A Third Space

It’s 2022, two years into a pandemic, and it finally seems that many things are returning to the way they were in 2019. Life outside of work is fairly normal for me, and I have a number of trips. Work is starting to pick up and we’ve seen a few conferences and SQL Saturday events pop up on the schedule.

Work is still mostly remote for many technology workers. Not all, and some companies are starting to require workers to come back to the office, part or full time. My son got a job as a software engineer and he has to go to the office every day for six months. After that, if he proves himself reliable, he can work at home 2-3 days a week.

For many tech people I talk with, there is a still a mostly remote atmosphere. The feelings about this situation vary dramatically from person to person, and from role to role. I find as many managers love remote work as hate it. I find more tech people prefer remote work, but not all, and certainly not all like working at home. Depending on your environment, and how many others might be at home (and their ages), you might find remote work more stressful than commuting to an office.

A friend pointed me to an article on someone that doesn’t love working at home and needs a third space. My friend feels the same way, as isolation and quiet can be hard to cope with for long periods. As much as I have loved working from home for nearly 20 years, I haven’t done this for 20 years. I’ve traveled regularly and when I have long stretches at home, I usually spend some periods in a Starbucks or another space just to be around people. Talking to my dogs isn’t bad, but they often don’t talk back in a way that satisfies my need for background noise.

My friend’s company has a subscription to WeWork, which allows remote employees to get some social interaction, or just ambient noise, as needed. We’ve experimented with this at Redgate as well, and while I don’t know I’d go to WeWork over a coffee shop or restaurant, I do appreciate the ability to have a space where 5 or 10 of us could gather in an ad hoc manner periodically. If I had more employees in Denver, I would look forward to meeting them a few times a month.

For those of you working at home, do you want a place to gather on a regular or periodic basis? Do you miss interacting with live people? Or do you love being alone at home. I certainly like the latter many days of the week, but I miss interacting with people on a regular basis. I look forward to regular trips to Redgate offices and more events where I can talk technology with people whose hands I can shake.

Steve Jones

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About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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