remote worker and then we apply some character attributes to those figures. It was kind of interesting because of all the groups that we had in the room, they all developed the same type of persona. It was actually the middle-aged man who was the ideal remote worker, which supports the previous findings of the previous research. It was also a relatively younger female who is very ambitious and wants to be an entrepreneur and a self-employed business person. Then, we also lost kind of in line with the previous research. And there was an interesting finding, which may be a bit hard to explain, but people who are using co-working spaces are also aware of younger, like a cohort of people. People in their twenties are working from co-working spaces, but they are still sitting outside the network of where the money is made and where the real jobs are happening. They are trying to make some way into that network of contacts and opportunities. It doesn't always work very well for them. And quite often, they have to move around between different co-working spaces, different pools of 12 people, and what happens when they do it, is that they disseminate information and they cross-pollinate and share ideas with one another. And at some point, they accumulate enough knowledge and networks that they eventually get into this network of presumably slightly older people who are actually making money in a remote environment. This is what we found through the data, at least in Australia and the Gold Coast. So, just to summarize the answer in response to your question, the ideal skills and attributes of a remote worker are, at least what the data was saying, certain age, experience, self-confidence, the ability to be confident about your skills, position on the market, and your value as a worker. That’s backed up by a good degree, good occupation, and a specific set of skills.

36:14 Pablo López: Thank you. I'm just curious now. Besides those specific characteristics that you mentioned, the middle-aged man, all the experience and the expertise in the profession. Besides those specific characteristics, just wanting to know if there were any skills there in the data. For example, some people mentioned the ability to self-motivate or the ability to be culturally open when working in global teams, something like that.

36:51 Matthew Zenkteler: Let me think about it. I would prefer to just stay in the data I collected. There is a lot of research by others that would probably have something more to say in space. But no, I haven't asked for anything like that in my survey. Sorry, I can’t help you with this one. 37:15 Pablo López: No, that's great. Thank you so much. That's good to say for us that for example, we haven't heard about a middle-aged man being the ideal remote worker. That's new to us. 37:19 Matthew Zenkteler: If I could just clarify this a bit. It's not just the man opposed to woman, it's more about being on a certain stage of life, regardless of your gender. Being in a certain stage of life, presumably some years into your experience, when you are in a position where you feel confident about yourself to a degree that you can go to work remotely. This is what the data was saying. So, I didn't want to create the impression that it's all about men, as opposed to women. It's just about people in a certain stage of life, like 30, certainly 40 who are, actually, most visible in Australia, at least, in that line in our data and the statistics.

37:29 Pablo López: Okay. Great. Thank you so much for that. We just have a couple of questions left, so I will hand it off to Andres who will continue with the next question. 37:34 Juan Andrés Delgado: Yes. So, you’ve mentioned different workspaces, co-working spaces, maybe you’ve had data on rotation, or maybe there’s a trend of people switching jobs more frequently in this remote environment. In this way, have you identified any strategies to enhance productivity while working remotely? 39:04 Matthew Zenkteler: Once again, it's not in a very direct way. In my research, we didn't ask too many questions about productivity, but we were asking questions about the barriers and benefits and what's working and what's not working. And, you know, it was just about giving employees the ability to feel that they are connected and they all kind of aim for the same purpose. Quite often, it was that ability to conduct daily meetings once a day to do Teams to catch up and see each other, at least remotely, and just check who is doing what and whether everyone is in a good mood. So, in order to make remote working work properly, this is kind of what people have said. And then, just to make sure that everyone is in good mental health, pushing against that social isolation and that perception of being alone at home. As I said, one way to do it is just reflecting upon some benefits of working remotely, that ability to change jobs and be more independent if someone wants to go that way, and also, just the ability to achieve a better work-life balance. The data is saying that people enjoy that and support this work arrangement. I think that the remote working trend has gotten itself ahead of all those conversations about productivity and how to keep the teams connected and engaged. Now there will be a bit of a catch-up to be done by the corporations, by the organizations, to address and to try to understand how to operate in this new environment. 41:15 Juan Andrés Delgado: Thank you very much. That’s interesting. I just have another question. Do you think that remote workers are moving to the countryside instead of bigger cities? 41:34 Matthew Zenkteler: Look, we see that a lot, at least in Australia. There is the rise of lifestyle in cities and lifestyle in towns. So again, what our data is indicating is that it's very much dependent on your stage in life. The decision to relocate to the countryside is not for everyone, or it can be for everyone depending on your stage in life. But what we see in Australia, is that usually when you are in your late forties, early fifties, you're kind of done with living and working in a busy city and you would like to do something else, to enjoy the lifestyle, the environment. And then again, what I said before, it kind of goes hand in hand with this self-confidence, you know, “I can actually work independently on my own from anywhere in the world.” It's easier to say that if you are well into your career and you've got some experience and achievements, so you can call yourself an expert in some field and it kind of simply comes with age quite often. What we see in Australia is that yes, there are great experienced people moving away from cities into remote locations, whether it's the coastline or more likely like a hinterland or outback, as we call it in Australia. So, yes, it's a massive trend that is shifting the way those smaller towns look like and perform. Quite often it's very welcome because many of those smaller towns were suffering a population decline, but now the population is back, and with that house prices go up. And quite often, people who couldn't afford to buy a house are in an even worse situation because of that. 43:51 Juan Andrés Delgado: Thank you, yes. It has an impact on other sectors of the economy. Thank you for your answer. 43:57 Andrea Cañizares: I have a question. I would like to know what you think about the difference between the communication strategies in a face-to-face and a remote setting. For example, we know it is different when we are scheduling a meeting, when we are talking, or when we are giving information. But, do you consider there is a factor that makes a difference while working remotely that enhances the productivity of Global Virtual Teams (GVTs)? Or do you consider it the same? 44:30 Matthew Zenkteler: Are you talking about productivity to remote teams? 44:34 Andrea Cañizares: Yes. Like when you use Slack, or when you use virtual meetings. Does it take more time to do it, or is it the same as if you were going to do it face to face? 44:47 Matthew Zenkteler: I think it depends on how the organization is put together. Thanks to technology, I'm involved with different organizations, and one of them is very progressive and we don't meet face to face at all. We just use Slack all the time and we use Zoom. We all have a habit of looking for some interesting events that are happening globally, and we attend those events together remotely, whether it's like a conference in New York or some performance in Tokyo. As long as it's free and it's available through online channels, we gather together. So, it's the culture of this specific organization. I also work for other companies, which are more conservative, and they do like those face-to-face meetings, and they say, “Let's not do it on Zoom, let's meet in the office.” They seem to be less productive because what comes often hand in hand with those face-to-face meetings is that all the correspondence, communication, the minutes, the agenda, the briefings, the preparation for the meeting, the briefing after the meeting. You can just spend hours on that correspondence that doesn’t produce anything that will be tangible. You just spend a lot of time preparing for the meeting and for what's going to happen after the meeting. I think that from my personal experience, companies that embrace technology and are not afraid of it, can be more dynamic and productive as well. But again, it’s the human factor as well. It's many things, but I'm actually very happy to operate with those progressive technology-wise companies. I love it.

