A New Trend: Work near Home

Cristiana Tănase

11 minutes read

Trabajar cerca de casa es la nueva tendencia

Whether we encourage the idea of flexibility or not, during the last two years we have all mastered in our vocabulary expressions such as “work from home” and “remote work”. As we gain a solid and diversified experience in working outside the old office buildings, we support the collective development and assimilation of a new concept: work near home (WNH).

For 10 years, as long as my last experience as a corporate employee lasted, I admired the office building next to the subway station in my neighbourhood, from where I began my daily adventure of going to work, towards the other end of the city. 

Although that building is well integrated architecturally in the district, it was and still is an exception. While large companies were migrating to business centres on the outskirts of the city, few developers invested in business buildings in residential areas, resulting in an urban fragmentation that has plunged most of us on endless daily journeys to and from the office.

Today, we are changing our optics not only in terms of working from a fixed office, but also in the way we understand the idea of urban rejuvenation. Through the flexibility and diversity of coworking spaces (which are not limited to office buildings but can be elegantly integrated into a variety of locations, such as cafes or hotel receptions), we can bring our work closer to home. Who hasn’t dreamed of this at least once in the long hours of daily commuting?

What does work near home mean?

Working close to your place of residence is a middle path that ingeniously eliminates the disadvantages of both work from home and work from a fixed office. We are bothered by the rigidity of the classic 9 to 5 at the office model, but we have also convinced ourselves that working from home is not an ideal alternative either. 

Work from home fails when we do not know how to put firm boundaries and we end up replacing the time spent in traffic with doing extra hours. Some employees do not have the space, peace or ergonomic office equipment at home. For others, the feeling of isolation and loneliness is a major cause of mental and emotional discomfort generating loss of productivity. 

Conversely, spaces located near your home, such as coworking hubs, combine many benefits of work from home and work from a fixed office. One can have all the necessary facilities, enjoy a high professional atmosphere and feel part of a community where he can make new business contacts, while being near home and thus keeping the feeling of familiarity. 

For example, you can eat at home on your lunch break, if you wish. You can easily slip an interruption of one hour to take your child from school, then rapidly return to work; at the end of the day you will no longer keep an eye on the clock, always in a hurry to catch those 15 minutes when the traffic has not yet become dreadful.

Work near home implications

Here are the major benefits of this concept:

• It creates a better balance between our personal and professional lives.

• Both employees and employers save time and resources.

• We all live healthier, with less stress and multilevel satisfaction.

• By choosing coworking spaces, we become more creative and productive, we expand our business and social network and we simultaneously benefit from a welcoming, safe, highly professional work environment.

Although some WNH critics invoke the danger of urban segregation – we might become more isolated in our neighbourhoods, creating “islands” within the city –, working near home, however, should not be an inflexible option. It could be seen as a work facility to have at hand when it is appropriate. 

In addition, the mere fact of spending a few hours a day commuting does not mean a genuine connection between us and those places we see while struggling to cross the city. Instead, we can reserve the pleasure of visiting any part of the town during the spare time gained by working near home.

Related consequence: urban regeneration

Beyond all these, the work near home concept is also born out of a need for urban planning. The decentralization of work through alternative office spaces creates cascading favourable effects for the environment and cities’ development

With the traffic decongestion, emissions of pollutants decrease. By creating more coworking spaces in towns, all neighbourhoods can reinvent themselves, as various service providers will be encouraged to expand their coverage.

The natural consequence of the WNH model is an urban regeneration on several levels, which many experts in architecture and sociology confidently support. “The 15-minute city”, a concept developed by the cities expert and professor Carlos Moreno, specifies that all of our basic needs should be met within a 15-minute walk or cycle from our home.

Another good example is that of Towarowa 22 Warsaw project developed by real estate companies EPP and Echo Investment. Their goal is to transform part of the Wola district starting from the idea of accessibility and diversity: a relatively small area should provide access to offices, living spaces, shops, cultural and recreational activities. 

“Our city centres will have to adapt to be something else other than the place that we go to every day, our suburbs will be where we can work close to our homes“, says Renée Searl, director of Threefold Architects.

Urban remodelling and rethinking residential projects to better integrate remote work are therefore on experts’ agendas, but until then related spaces, already existing in your neighbourhood, may be the right solution to work near home.

Given that companies are increasingly moving towards adopting hybrid models, flexible options become necessary – a need that translates into choosing spaces specially designed to facilitate remote work or transformed into offices, in less conventional places, such as those already included in the Pluria network.

By using such an option, we have the freedom to decide how far away from our homes we want or allow to work, depending on our schedules and the resources we need.

This is why it should not surprise anyone that the work near home concept is gaining more and more popularity, especially when work from home or from the company’s premises doesn’t seem to function optimally.

What other benefits do you think WNH could offer you?

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Written by Cristiana Tănase


Former bank officer for 12 years, I am currently testing entrepreneurial remote work and a self-taught way of life which combines different hobbies.

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