Working from home is a blessing: it’s convenient, it’s flexible, you can sleep in longer, you don’t have to get dressed or put on make-up. It’s really wonderful. Here’s the catch though: it’s not healthy!
So, if all you need to get things done is a laptop, electricity and an internet connection, getting out in the world to go to work has its benefits (except for the part where you need to get dressed).
1. Obviously, the coffee shops
Coffee shops have become the offices of many freelancers, so much so that making coffee has become almost a secondary business to their owners! These wonderful institutions provide fast internet access for free and they have outlets everywhere. They’re also running AC no matter what, so why not take advantage of somebody else paying for your cooling? Of course, you run the risk of only finding a table next to the lady who’s fighting on the phone with her fiancé for two hours. And as much as it is entertaining, when you need to get things done, being surrounded by shameless and unapologetic screaming is not necessarily the best way to concentrate. So, maybe you should consider…
2. The old-school locale: the library
In the age of Google, people tend to forget libraries exist. But they’re still around and they remain a wonderful, free place to work. Like the coffee shop, they have solid wifi and some of them even have their own coffee stands on site. Libraries generally have a lot of seating with the added benefit of a peaceful and quiet environment. If a lady screams on her phone, she’ll be asked to leave. Now, if you find libraries too quiet and coffee shops too loud, there is still another option for you…
3. The new age office: the co-working space.
Co-working spaces are propping up everywhere. You have the major national players like WeWork, but we’re also starting to see smaller neighborhood shared working spaces run by local entrepreneurs. For a monthly fee, you can either rent a private office (with four walls and a door, maybe even a window if you so choose,) a dedicated desk that will always be yours, or a “hot desk” (meaning you can sit at whatever desk is available when you arrive.) These spaces usually work with a monthly subscription, so they’re not free like the previous options. But 1. you can deduct that fee from your taxes and 2. that money is buying you more than just space. You’re also granted access to many perks (free –or at least cheaper than Starbucks – coffee, printers & scanners, conference rooms, a mailroom, special events…) And most importantly, they will provide you with a sense of community. Even though you work on your own, you will go to work every day with the same people, which means the opportunity to network, vent about crazy clients, create friendships and, to put it simply, be a part of society. If you don’t need new friends, there’s another option for you that can only be described as…
4. The good ol’days way: the dorm-room method
Remember the times when you’d all gather to “do homework” at your friend’s house or dorm room. Sometimes, you got some studying done, right? Finding a group of freelancer friends and getting together to spend your business hours at someone’s apartment (rotating venue is of course an option) is a healthy alternative to working from your bed all day, and remains a cheap option. Of course, with friends, a bit more discipline is necessary to avoid falling into a 2-hour long conversation about the meaning of life or the last date you went on. But a casual atmosphere, the option to call on a trusted brain and share a 10-minute break when one is needed can be priceless in the middle of a long workday.
But yes, to go to any of these places you will need to get dressed when you get out of bed.