47:04 Andrea Cañizares: Thank you very much.

47:06 Pablo López: All right. Thank you so much for that. Let's just move on with the last question so that we can wrap up the interview. This question is more related to your work. We would like to know, what are your suggestions for people who wish to continue your research?

47:21 Matthew Zenkteler: Okay. Thank you. You know, what's of interest to me in city planning space is how remote work is going to change the neighborhoods. And just to be more specific, I don't want to talk about this too much because I think it may be outside of your interests, but it's how the role of the local neighborhood centers may change with co-working spaces appearing everywhere. In my city, we have over 40 co-working spaces, which is a lot. I mean, we have more and more of them popping up everywhere. We now have co-working spaces in pretty much every new high-rise building. There is a new skyscraper being built. It does have a co-working space on the ground floor, not only for the residents, but for the community who lives nearby. What I'm interested in is exploring this shift of geography of work away from the city to the suburbs and what it means for public transport, for the amenity of the neighborhoods, and what it means for the city itself. Does it mean we will have a crisis of space in the city? Probably yes. And then, what does it mean for the economy of the cities? When you think about it, we all talk about our aspirations to live in vibrant walkable neighborhoods, where you can live and work in the same community, and know everyone around and feel safe like, “Oh, this is my home.” In some ways, that post-pandemic reality might actually advance those aspirations, which is very exciting. But at the same time, it may put the city centers in a bit of trouble. So this is one interest, and the other one is, with co-working spaces themselves, we think we will start to see a growth of co-working spaces that have the residential component as well, like people live and work from the same building. We think it will be very interesting to observe how this is developing and how it's changing. Presumably how younger people move around, and then travel freely between those spaces just to work from one place to another. It would be very exciting to be part of that movement. Lastly, it’s what we spoke about before, the ability to move from a city to a regional town for a couple of years to live on the farm and work for a city. So again, it's got many implications for those smaller cities and it's interesting to measure and watch it as an academic.

50:23 Pablo López: That's a really interesting approach. Hopefully, we can see that later on in the literature. It is an important factor to study yet, how people are moving to the countryside when working remotely, and how people are still in the city, people that live and work in the same building. So, it's a really interesting avenue for research. So, that would be all the questions we have for you. Again, thank you so much for taking the time to join us. I hope we can see you another time.

50:30 Matthew Zenkteler: Yes, thanks. I hope you find it interesting. And, I don't know, so what's going to happen from here? 50:35 Pablo López: We will work on the transcription of this interview and before uploading it to our website, we'll contact you.

50:43 Matthew Zenkteler: Yes. That's all right. Thank you. It was lovely to meet you guys. I wish you all the best.

50:46 Pablo López: All right. Well, thank you so much. We'll be in touch. —End of Interview—


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page