Coworking isn't the only way to add variety to remote work
If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then working from home is totally insane.
All scientific and anecdotal data point to the fact that workers need separation, variety, and stimuli in order to stay motivated and happy. Exposure to new environments actually stimulates brain activity. Germans have a word for this: tapetenwechsel, a change of scenery.
But the question is: where should we work?
As many remote workers know by now, hunching over a screen by the beach or under a tree is not all it's cracked up to be. And thanks to COVID and WeCrashed, coworking is not too fashionable these days, either.
Here, now, in 2022: we want distance, privacy, the ability to focus without distraction. Less of work bleeding into life, and more of life taking precedence over work. We still want to socialize with coworkers, but in specified timeframes, designed around safety and public health protections, often virtually or outdoors or during weeklong offsites.
In fact, the reason why we believe so much in offsites is because getting far away from our homes and routines gives us license to experiment and have fun.
But these events are rare, costly, and complicated. Not to mention, disorientation has its downsides. The answer to the monotony of WFH is perhaps to focus less on extreme solutions (renting a private island, or a full-time desk at a coworking space) and more on incremental ones, that include a mix of external AND internal changes of scenery:
Of course, these solutions are mostly on a personal level, and we need to rethink how to build tapetenweschel at the institutional level as well. Is there a way to do so without removing some of the freedoms remote workers enjoy?