A Betterment report from last year says that one in three workers are freelance workers. One side effect of changes in the way we work is that we must also change where we work.
If you’re one of the growing number of people who work from home, you know that the term is misleading. Working remotely is more appropriate, as many freelancers don’t have an office in their homes.
If you’re one of the many remote workers who need to work elsewhere, because you don’t have a home office, you’re not doomed to a life of working at the dining room table. Read on for a list of fantastic alternatives to a home office when working remotely.
1. Coffee shops
This is the most obvious, but still must be mentioned. It’s almost comical at this point how coffee shops are known as havens for those working remotely. When you walk into a coffee shop, you see them right away — lines of people with their laptops and lattes side by side, and charging cables dangling all over the place. Who can blame them, though?
Free Wi-Fi, fresh coffee and lots of snacks make the perfect combination to get some work done. Plus, many coffee shops expect a rush of those working remotely and are outfitted with plenty of outlets and workspaces to make your freelance experience comfortable. In fact, there’s a chance that even this particular article was written in a coffee shop.
2. Co-working spaces
Co-working spaces are businesses bred purely from the necessity caused by the rise in remote workers. These spaces are designed specifically for those who don’t work at home or a centralized office.
Co-working spaces are shared workspaces. They’re often available in different sizes and levels of privacy. There’s a fee that comes with working in one of these spaces however, that will vary based on how much you pay up-front and specifically which type of workspace you’d like access to.
3. Your local university or college campus
If you live in even a semi-large town or city, chances are there’s some institution of higher learning accessible to you. In 2015, it was reported that there were about 5,300 colleges and universities in the U.S.
You don’t even have to enroll in any courses to take advantage of many campus resources — most institutions will grant some sort of community member access to locals, though there is often a fee associated.
College campuses often have Wi-Fi throughout (sometimes, even in outdoor common areas), plenty of desktop computers to use, access to printing services and even free educational opportunities like workshops and community lectureships.
College campuses are, after all, made for students to get work done. That’s why they are so conducive to working remotely.
4. Breweries and bars
Breweries and bars are often seen as party havens, but that’s mostly just late at night. During the day, many of these places operate as casual daytime spots. Many will even serve snack foods or full meals alongside their usual drink offerings.
During the day, there are also far fewer people. Remote work at these businesses is becoming so common, many even encourage freelancers to come during the day, offer coffee as an alternative to alcohol and most have excellent Wi-Fi.
5. Public libraries
Public libraries are oft-forgotten, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty of them out there — an estimated 116,867 of them, in fact. Public libraries offer everything you need for working remotely: internet, desk space and educational resources all in a peaceful and quiet environment. Plus, public libraries are free to use.
Museums are probably not-so-high-up on the list of places you’d think about when considering where to work remotely. That doesn’t mean they aren’t great for it though.
Museums are typically very comfortable and most have wireless internet and some sort of common areas where you can sit and work.
7. Local parks
A study conducted by the University of Rochester shows that getting out into nature boosts our energy. That’s why it makes perfect sense that a local park could function as an office for remote workers without a home office.
Most parks will be for your offline work, however, as they won’t have internet access. Unless you have your own portable Wi-Fi hotspot, you’ll need to be able to work offline if you choose to use a public park as your office space.
8. A friend’s house
This isn’t technically working from home because its someone else’s home! If you’ve never done this, you should really give it a try.
Gather a group of friends who all have their own tasks to accomplish, and get them done together. Even though you’re all working on something individually, the presence of others can make you feel more productive and motivated.
9. The train
If you’re like many Americans who have a long daily commute into the city, you may spend a decent chunk of your day commuting to and from home on the train. Even if you work remotely, you probably have to get to the city center at least occasionally.
If that’s the case, you should use this time to get some work done. Especially if you’re in a city that boasts free public Wi-Fi.
10. The grocery store
So, we don’t suggest you pace the canned food aisle with your laptop in hand. But most modern grocery stores have a number of other amenities inside, including common areas, coffee shops, bars and even restaurants.
These establishments are not as hot as trendier cafes or bars and often will be less crowded — perfect for working remotely. As an added bonus, you can pick up groceries for dinner when you wrap up your daily work.
Working remotely doesn’t require a home office
A home office is a luxury, not a necessity. In fact, sometimes you’re actually more productive just by being away from your home. Whatever your reason for getting out of the house and out of the office to work, you have plenty of options to choose from.
With a little creativity and a tiny spark of motivation, working remotely can be fulfilling and easy.