I think it looks pretty bleak, however you approach it.
I was talking to somebody recently (I've talked to a lot of people recently so I can't recall quite who it was - sorry) and listening to other stuff which has got me thinking.
Our eldest has one year left in school, then (he hopes) a gap year and Uni, but the world seems to be expecting him to have made some bog decisions about the direction of his future career. My Dad was of that generation who knocked on an office door post-National Service and remained with the same company until he could retire (early) on a (comfortable) pension.
I imagine we will be thought of as that generation lucky enough to walk into Uni (I was the first from my family), bum around for two and a half years (wearing red trousers and a purple jumper for most if it F reminds me) then scrape a degree, but have to walk into a recession. We soon learnt that employers are not especially interested in loyalty, so the annual redundancy round came to figure quite high as well as the permanent restructuring, buying out and being bought that went on.
My sons? Well I really don't know at all. I was listening to an FT podcast about the future of the work/life balance and this almost Tomorrow's World portion of rose-tinted future watching was interesting, if a little frightening in its naivety. Generation Y, they argued, don't live segmented lives, so the idea of a work/life balance will be meaningless (do we really think that it won't be a work/work balance?) and they spoke of Microsoft in the Netherlands reducing its property costs by 30% by reducing dependency on a fixed office space. This sounds great, but worrying when you try to imagine what it might be like. The implication was that an industry would grow around the provision of office/meeting room/work space for individuals to use without needing to commute to headquarters. Now I see this is something with real potential to reduce commuting and the associated traffic, but will employers ever be happy with somebody working less (because they need to arrange meeting space, perhaps hop between two or three during the course of a day? I think not).
Does anybody else see the potential for Churches to offer some form of work space in this way?