August 17, 2020

Web Dev: Lost at Home

A buddy of mine is a freelance web developer. When he first started his own gig, he was full steam ahead. He rented a desk in a coworking space, set up a station in his apartment, made the connections he needed to get his feet off the ground, and lamented to his friends that working from home is without a doubt the best way to work.

You set your own hours. You can work from wherever you want, from your couch, your bed, or when you need a little bit more space and amenities - your coworking desk. There’s zero commute time. You can make a full meal during your lunch break and walk your dog. It’s flexible, comfortable, and surprisingly more productive.

Then the honeymoon phase faded away. After a while, when I would ask him how work is going, he would no longer smile and tell me that the modern office space is a prison, a black hole of despair, and that everyone needs to get out. Instead, he’d just shrug and say it’s going all right. The work is fine, but it’s not all that it’s chalked up to be.

What had been hitting him hard was the loneliness. There were days, even weeks, when he would simply be working without talking to a soul in person. He loved the flexibility of his work life, but his personal life, his need to connect with someone - anyone - was crumbling. The coworking space he rented a desk from certainly had people bustling in and out, but everyone was pretty secluded. It was just a place to get work done.

He was at the point of telling me that he misses going into an office. He missed the people around him to distract him, to make him feel grounded in reality. That was pretty profound coming from someone who was so gung-ho about working from home.

So, I asked, why not do both? Why not work from home and work in an office setting? Why not be in a setting with both office and private housing amenities? Why not work and live in a place where you can be around other people who are focused on work and growth? It’s now possible to live in a luxury space and have high-quality office amenities, while saving on housing, working, and transportation costs at the same time. That’s pretty huge.

More and more people are working from home, and more and more people are leaving the honeymoon phase of it. For the web developer, work can feel like a grind. Networking can be a slog, and marketing one’s self can feel damn near impossible with so much competition out there. That’s why I directed my friend to 4M.

4M works hard to craft an environment for both luxury living and power working. Picture this: a private luxury suite paired with the fastest fiber optic internet available. A fully equipped kitchen topped with collaboration spaces for the residents. Meeting rooms geared for teams and clients and events right next door focused on socializing or networking. What we’re really trying to do, at the end of the day, is merge the vest of both worlds at a fraction of the cost.