The best places to work remotely

Last updated on 
August 18, 2020

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Flexibility is the beauty of remote working. When you’re sick of your home office, you can just pack up and work from somewhere else. The variety serves a great motivational boost, breaking up your working week and providing much needed social connection. But there’s an art to finding the right remote workspace. To help you find your perfect home office from home, here's our remote team's pick of the best places to work remotely.

1.  Quiet cafes

Notice the “quiet” part – while cafes provide warm, cosy, caffeine-rich workspaces, they are also riddled with distractions. They’re community spaces, so expect to work alongside incessant chatter and high noise levels (which can be on a parallel with nightclubs). Many cafes provide free Wi-Fi and plug sockets, but many don’t – always be aware of whether a workspace precedent has been set before you settle in.

☕️ How to work productively at a coffee shop

2.  Museums and galleries

Calm, quiet and almost always housed in grand buildings, museums make a fascinating alternative to your office. In-house restaurants usually provide ample seating and food choices, and you can use break time to explore and learn something new.

3.  Libraries

If you haven’t yet considered becoming a member of your local library, you should – because they’re great. But aside from supporting your community, they also make for really productive remote workspaces. Save them for hyper-focused, distraction-free deep work. (Printing facilities are an added bonus).

4.  Bookshops

If a cosy, bookish environment can’t motivate you to focus on your work, few things will. More bookshops are adding quiet spaces and cafes into their outfit, giving you the benefits of café culture and library comfort in one.

5.  Coworking spaces

If you require a bit more structure to your workspace, consider a local coworking space. They essentially act as a second office from home, full of all the equipment you need for work as well as refreshment and often leisure facilities. Designed with sociable working in mind, there’s also great opportunity to meet new people, network and exchange ideas.

⚡️ Everything you need to know about coworking spaces

6.  Arts centres

With a similar vibe to museums and galleries, art centres offer a more inspired remote work space with all the trimmings. Check out preforming arts centres in your local area – things like the Barbican in London and the Opera House in Oslo. Placing yourself in a distinctly creative environment is a great way to encourage your own creative tendencies.

7.  University spaces

Some areas will require an access card, but university campuses present a range of different places for productive remote work. It’s precisely what they were designed for, so expect a good range of indoor and outdoor environments. Worth a try if you find the company of students to be motivational rather than distracting.

8.  Private member clubs

There are fewer of them about, but these professional members clubs are useful sanctuaries for productive remote work. They essentially serve the same function as co-working space, but are perhaps a little more exclusive. Many regularly host business events and conferences, making them great places to learn too.  

9. Heritage sites

Your local area might have a few unique cultural spaces you’ve never considered working in before. Things like historic estates, botanical gardens, theatres or even castles – all of which likely provide good seating and refreshments. The novelty is certainly a great for motivation, and you enjoy the reward of exploring somewhere new as you work.

10.  Department stores

They suffer from the same problems as your humble local café, but department stores are a good site for remote work – as long as you can overcome noise and distraction. Top floors are almost always reserved for eateries and cafes, giving you a choice of workspaces and usually a pretty good view too.

11. A different home

Let’s face it, nothing really beats the comfort and calm of home. So if you’re sick of your own home office, try working from another! Consider setting a “home office rotation” schedule with other remote worker friends to keep things fresh. If you fancy going further afield or tying work in with travel, try house/pet sitting or find a workspace-friendly AirBnb (read our guide on working vacations first!).

🏠 What makes a great home office?

A word of warning

Public workspaces come with their own unique set of problems for professionals, so before you work anywhere new, always consider the following:

Client Impressions: If you regularly meet clients, consider investing in a co-working space or private members club which provide more discrete and productive meeting spaces. A stuffy café full of screaming babies doesn’t resonate professionalism.
Security: Public Wi-Fi is notoriously unsafe. Always access any sensitive information on a private connection before you relocate to a public workspace, and use a VPN connection when you’re out and about. Try and find a private setting to hold calls and meetings too.
Remote-friendly spaces: While you may be happy to work from a café all day long, the owners might not be thrilled to have you. Not all cafes are by default geared up remote work, and some actively discourage it. So a little research before you settle into any public space, checking for plug sockets, guest Wi-Fi and other remote workers.
Essentials: Counter to belief, remote working can't happen just anywhere. Your workspace needs to satisfy a few basics: a strong, stable internet connection; a comfortable set-up; access to a power source. You may be happy to tether via a personal hotspot and bring back-up batteries, but that’s not always practical. Don't underestimate the importance of comfort either – low tables, lap desks and hard seats can make remote work a miserable experience. Always case the joint of any new workplace before committing - Work From is a great resource to help you out!

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