I heard a business man saying "The Office is not a storage of the Human Capital".

I do not understand this phrase and I believe there is an interesting and intuitive analysis behind it. Can please someone provide me a detailed analysis about it?

Any help will be very appreciated!

  • 1
    I’m voting to close this question because it's not about Personal Finance. Jun 23, 2021 at 17:23
  • 1
    @GS-ApologisetoMonica ok but you should apologise to Monica about what you did for my question :)
    – Christina
    Jun 23, 2021 at 17:25
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    @Christina I'm not a big fan of topic policing on SE, and I think it would be more helpful if people suggested moving them to another place rather than just voting to close. Unfortunately, there is no "general business knowledge" site on SE at this moment. You could possibly post this in English Language Learners to ask about the phrasing (or maybe Workplace--but that's usually more about dealing with problems where you work, maybe off topic there, too).
    – msouth
    Jun 27, 2021 at 6:17

2 Answers 2


Without more context, it's hard to know what meaning the person you heard this from was trying to get across. But the following should give you an idea of the general concept that they were trying to convey. It's probably safe to say that they were trying to get you to think about the "human" part of "human capital" and think about the fact that humans function best when their physical accommodations are well-planned to support whatever they are supposed to be doing.

Human capital refers to employees. Saying that the office is not "storage for human capital" could be an attempt to contrast the following ways of thinking about an office:

If you think of an office like a warehouse that stores people, you will only be considering the things you would think about in a warehouse:

  • do I have enough space
  • is the climate control appropriate for what I'm storing
  • how much is this costing per unit of storage; could I do this more efficiently if I packed the units a little tighter?

Instead, think of the office as an environment that should be optimized for:

  • efficient collaboration: good formal meeting places, good informal meeting places
  • solo concentration: make it easy for someone working on a hard problem to do so without interruption
  • pleasant break time spaces: people will look forward to their breaks in any case because it's a break, but you can make them more likely to think about how happy they are that they work for you if you proactively improve break areas, such as having space outside, windows or skylights for natural light, free stuff to eat or drink.

Human capital are the workers. They can be the people working in the factory, or the employees flipping burgers and making pizzas. They can be computer programmers, doctors, accountants, or teachers.

In some cases they have to work in a specific environment, because surgery at home isn't a thing. But maybe programmers, accountants, and the like don't have to work in a specific location to do their job.

If the purpose of the office is as a storage facility for your workers, then in some cases you may find they can work other places, such as from home.

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    Surgery at home isn’t a thing yet.
    – Ben Miller
    Jun 23, 2021 at 16:34
  • Thank you for your answer. What do you mean by storage facility in your last phrase?
    – Christina
    Jun 23, 2021 at 16:36
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    @Christina "storage facility" is a crude way of saying "warehouse", like a holding pen. It's very metaphoric.
    – RonJohn
    Jun 23, 2021 at 16:37

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