There are a lot of perks that come along with working from home. If you take it one step further and you’re lucky enough to be your own boss there are even more benefits to the situation! I can relate because I work from home nearly everyday I’m not either travelling or photographing a wedding. Yet, sometimes I find myself yearning for more ‘workplace’ options. Keep yourself from going stir crazy with these five places to work for freelancers.
5 places to work for freelancers (when you don’t want to work from home AGAIN):
1. Co-work with friends
Do you have several friends who also work from home? My industry lends itself to owning a small business. Most of those small businesses don’t necessarily need storefront spaces or offices. Thus, I have many friends who are in similar situations.
Remember when you were little and your parents may have had playgroups where they rotated who hosted every week? Or perhaps in your adult years you have a schedule for who hosts a book club or poker night. Do the same thing but with co-working. See who wants to join by emailing like-minded friends who work from home, discuss what days and times work best and what the frequency should be (whether weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) and plan accordingly. Maybe you can even tie in a ‘potluck’ schedule for who brings the snacks and such. I recommend keeping it between one to five people to start so it’s manageable.
2. Head outdoors to a park
It’s likely you may be addicted to WiFi these days (aren’t we all?) but when you think about it, you don’t need it to do your job ALL the time. If you work on writing as I often do, or on spreadsheets for example, you don’t need to be online to complete such tasks even though a computer helps. Computers don’t need internet to function so don’t let that discourage you from working out and about. There are a huge number of public parks that have free WiFi nowadays. You can check which parks in NYC have WiFi here.
If you’re worried about a strong WiFi connection, I suggest planning ahead. I often do things at home that require a lot of bandwidth and faster internet speeds (like uploading images) then I do simpler things such as writing text while I’m out.
Keep in mind it is possible to go unplugged for work too! Remember the days of using notebooks and a pen to jot down ideas, organize thoughts or get some work done? Don’t forget about those simpler times when you want to get out of the house to work. Giving your eyes a break from a screen can be very refreshing.
Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention checking the weather before you head to a park to work!
3. Visit your favourite coffee shop
Perhaps this is obvious but it is, nonetheless, a valid option. I like to support local and go to places with a small business vibe. Yet bigger competitors, like Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee, are great options too. Looking for a twist on your typical coffee shop? Check out tea shops or local bars and breweries. I’ve been very productive enjoying a glass of beer…as long as I limit my alcohol intake when I’m trying to focus and get work done!
4. Join a co-working space
Given the increasing popularity of flexible hours and the rise of freelancing, there are so many options for co-working spaces today. One of my recent favourites is a new co-working community in the eastern United States called The Wing. This all-female space is not only an environment for women to connect with other professionals but it’s an incredibly well designed, safe haven for productivity.
They have additional perks like an ongoing speaker series, given by women for women, and even a beauty bar in case you work all day then need to get ready for an evening out and don’t have time to head home in between. They opened with a startup location in the Flatiron neighborhood of Manhattan and quickly expanded with three more locations. Don’t be surprised if they reach your area soon too! (Special thank you to The Wing for use of their professional images, posted with their permission.)
WeWork is another popular coworking space in the United States that swept the nation.Central Working and Spaces are also notable globally. Be on the lookout for local co-working spaces in your area too. For instance, HQ is one in the Raleigh Durham area of North Carolina, that’s quickly expanded to surrounding cities.
5. Attend a retreat
I recently saw Lena from Adventures in Blogging post about a mastermind retreat she went on with friends. I am certain they got work done! (I’m also pretty sure they had fun too but the main goal was working to build their businesses.)
Be sure to search your area for industry conferences and meetups. When you work solo at home most days, it’s easy to forget there’s a whole world of people out there who do what you do. I challenge you to take five minutes today to look up opportunities to connect. You never know what you may find!
We have plenty of tips for bloggers and freelancers right here at Department of Wandering! Also check out:
- The Best Facebook Groups for Bloggers
- How to Reflect on the Past Year and Plan for the One Ahead
- 10 Things that Happen When You Quit the 9-5
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Got any other tips on places to work for freelancers? Tell us in the comments!