Founder Diary

June 21, 2023

WFH isn’t a cure-all

WFH isn’t a cure-all

Plus solving real-world problems with Brick AI.

The Brick Layer newsletter banner featuring a hamster with a trowel. The hamster is leaning on a brick wall under construction.
The Brick Layer newsletter banner featuring a hamster with a trowel. The hamster is leaning on a brick wall under construction.
The Brick Layer newsletter banner featuring a hamster with a trowel. The hamster is leaning on a brick wall under construction.
Nikita Kazhin's headshot

Nikita Kazhin

Co-founder at Brick

X (formerly Twitter) logo

Hey friend 👋,

Here are 3 more bricks to help you build your time independence:

  • 1 down-to-earth study breakdown

  • 1 quick tip

  • 1 link

This one is a 5-minute read unless you want to savor it.

Let’s get to it. 

1 study: The downsides of WFH

I love working from home. No office politics or overly talkative colleagues, plus being in charge of my own time is fantastic.

I don’t want back. It’s the best arrangement for me.

But I realized a lot of people online romanticize WFH. They pitch it as the ultimate solution for all productivity and business problem imaginable.

But it’s just not true. And even though I love it, I know WFH isn’t for everyone. There are issues aplenty.

Here are just the most major ones:

  • Interruptions Email, messages, notifications, you name it. Plus, family. You probably knew about these. What you might not realize is that interruptions are not a mere inconvenience. They’re proven sources of stress, burnout, poor sleep and mental health challenges in general.

  • Information overload. Sure, office workers get that, too, in a big way. But being “out of sight” means managers have a harder time tracking workloads all that well. And, you know, some folks at the office excel at pretending to be busy. With WFH, your bossed isn’t likely to see how it’s going for you. And if you’re your own boss, it’s even easier to lose track of all your commitments and overextend yourself.

  • Social disconnection. No water cooler chats, no spontaneous lunches together, weaker communication in general. And, of course, not much face-to-face human talk (Zoom isn’t that)

  • Work spilling over into personal life. Invasive tech, an always-on, always-at-work attitude, you know how it goes. More stress, less balance, weaker work/life limits. It all degenerates into complete shitshow all the time, I’m talking from experience here. Again, all bad for your energy, mental AND physical health.

Do you know what’s funny?

Some smart folks talked about documented and extensively studied all of these challenges 10, 15, and 20 years ago! Read: way before the pandemic-induced remote work & WFH revolution. This “review of reviews” from 2020 that I relied on for this list cites studies as far back as 2001, i.e., arguably the very beginning of the internet age for most people.

Also, luckily, all these problems have solutions. Most of them aren’t even that complicated.

That’s why I’m working on a free checklist that I call “Workspace that works”. It’ll list the most effective solutions for your physical WFH workspace. Based on hard science, of course. Excited to bring it to y’all very soon.

1 tip: The power of accountability partners

I’ve written quite a few times about how transformational accountability partners can be for personal productivity.

So I thought: why should I create that checklist ⬆️ all on my own?

So ​Simon​ and I set up a friendly ​Ship in One Week challenge​.

Here’s the (rough) plan:

  1. On Monday, June 26, at 7:50 a.m. UTC we hop onto a Zoom call, share what we're working on and start building. We do two 90-min deep work sessions with a 30-min break in between. Rinse and repeat for 4 more days.

  2. I livestream the whole thing on YouTube, and share our whole process.

  3. We help each other stay on track, get feedback or just connect with fellow makers (without distracting each other).

  4. On Friday, June 30, we ship. Congratulations! End of story.


In fact, this is only the beginning.

5. We spread the word.

You share a link to what you've built ➡️ We set up a database with all the products ➡️ We share it with all the participants + post at ​​ ➡️ We ALL share it across our socials, newsletters & communities ➡️ Result: Your product gets seen & the hardest part (getting user #1) gets that much easier.


You "WASTE" a week working together with a group of like-minded folks.

Even if your product isn't ready by Friday, you still get all the benefits. And maybe even make friends.

Because this is NOT a "ship or die" challenge.

No risk. No obligation. No judgement.


1 link: Solving real-world problems with Brick AI

This week, we finally launched ​Brick​, our app that helps makers ship faster by getting you over the planning stage very quickly with the help of AI.

But telling about this only gets you so far.

So I recorded my first real video to show, not tell.

Here, I'm trying to imagine (with a bit of help from Brick AI) what learning Python would involve if I were to pull the trigger.

Hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for reading, and let’s get building.

Be the first to know what's new at Brick: