Why I Don't Want to Work Remotely Early in My Career

As of recently, there's been a big push for return-to-office policies among companies (even Zoom of all people!), and I'm generally not opposed to it as a young person. I appreciate the flexibility of being remote my job as a software developer affords me, but the experience of being in the office among my coworkers and hashing out ideas beats any similar action I would instead have in a remote fashion. Beyond communicating more efficiently (I peep my head over my monitor to talk to my project manager), I feel more connected with my peers and overall less lonely.

I am extremely grateful that I am in a position in which I can afford to rent and live alone in an apartment in a major US city. Though, with the passing of my mother to cancer this past year, living alone can feel empty, sometimes oppressively disheartening. I've fallen into bad habits following her death, which only became exacerbated when I was alone. Only in recent months have I learned to move away from these bad habits through reading and writing.

One digital publication that I read and have been a big fan of is The Pudding, a digital publication that focuses on creating interactive data visualizations and visual essays, for some time now. One piece of theirs that struck me this past year was "24 hours in an invisible epidemic" by Alvin Chang. As outlined in the essay, there is evidence of a "invisible epidemic" of loneliness occuring in the USA. Statiscially, we have been spending less time with friends and less time with family, with an influx in time spent alone.

Reading this article inspired me to seek more time with my friends and family while showing them as much love and appreciation for our relationship, and it's a goal I continue to take with me into 2024.

There might come a time when I will need to be remote full-time, such as when kids enter the picture. As a young person, at this current stage of my life, however, I am beyond grateful for the relationships I've made thus far in my life and I want to cherish the time I can spend in-person with others as much as possible.