Many workers are now heading back into head offices with the tide turning on working from home. Some studies have now found working from home accountable for detrimental mental health issues such as isolation and lack of connection, while a new study recently found working from home may also be making us more physically unhealthy too. Meanwhile, losing hours of the day commuting on public transport or behind the wheel also has a negative impact on the wellbeing of workers.

But we believe there is another more positive way to live and work. We call it the ‘work near home’ movement, and it's built on our belief that working closer to the people and places we love is key to creating happier, more balanced, better connected lives for individuals and societies.

Here are some case studies of members who explain why they have chosen to ‘work near home’ and how it has improved their mental wellbeing.

Jazz and her mother enjoying a cup of coffee in Patch Market in Chelmsford

Matthew Knight, 44, Twickenham, is a self-employed strategist and founded Leapers - to support the mental health of the self-employed.

Prior to the pandemic, Matthew spend most of his time working in his clients' offices and workspaces, but since COVID, the majority of his clients now also work remotely, meaning most days were working from home with little human connection.

Joining a co-workspace has allowed him to have a different space to work from to improve boundaries between 'home' and 'work' and to have an environment which is setup to focus and helps build connections with others.

Having a community-centric workspace, rather than large corporate offerings in the centre of London also means there's less of a commute and more of a local community to build relationships with. Having people to work alongside is really important for him.

He says; "Having a local space to separate home and work is essential for my wellbeing. I'm so grateful to be able to have a different and supportive workspace within a few minutes of my home, so I can also get home in time to look after my family. It's been transformative in improving my focus, motivation and quality of work, and quality of time spent with my kids - all of which are essential for my mental health."

Our coworking studio in Twickenham

Jazz Rocks, 31, from Chelmsford is a content & community manager for children’s food brand and freelance content creator @jazzabellediary.

While Jazz did enjoy working from home, becoming a mother last year changed how she felt about working in her home environment.

She began to notice that she could not escape the mental load of motherhood when she was based from home. She was constantly distracted by all the tasks she needed to do to run her home and family life, and found it difficult to focus.

For her, 'working near home' at Patch is like her sanctuary. It's the perfect combination of being close to home so she can collect her child quickly and easily, but also a space for her to focus her mind and switch off from the mental noise of the "motherload". Jazz also finds Patch super-welcoming for families and on occasion she even brings her baby in and she loves the kids corner!

The 'Reading Room' at Patch in High Wycombe - a space to connect and collaborate.