As a stay-at-home freelancer, I’m always looking for different places to work.
It’s a perk of the job that you can take your laptop anywhere, so here are my favourite places to get stuff done
INSIDE THE HOUSE
Good for blogging, social networking and social sharing/bookmarking
This is a surprisingly productive place to work.
- It’s comfy – so why would you get up an wander off somewhere else?
- Any attempt to move will result in a cable-duvet tangling scenario
- it’s relaxed – so perfect for creative ventures
- You can flip between sitting upright and lying on your front if you need to (yes I know, both terrible terrible postures)
- Terrible for your posture
- If you’re tired it’s hard to get motivated/not fall asleep
- Definitely not for Skype chats!!
Good for email answering, planning, to-do list writing and inbox clearing
Less productive than the bed, as it’s far more tempting to put the telly on, do the washing up etc. However, sitting on the sofa in a bright living room is still a valid place of work
- With a bright airy room, you’re less creative but more switched on to tackling simple but useful tasks
- there are a variety of positions available
- similar restrictions to moving as “bed” – cables, comfiness etc
- Not ideal for long working sessions
- Distractions of household chores/TV
Good for design, report writing
I currently do not have a desk (long story) but I always found it the best place to get the “big project” done.
- if set up right, a desk is a comfy, “good posture” place to work
- There is a sense of purpose on a desk, and the hours can fly by
- You have all your stuff near you – pens, staplers, printer etc.
- Not very creative space (I always have my design books in another room so I can step away from the desk and into a different coach to get some inspiration)
OUTSIDE THE HOUSE
4. Coffee Shop
Good for blogging, social networking, link sharing
Find the right coffee shop and it can become a perfect place to work. I blogged about some of the best working coffee shops in Birmingham here
- Despite being a public space, there are actually fewer distractions than in your own home. No washing up, no television.
- There is a sense of time limit – no matter no friendly your coffee shop is, they will close eventually.
- regular breaks as you get up to buy more drink
- Once you’re set up, you won’t want to move again for a couple of hours
- Noisy – (especially around lunchtime)
- unreliable wifi can ruin your session
- Too much caffeine!
- Potential to eat cake and carb-heavy food all the time!!
- People you know “popping over” for a chat
I’ve always had a soft spot for my my local “big” library – the soon to be demolished Central Library in Birmingham, it was my go-to revision spot when I was doing my A Levels.
Yes, there is free wifi but I’ve sometimes had problems logging on and there is a time-limit, and to be honest it’s sometimes nice to get non-online tasks done in this environment
- Fewer distractions
- Sense of a place of learning so encourages self to get stuff done
- Plenty of research material
- You can’t wander off without packing everything up
- Noise. It doesn’t take a lot to be noisy in a library
- Wonky wifi connection at times
- A hassle if you need to pop to loo, for a coffee etc
Good for social networking, links sharing, filing etc
I know people who love working in pubs. To be honest, I’ve always found it an odd location but it can work, especially as so many now have free wifi
- During the day pubs can be quieter than coffee shops
- Range of beverage options (depending how the writing is going!)
- Fewer distractions from friends as they’re all in the coffee shops
- Downsides (mainly when the pub gets busy)
- Once the pub starts to fill up, you will end up being the pretentious dick in the corner on a laptop
- The pub may not be happy with you taking up a table
- The temptation to have a “cheeky lunchtime drink”
7. Co-working space
Good for focus-jobs i.e. report writing, blogging, accounts sorting)
I’ve blogged about the pros and cons of coworking spaces here.
I’m still not a mad fan of these, but there are definite pros and cons
- If everyone else in the room is diligently working, the pressure is on you to do the same
- Usually a productive space and a big desk for yourself
- Tea and coffee on tap
- Too quiet – quite a tense atmosphere sometimes
- Cost (compared to working at home)
- Politics / etiquette – how to behave, talking, mobile phones etc