By July 14, 2011 Read More →

5 places to work when you don’t want to work from home

5 places to work when you don't want to work from homeToday’s guest post is by San Sharma, a long-standing home working friend of mine. Over to you, San:

Working from home is great. I’ve been doing it, on and off, for about five years.

There are times, however, when the allure of the television, the biscuit tin or the unmade bed are too much even for me.

It’s those times when I pack up my MacBook in an old kit bag and look for somewhere else to work. But where?

Here are some ideas for places to work when you don’t want to work from home:

1. Coworking spaces. If getting out of the house is something you want to do with some regularity, consider joining a coworking space or members club, like Central in London. It’s a nice way of working, because it puts you in the same space as other independent workers and can lead to collaboration. If you want to try it out for free, join a local Jelly event, which is like a pop-up coworking space. (Judy’s written an excellent guide to Jelly for home workers).

2. Coffee shops. Taking your laptop to a coffee shop is often the easiest way to work outside of the home. It’s not hard to find coffee shops with wifi these days – and the only rent you’ll pay is in caffeine!

3. Libraries. Libraries offer a quieter environment in which to work, and most have free wifi. You may have to be a member to get online, so make sure you take some ID with you, if it’s your first trip.

4. Somewhere fancy. If working at home just isn’t cutting it, get out of the house and work somewhere fancy for inspiration. Dress the part and work in a posh hotel lobby, and it may give you a fresh perspective on your work.

5. The great outdoors. If you work from home most of the time, it’s a good idea to separate your workspace from the rest of the house. You can do that physically with a garden office or be even more adventurous and make the most of the great outdoors.

Where do you work when you don’t fancy working from home? Let us know in the comments.

San Sharma (@WorkSnugSan) is community manager at WorkSnug, a website and mobile app that connects mobile workers to the nearest and best places to work in the world.

Posted in: Mobile working

12 Comments on "5 places to work when you don’t want to work from home"

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  1. Thanks, San, for this reminder that “working from home” doesn’t have to mean always working “in” the home. I live on the coast of Ca and when home, spend most days working on my laptop at the beach, but when I am in other locales, as I am now in Ohio, it’s more difficult to work outside. Coffee shops tend to be too noisy and distracting for me. I’m too curious and eavesdrop and people watch. Libraries, hotel lobbies and co-working spaces are great options.

    • San Sharma says:

      Hi Terri,

      And thanks for your comment! I totally agree that working from home means much more than working within your four walls. You’ve the freedom to explore and experiment with workspaces.

      I use my environment to distinguish between different kinds of work and clients. I work from home for one client, at a client’s space for another, and coffee shops or libraries for other jobs. When I’ve got admin todo, I usually work on the beanbag or in front of the TV!

      I wrote a blog post about software that can help you block out distractions. You might want to check it out on this link:

  2. judy says:

    Hi Terri
    When A and I lived in Cornwall we used to go to the beach to make plan, but I’ve never used my laptop there. I too like to people-watch, but since I only tend to use coffee shops to catch up with emails, tweet etc, I can easily multi-task! Could happily spend the whole day there, in fact!
    Thanks for commenting

  3. Corrina Gordon-Barnes says:

    It’s made the world of difference for me since I bought a super-portable Mac Air. I work on the train, in libraries, cafes, other people’s houses – just such freedom. This is the promise of self-employment and I’m loving it 🙂

    • San Sharma says:

      Oh, me too Corrina! Before I took mobile working seriously, I had an old and weighty MacBook Pro. The strain was too much on my shoulders and on my day 🙂

      Now I’ve a MacBook Air I hardly notice it in my bag. It’s so light and portable – and makes the world of difference when I’m working out of the house.

      Thanks for your comment, by the way. Glad you’re loving self-employment!

      • judy says:

        It’s been suggested that the solution to my bag problem is actually to get a smaller laptop, and I think that may be quite right. Not ready to invest just yet though, I’m determined to get as much mileage from my MacBook as poss! (Unless like San my shoulders tell me otherwise).

  4. Ali Davies says:

    I live near the sea so had been using the hotel lounges of two hotels as my alternative home office. Also find working outdoors really powers the creative thinking so do a lot of that during the nice weather. However, have also got a new alternative home office in the form of a campervan, which is very liberating as i can take it to all sorts of locations and park up and work. I call it my mobile board room!!!!

    • judy says:

      What a brilliant idea, Ali, you are a truly mobile worker – and no bags to carry! You could be a moving mini Jelly venue as well 😉

    • San Sharma says:

      Hi Ali!
      That sounds awesome 🙂 Would love to see some pictures. Tweet me (@WorkSnugSan)?
      Thanks for your comment,

  5. Thanks San for this great reminder of the wonderful variety of options open to us homeworkers. I’m hoping to launch a Jelly-type thing near us soon, but in the meantime I find myself going from kitchen table to home office to coffee shop and outside. It’s the main perk of the job to be able to up sticks and get ‘out there’, wherever ‘out there’ happens to be!
    Best wishes,