The news of the impending rollout of eTolling on Gauteng’s major highways may have SANRAL breathing a sigh of relief, while it has Gauteng residents holding their breaths for the extensive belt-tightening that will soon follow. Not only is it getting more and more expensive to travel further to work and back, but the time and stress it clocks up for the average worker will have far-reaching effects on quality of life, health, and relationships.
Telecommuting is becoming a very popular option for South Africans, as more employers are buying into technology and home offices as a more cost-effective and oftentimes more productive alternative to insisting that employees work from a single office location. Still, there are pitfalls to working from home, one of which is not being able to draw the line between work-time and family-time. The ideal solution is for the office to be close enough to home so as not to require a frustrating twice-daily commute, and still “away” enough for employees to be able to go home after work and achieve that ever-elusive working/living balance.
The evolution of our work/life space has been ongoing, but more recently, new developments (especially in Gauteng) have been fully embracing this lifestyle, with office parks being closer to – and often inside – residential estates. Not only are office parks and business premises closer to home, so to speak, but developers and landscapers have been forced to think of employees’ wellbeing – the answer to which has seen office parks that are secure, with pleasant premises, green belts and even bird and animal sanctuaries within the fences of the office environment. Just think of Woodlands Office Park in the Woodmead area.
The Fourways Office Park and Fourways Golf Park are two locations that boast fully embracing the concept of working, living, and playing within close range in order to minimise wasted time and frustration, and maximise quality of life. Fourways has become a decentralised mecca of living, working, playing and shopping in one area, with shopping centres and entertainment destinations all within walking distance from residential estates and office parks.
Waterfall City is another such development, but it goes one step further and combines living, working, education, entertainment, shopping, and even retirement, all within the walls of one massive estate.
While few people are willing to relocate to accommodate their work/life dilemma, the long-term benefits of time-, cost-, and stress-saving may just be the game-changer that Gauteng residents need to realise that this is a great place to not only live, but in which living can be enjoyed.