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Artwork by Patrick DolanMore Information

Location, Location, Location

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Where are you?

It’s a simple question, and, thanks to the ubiquity of communication devices today, one that doesn’t necessarily have a simple answer (I love living in the future). What I mean to say is this: where you are has two answers, both of which are accurate. “But wait!” I hear you cry, “That would be a contradiction! No person can be in two places at the same time, unless you’re invoking some kind of quantum entanglement!”

Don’t worry – I’m not talking in terms of high-level physics. Nor am I posing a metaphysical question; asking you to sit back and ponder your place in this world (though that’s quite fulfilling too, on occasion). I want to know where you are right now, as you read this post, and I also want to know where you work. Ten years ago, those answers would have most likely been one and the same; in your office, or at home. Today, thanks to mobile phones with internet connectivity, 3G laptop dongles and wifi hotspots – heck, even Wetherspoons tempt you through the door with promise of free internet – you can be sat just about anywhere and stay connected.

The creative communities especially have been able to enjoy a freedom unheard of in decades previous. Whether you’re a designer, a film-maker, a writer, or some kind of digitally-oriented-consulty-person, the tools you need will almost certainly all be contained on a laptop. By now you may be asking “What’s your point? Trying to spy on your audience?” Well, yes and no. Also, you should probably stop shouting at your laptop screen, as the other punters in Wetherspoons are looking nervous.

This all came out of a chance remark one of the guys from EM Media made to me. They, like many creative companies, have a property in the Lace Market — or at least they did. He mentioned that more and more companies have moved out of that area, as they themselves have done. The desertion of that area of town is a topic that we’ve covered in the past, and it is a concern for the city. Perhaps the landlords mean to turn the premises into flats. Perhaps the companies themselves have just relocated. But what occurred to me was that, in these days of ubiquitous connectivity, it really doesn’t matter where you are. Some business centres, such as Antenna, have latched onto that fact – alongside their physical office spaces, they offer a ‘virtual tenancy’. It’s an idea that has been tried elsewhere with great success. You get a geographic phone number, a receptionist, and a swanky place for your client meetings, but without having to commit to a costly lease on an office space.

So, where are you? And where do you work? Are you based in Nottingham’s city centre? Somewhere on the outskirts? Or do you lay your hat down wherever there’s a fast connection and a latte? Perhaps I’m totally missing the mark here – in which case, I’d love to know why, so sound off in the comments below…