Helen Wilkinson - working@life

Helen Wilkinson - working@life - We live in the era of Community plc. The hot soap series of our time - Ally McBeal and the UK's very own dot.com drama, Attachments - depict a world where work is the new community, the place where we forge friendships, fi

by HELEN WILKINSON, founder and CEO of elancentric.com(hwilkins@netcomuk.co.uk)

We live in the era of Community plc. The hot soap series of our time - Ally McBeal and the UK's very own dot.com drama, Attachments - depict a world where work is the new community, the place where we forge friendships, find new loves and seek new kinds of belonging.

In Ally McBeal, the characters don't go anywhere except the work bar and don't have any friends or partners that are not somehow connected to their professional network. Work has become their whole life, woven seamlessly into their total existence. In Attachments, the two co-founders of the dot.com business are partners in the richest sense of the word. Their love-making is interspersed with casual chats about business strategy, funding difficulties and new investors.

And as business creeps into the bedroom, elsewhere community spirit is being exploited for commercial gain. In a climate of intense competition for talent, leading-edge companies in Silicon Valley have sought to recreate the kind of community feeling that you once typically might have felt closer to home, in an effort to extract even more value from their team.

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