This essay article is part of a Narcity Media series. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Narcity Media.
When the pandemic was in full swing, people had no choice but to work from home. It became so popular that it was all the rage for those who wanted independence in their office work.
As a TV reporter with no choice but to be in the field every day, I finally landed a “WFH” opportunity and loved it…until let it become monotonous… and isolating.
I stared at the same four walls day after day, and when I got off work I was still in the same place. So I spent an entire week going to different cafes in my town in South Florida to see if it would change my overall mental health.
Disadvantages to ‘WFH’ in a cafe
When you choose to work somewhere that isn’t your remote home office, you need to do your research on where to go.
I found myself anxious every night having to find a new place for the next day, so I didn’t camp at the same spot all week. On the first day, I went to a familiar place. Although the day I went to a new place the wrong address was listed so I ended up 10 minutes late for work.
Plus, it can get expensive. Cafes charge a latte for almost $10. It’s around $50/week, and you have to be a paying customer to sit in a company for hours.
Another negative was the noise level. I have morning meetings every day, and I don’t like disturbing others while I’m video chatting, so navigating where to sit and when my meetings were scheduled was another battle.
Benefits of “WFH” in a coffee
There are many benefits to this type of remote work. You really can go wherever you want, as long as there is WiFi and an outlet to charge your portable device.
I loved discovering new places and I’m a bookworm so fun and unique cafes fill my soul.
Working elsewhere made me get up early. I changed into pajamas and felt refreshed by going somewhere I hadn’t been or just finding a different landscape.
Plus, you’re probably somewhere that serves food or a nearby restaurant for your lunch breaks, when it’s necessary to get some fresh air and explore more of the city. I never felt like I was confined to one area.
My productivity hadn’t really changed, as I’m someone who works best in silence, but seeing other people working around me motivated me to stay focused.
I realized I craved human interaction, even if it was just saying “hello” to the barista himself.
The experience was useful because it changed my mindset. In the beginning, I think people liked working from home because it was new and fresh. This allows for flexibility, and sometimes it makes more sense than having to rush to a desk.
I think humans also need other people in their physical space. There’s no quick hello on the way to the bathroom, stopping at your best friend’s cubicle to chat, or even just wandering around the office for a break. Social companionship is what I was missing.
When I forced myself to work outside my bedroom, I appreciated the possibility of being at home much more.
It became more “I could work from home, but I choose not to” and it was a treat on the day I didn’t go anywhere. Rather than just staying home for the comfort of it all.
Having the same place where I spend my free time is the same place where I worked has made it difficult for my mental state to distinguish between work and leisure.
I will continue to have a hybrid work environment and change my weeks or at least go out to lunch for my breaks to change the mood.
There was definitely a drastic and positive shift in my mood and how I felt each day.