This is a quick post, covering no new ground, but promoting an idea I like and hope becomes a societal norm, very soon.

Alan Pope wrote about how they were eager to return to some kind of office, even when working with a dispersed team.

I still needed to re-add that home/work separation back in. So I started renting an office within my budget. […]

I feel more productive since I’m in an office, making the mental switch, being more focused and taking regular breaks. […]

I have an enclosed office space, but can optionally sit out in the communal area if I want to have some human contact (which I rarely do, but it happens). So I’m not looking at the same four walls all day. Sure, I’m looking at a different four walls, but they’re keeping my head in “work mode”.

Even before working remotely I had excited aspirations of getting my own four walls to work from. As has become the norm the world over, the company I worked for had an open plan office space in for as long as I had worked there. I disliked this.

That company eventually moved to WeWork, again in an open plan area. All the walls in WeWorks are glass (which is what stops it looking soullessly like a Regus space) and from where I sat I was looking right into a completely vacant, lovely looking single person office space. I idly dreamed of just renting this office space often that eventually the CEO took me aside and, far more politely than they needed to, said something along the lines of, “no, that’s a stupid idea. Don’t do that.”1

Another driving force behind wanting my own personal space was my idolising Casey Neistat whose studio space is legendary. I wanted to be that cool!

Eventually, whilst still working for that company, I moved away from London and made the switch to a remote contract.

Working from home, in a similar room to what Alan describes in his blog post, was soul destroying. Very, very Sad making.

I started looking around my new area and found the perfect studio space; I use it for both work-work and project work. It’s a fantastic space away from home that I can fill with bookbinding tools and stationary and books that no longer fit in my house.

I half suspect that this is going to be the way of the future. More and more spaces like this - not hot desking, but a room for which the tenant has a key to the door - will open up in towns outside of London. Ready for people who are tired of working from home to find another community of other working professionals and a focused space to get on with their day job.

  1. And they were obviously correct. Imagine the awkwardness of everyone at the company just watching a sole employee working from their own room. Which they could do because it was all glass. “Why is Shane over there, away from all of us?” “Because Shane’s bad with money.” And that would be apt.