News & Opinion | November 7, 2020 7:00 am

Would You “Work From Home” From a Ferris Wheel?

One amusement park has found that people absolutely will

Ferris Wheel Tokyo, Japan
Picture it: You, your laptop and a Ferris wheel gondola.
Alejandro Barba/Unsplash

The pandemic has reshaped how people work from home all over the world. For some people, what was once a home office has now become an educational facility as school-age kids learn remotely. For others, a once-welcoming co-working space might be a little bit more fraught these days. In short, a private workspace has become critical for some people to get their job done. Which, in turn, has led to some creative options cropping up.

A new article by Miho Inada at The Wall Street Journal explores the ways some unexpected locations in Japan are opening themselves up to remote workers — including, yes, Ferris wheels. Other spaces being converted into temporary workplaces include pubs and private karaoke rooms.

The idea of working remotely from a Ferris wheel does have a definite appeal. The example that Inada cites, an amusement park located in a suburb of Tokyo, offers workers an hour per day on the Ferris wheel as part of a co-working fee that covers seven hours there.

“For one of those hours, customers can take their computer as well as a Wi-Fi device and battery provided by the park into the four-seat gondolas of the Ferris wheel, which has a view of Mount Fuji on a clear day,” Inada writes.

In the instances of both the amusement park and karaoke rooms described in the article, business owners are splitting the difference, retaining some of their pre-pandemic clientele and renting out surplus space to workers looking for temporary offices. Is it a strange blend of the functional and the resourceful? Most definitely — but you’ve got to admit that checking email sounds much more fun when you’re at the top of a Ferris wheel.

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