Why I don’t work from home even though I could

This senior account manager decided he wasn’t his most sane and productive self at home

WeWork 8 Cross St in Singapore. Photograph by WeWork

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn

Just because you can work from home doesn’t mean you should. I learned this in 2022. When I moved to Arizona from Singapore and started a remote job, I was excited about the time and money saved from not needing to commute.

But three months in, despite having a great home office, I knew it wasn’t the right solution for me. I found myself feeling isolated and mentally drained. 

So, at the suggestion of my wife, I got myself a hot desk with a WeWork All Access membership. And yet I can’t help but feel it was the best monthly expense for these three reasons.

Being in the presence of other people

While I don’t enjoy small talk, I do appreciate being around other people (in silence). I feel less lonely and more connected to the human experience. Remote work can feel transactional. 

Solutions like these [are] an investment in your talent.

Nicholas Patrick, senior enterprise account manager at an HR tech company

So being in the presence of others at WeWork who are also trying to achieve something is stimulating. Yes, I do have to engage in small talk sometimes, but even that I’m starting to enjoy.

Natural light

I’ll always remember the statement Alexander Mearns made when I interviewed him for my podcast two years ago: “Humans are solar-powered,” he said.

And while I understood it conceptually, I didn’t really appreciate how vital it was to optimal functioning. While we don’t need it all the time or in heavy doses, we do need to feel the energy that is absorbed from the sun’s rays. 

Having an office space with constant sunlight is especially important for someone like me who doesn’t like to leave a spot until I’m done with something.

It’s convenient and connected

In 2022, I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to travel for work. Many cities I visited had WeWork locations I could use when I was done with my customer meetings and needed a place to focus. 

That’s the beauty of WeWork. It has thousands of locations around the world, which is a great asset for anyone who travels for work and needs a designated place to focus.

Now, any challenges WeWork may have as a business is not the point of this post. In fact, they have no effect on you as a consumer. Like any other product or service, you use it until you can no longer do so. There are many other coworking spaces to choose from, though I can safely say, they don’t quite compare to WeWork.

What’s more important is to ask yourself: Am I the sanest and most productive at home or in an office setting? Because if you’re not, then the priority isn’t about saving money. Because it’s costing you your well-being.

And while it would be nice for your company to recognize the cost burden and provide you with support, don’t pull the trigger only when you receive financial support. I would hope companies view solutions like these as an investment in your talent. Invest in yourself this new year. 

Nicholas Patrick is a senior enterprise account manager at an HR tech company.

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