I don’t really like working from home.
Sure, there are advantages, but I find it isolating. I’m sick of sitting in my apartment. I prefer to interact with colleagues face-to-face.
I find the endless Zoom meetings draining. I’m tired of the lunch options nearby.
Also, construction noise is inescapable in Singapore, and I’m dreading the day when builders start tearing down the building across the street, or the neighbours start to renovate their kitchen.
In preparation for this, I tried out a new type of workspace. It’s a pay-by-the-minute desk in a booth at my nearest shopping centre.
The pods, which cost less than four Singapore dollars ($3; £2.15) per hour, have been created by a Singaporean company called Switch.
They follow similar booths that have been around for a few years in Japan, where a handful of companies like Telecube and Cocodesk have placed them in metro stations, hotel lobbies and convenience stores.
However, Switch’s main competition in Singapore appears to be Starbucks, or any other coffee shop with free wi-fi.
The booth is a reasonable work space, if a little utilitarian, and very compact. The wi-fi works, and so does the fan. The chair is okay, but unremarkable. The overhead light isn’t overpowering. The grey and white colour scheme isn’t very exciting, but nor is it distracting.
But the main selling point for me is that it’s not my living room. Switch’s founder Dominic Penaloza agrees.