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Mailbag: Do I Miss Going to the Office?

Jamees Bedford
Jamees Bedford
2 min read

I am frequently going to be answering peoples questions in long form. These questions could be about anything, from software development, to career advice, to something personal. Keep an eye out for these over the next few months, and if you want me to answer your question, reach out on Twitter or Instagram 🥰

Question: Do you miss going to the office?

Asked by: @pavlosnic

In short: no, I don't.

I have been primarily a remote worker for a number of years, completely out of choice. My first remote-first role was when I started at Mango, where I did two days in the office and three from home. Moving to Monzo and inheriting a longer commute (two hours door to door), I dropped the day spent into the office down to once a week. Joining Attest mid-pandemic, I have not been into their office and as a result have never met my colleagues in person.

The first thing to say is that I am heavily introverted. Spending time around people in an office environment saps my energy massively, group conversations are especially difficult and take a lot out of me. I find it very hard to concentrate for extended periods of time in any areas where there is a lot going on, so naturally I am not well suited to working in an office environment.

The second thing to say is that my work hours are fairly different to most peoples. I like to wake up early, get some focus time in, and try and clock off around four in the afternoon. I know myself that this is the routine I stick to to allow myself to be the most productive. Whilst office working does offer some flexibility in this regard, I found myself having to work around other peoples schedules much more when commuting. For instance: the Mango office didn't open until 7.30, which meant that already I was starting later than I wanted. Catching a train to London, I would get the first train at 5.30, and get into the office at around 7.30.

What I do miss about working in an office though is the interactions with individuals. I enjoy speaking to people on a 121 basis, and despite the huge amount of practice that I have gotten in with video calls over the years, there is still something fairly clinical about conversations that happen virtually. My ideal scenario would be working primarily from home, but travelling to the office maybe once a fortnight.