So after 7+ years I'll be going into an office to work. I know that is surprising since everyone wants to work remotely these days. While I've enjoyed the experience, I think it's time to switch back. I know commuting across the city will suck, but there will be some nice changes.
Leaving the house is something most people do every day. When you work remotely you often don't. Sure you might work a few hours from a coffee shop, but you can't stay there 4+ hours. You get a little bit of cabin fever after a while. My wife is, of course, the opposite. Having to leave home to go to work every day, she looks forward to getting back home after work. I'm the complete opposite, having been in the house all day, the first thing I want to do after work is to get out of the house.
Collaboration is almost never real-time when you work remotely. Sure you can schedule calls, use slack, and screen share, but it is just not the same as being in the same room collaborating on a whiteboard. I didn't realize how much I missed this until I started having to whiteboard answers in interviews.
The same goes for having off tasks. It's a lot more complicated to hand off work remotely. This is compounded when there are also timezone differences. You might have a 2-3 hour window at most to interact with some of your coworkers. You also might have to wait until the next day to get a reply for even a simple question.
The lines between work and home get blurred no matter how hard you try. I did lots to help keep the line between work and home well defined, but there is always some cross-over. My office never gets used on the weekend, simply because when I'm in there I feel like I'm working. Even if I'm coding up something fun, it feels like work. There is even some research that shows this increases work related stress.
Maybe this is all a case of 'The grass is always greener on the other side'. I'll let you know if it is in a month or two!