From the Manager’s chair, as I listen to residents talk about their decisions for why they came to Kent and how they made their choice for where to live, it seems that more people are making that choice based on their lifestyle preferences and quality of life in a community rather than strictly on moving to where the job is.
Don’t get me wrong, job location still matters but as our economy has shifted away from the time clock driven, got to live close to work, 9 to 5 days of manufacturing to today’s around-the-clock, one-click away, twittered and texted to death on-demand employees, the employees seem to be fighting back, trying to maintain some semblance of sanity by living in places that give them a little peace and quiet for self preservation. It’s an interesting dynamic and I often wonder if that greater flexibility offered by businesses between the hours of 9 am 5 pm is really worth the intrusion of work into the other 16 hours of our day. I guess time will tell.
Time deprivation seems to be the personal epidemic of the day. In the old 9 to 5 world, evenings, weekends and vacations were your time but these days there’s nothing sacrosanct about the 5 to 9 flip side so what used to be large blocks of me time have now been swapped out for slivers of me time, and in those slivers we try to fit in the days (and chores) of our lives. With that being the case, people look for places where quality me time is readily available.
Today’s me time is more spontaneous than ever befor – -I’ve got 15 minutes free, so I’m taking a walk, I’m going to shop, I’m going to bike — and that means to be competitive, communities need to offer easy access to personalized spaces, which is why Kent has been working so hard in the last 5 years to create more public space, more hike and bike trails, more convenient shopping, etc.
Quantifying quality of life is always a bit awkward because it’s such a qualitative term. It’s like trying to rate great art but still people try and even if it’s imperfect I think it’s a worthy effort which is why I wanted to let you know that there’s a new community survey being circulated that asks for your input on the community health aspect of quality of life.
The survey is being done as a partnership by the local area hospital networks to better define what community health looks like in our region from the consumers perspective. It’s important stuff. After all, if you don’t have your health all the amenities in the world aren’t going to mean anything.
So take a few minutes and take the survey: