The Ultimate Workplace. Is Canary Wharf an Utopia?

Was this the ultimate workplace? I headed for Canary Wharf , London’s financial district (and Europe’s money brain), on a sunny Friday morning. Standing in the Underground with bankers, brokers and god-knows what kind of “important” black suit guys, I was thrilled to find out how the area would look like in the morning on a weekday.

The tube station was somewhat different compared to other London station, classical music was all around. For some strange reason I always associate classical music with some higher importance or let’s say rawer version of what’s going on. The music just adds some higher octave to the matter, a movie often loose it’s quality without the right music in it.

A police officer approaches me, asking if I would be taking pictures for commercial use. “No”, I say and he turns away, leaving me puzzled. What was that about? I can’t help my curiosity and walk up to him, asking what would happen had I said yes. How can he trust my word? Having a police officer standing there would probably give people some sense of safety but does it really make the place safer? I was honest saying no but is that the check the police is here for?


As I roam around I find my way into some sort of central park where I hear water coming out of a fountain. I giggle as this just confirms what kind of Utopian world I find myself in. The designers of this workplace were probably thinking how to optimize the human machines who work here. (“Humans are coming from nature, so let’s add some optimized version of nature to our architecture.”) A man enjoys his cigarette. Is this happiness or did the uptopian workplace fail to make all employees happy?

I find my way through the streets and look up to the skyscraper. I wonder what pleasure people find here, juggling with numbers? Do they all love what they do or are they here for status and a sense of belonging to the machine? But then again what constitutes the perfect workplace? Why do we work in the first place? Get a sense of purpose, be of use, help to make the world a better place? Or is someone writing a bigger story, banks, kings, governments?

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