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"Sir, you can NOT sleep in the office" !

Updated: Jun 4, 2023


This morning I woke up with a start when my doorbell rang insistently. It was 07.30 am and the morning sky was just beginning to lighten. I looked through the peephole and saw two individuals in gray suits and masks who looked like officials. "We come from the Town Hall" one told me curtly! I opened the door a crack and, without even looking at me, he slipped me a piece of paper with several stamps indicating that my property had Residential Use and was not suitable for work. “We know that you are teleworking at home!” "I don't know if you know that that's what Tertiary Uses are for!" they impertinently clarified. “Yes, of course, but…” My apologies were not worth it. Without being able to avoid it, they searched all the rooms and confiscated two laptops, a printer, two wheelchairs, several work folders and a glass table with stainless steel legs that my mother-in-law gave me as a gift. “All this material is confiscated until you pay the fine”! they concluded.

Fortunately the alarm clock pulled me out of this dystopian nightmare. Or maybe not so dystopian…? Let's not fool ourselves. To a large extent, teleworking is here to stay. All real estate reports point to a drastic reduction in tertiary uses. Many offices are becoming empty. It is possible that, soon, we will frequently see moving trucks in some business parks that have gradually been vacated. And they will begin to ascend, through windows and elevators, mattresses and refrigerators and kitchens and dining room tables to occupy vacant spaces where before there were only offices and meeting rooms. Can't we, in pure logic, rent those empty spaces for a residential use that is much more in demand? Or then two individuals in gray suits will come to reveal our dreams to show us a stamped paper and say curtly: "Sir, you can NOT sleep in the office" !!!

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