Being able to work from a laptop gives you the freedom to work from practically anywhere! It’s one of the great benefits of being freelance. But many freelancers don’t really take advantage of this benefit – instead, they cramp themselves into our bedrooms or kitchens – places that aren’t really all that conducive to doing your best work.
If you find yourself constantly wandering off to put a load of washing on, getting distracted or feeling isolated and lonely, changing your working environment can work wonders for you.
Table of contents:
- Is working from home all it’s cracked up to be?
- Best places to work remotely:
- Watch our Skillshare class for free
- Related articles
Is working from home all it’s cracked up to be?
Most freelancers don’t think much about finding good workplaces and get used to working from home, 99% of the time. It’s free, easy and you don’t have to do any commuting. You can work in complete peace and comfort – even from your bed if you choose.
If you do decide to work from home, it’s smart to be a bit more conscious about how you do it. Setting up a dedicated workspace – your desk – should really be a priority.
This will help you to get into the right frame of mind for working when you settle down to get started on serious work. You can also keep your notes at hand and know where everything is.
Be sure to communicate your work schedule with your family because they need to be on the same page, or they are likely to keep interrupting you. It’s really important to keep some level of discipline.
Don’t let housework distract you, or other tasks during your working hours. It’s very easy to lose focus when you’re at home, so you need to be extra vigilant to prevent that from happening.
I find a balance of working from home and other environments works best for me. So here are a few of my favourite alternatives to the office, which I also think are the best places to work remotely.
Best places to work remotely:
I’m a big fan of co-working spaces and you’ll find that most cities have at least one of them.
This is a great way to meet other like-minded people and build a real community.
Visiting one of these can help to keep you motivated, and you can even find work by making connections with other freelancers. Of course, the downside is you will have to pay a membership fee.
It’s often well worth it. These spaces tend to be well designed, encouraging and friendly. Even better there’s almost always a good supply of caffeine.
When you surround yourself with like-minded people, that can really rub off on you and help you to move forwards and meet people who can really help your freelance business grow.
Cafes and coffee shops
Cafes are another great option for changing up your environment and, of course, getting your hit of caffeine and a nice drink or two.
If you do go down this route, make sure you support the business by buying a couple of drinks and maybe a sandwich if you’re in the same cafe regularly.
It can get a little awkward if you’re taking up valuable space, and not contributing. One way to keep things fresh is to circle around a few of your favourite cafes during the course of a day.
This helps you to avoid feeling like you’re overstaying your welcome. If it gets busy – usually around lunchtime – it’s polite to pack up your laptop and head out – or at least buy something extra.
Libraries and public spaces
Another idea is to find a library. Many people underrate libraries as a place to work, but if you can find a nice one, it can quickly become your favourite workplace.
There are also some beautiful, free spaces where you can settle in for hours and get some solid, undistracted work done. Just google for public spaces with WiFi in the city you’re in.
This can give you the chance to work in some truly unique and amazing spaces. For example, when I visited New York, I would often work in the beautiful library, and the Lincoln Centre – all amazing, inspiring buildings, and all free and comfortable to work in.
You’ll also find many hotels have huge lobbies with free Wi-Fi – nobody is likely to complain – or notice – if you set up for a few hours.
On public transport
One of my favourite things to do is to work while on the move.
I travel a lot, and I find that I do a lot of work when I do. Whether it’s in airports, on flights, or – my favourite – on the train.
The train works particularly well because it’s not really worth bothering trying to get the internet up and running most of the time.
So this is the perfect opportunity to find some offline tasks and really concentrate on them.
If the internet isn’t there, it can’t distract you.
I remember hearing Thom Yorke from Radiohead saying he writes some of his best music while on the move and talking about how productive it feels to be working while on the move.
I think the fact you have so many limitations really helps here.
When you’re on the train, you might as well work, because there’s no temptation to get up, or go on the internet. There’s nothing else to do, so it’s easy to settle into a working mindset.
This works especially well on projects where you need a chunk of time to start tackling them and making progress. Just be sure you pay attention to where you are so you don’t miss your stop though.
These are my favourite places to work, and I’d love to know which one you think is the best. Do you have any other suggestions for freelancers that I’ve overlooked? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,
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