The best places to work remotely

Last updated on 
July 10, 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 yours, try out one of the Timely remote team's favourite 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.

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 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. Co-working spaces

If you require a bit more structure to your workspace, consider a local co-working 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.

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. 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.

10. 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.

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! Set a “home office rotation” schedule with other remote worker friends to keep things fresh, try working and pet sitting, work from a family home, or work from a workspace-friendly AirBnb (read our guide on working vacations first!).

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: When you need to meet a client, a stuffy café full of screaming babies doesn’t always project the most professional impression. If you regularly meet clients, consider investing in a co-working space or private members clubs which provide more discrete and productive meeting spaces.
  • Security: Public Wi-Fi is notoriously unsafe. Consider what you need the internet for in advance, and access any sensitive information on a private connection before you relocate to a public workspace. Use a VPN connection when you’re out and about, and find a private setting to hold calls and meetings.
  • Establishment outlook: While you may be happy to work from a café all day long, the owners might not be. Not all cafes are by default geared up remote work, and some actively discourage it. So do a little research before you settle in to get a sense of the environment – if the Wi-Fi is hidden, it’s a big sign remote work is not welcome.
  • Essentials: Remote working just can’t happen sustainably without a few basics: a strong, stable internet connection; a comfortable set-up; and a power source. You may be happy to tether via a personal hotspot and bring back-up batteries, but that’s not always practical. And comfort counts – low tables, lap desks and hard seats can make remote work a miserable experience. Before you work from anywhere new, always case the joint first - Work From is a great resource to help you out!

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