One of the great things about having a work at home job or a home business is that you might have a lot of flexibility in where you work. It’s not necessarily all at home, depending on the kind of work you do. Sure, if you need a wired phone and internet connection you’ll be limited in where you work, but in many other cases, where you work is up to you. Here are some options.
1. Home Office
A properly set up home office is the best option when you can get it, even if you don’t want to be stuck in it all the time. It’s a place for all your work stuff. If you can close the door for privacy while you work, so much the better.
Your home office should have great internet connectivity, power, a setup you like, a good office chair and desk, and whatever else you need. You don’t have to worry about the space being taken over by someone else. If other people are too noisy, you can tell them you need quiet. They’re family or friends, after all. You can ask them to respect your work hours.
You may be able to take the home office deduction on your taxes if you maintain and use your home office. Check with your tax professional to see if your space qualifies.
Isolation. If you want to be around other people sometimes, your home office can be very isolating.
If you have kids, it can also be a very frustrating place for them to have you work. They’ll get bored and want your attention, especially if they’re young.
Your bedroom is one of the other places to work at home when you need to close a door. It’s not ideal for most people, but it’s a possible solution. Hopefully you have the space to set up a desk and chair, rather than having to sit on the bed to work.
It’s your bedroom. Some people find it very difficult to use their bedroom as an office. It makes it too easy to think about work when you should be sleeping.
3. Living Room/Elsewhere In The Home
Lots of people who work at home will work in shared spaces around the house, such as the living room. Sometimes you want to be a part of things; other times it’s because you have no better space available. Your productivity may take a hit, but at least you can work.
It’s very difficult to get away from the noise of everyday life in the home if you’re in the same space as everyone else. It’s distracting.
You get a beautiful, sunny, but not too hot day, and it will be tempting to work in your backyard. Fresh air, sunshine, and the feeling that you really are living the work at home dream. It’s a nice break from being indoors all the time.
If you have kids, it’s a chance to work where they’re playing. Don’t let them distract you too much, but enjoy the ability to all be together even when you’re earning a living.
Patio furniture may not be as comfortable as what you have indoors. Your access to power may be limited. How good is the wifi in your yard? Hopefully it’s good enough.
If you have kids, they’re probably going to be noisy out there with you, and want you to join in the fun. Being productive can be a little more difficult.
5. Coffee Shop
Here’s the traditional office away from home office of the home based worker. Coffee shops have long been popular with people who work at home but aren’t limited to working specifically at home.
There are advantages to working at a coffee shop, such as snacks, drinks, and free wifi. Many coffee shops try to be comfortable for remote workers.
Those snacks probably aren’t all that healthy. You might spend more than you should. The menu looks so good.
Coffee shops can also be noisy, as others come and go, and the employees call out orders. They often have music, which may be too loud for your tastes.
Employees won’t appreciate it if you take up a table for too long, especially if the other tables are all full. Pay attention to the crowds and try not to hog the space if the shop is busy.
6. Fast Food Restaurants
Like coffee shops, many fast food restaurants offer free wifi. So long as you don’t take up a table too long when all the others are full, most don’t mind if you work while enjoying your order.
Go to a fast food restaurant that features a playground if you have kids. They can play; you can work. The air conditioning isn’t too bad at most, so those days when the weather is too hot, cold or damp for them to play outside, you can still give them playtime.
Fast food restaurants are usually noisy, especially if they have playgrounds. You may also need to fight the urge to get yet another snack as you work, even though the food is rarely all that good for you.
The beach is another of those dream places to work. Out in the sun and sand, it’s almost like a vacation while you work.
There are no power outlets on the beach. Your internet connection depends on how good service is in the area, and probably depends on your cell phone provider.
Sand gets into everything. If you aren’t careful, that includes your laptop.
You can’t do all of the fun things you can do other times at the beach. You’ll get some sun, but you can’t work all that hard on a tan.
The park is a good place to work when you want to get out of the house or if the kids need to get out and run. You’ll get fresh air and you can often find a bench or table to work at. If the park tends to be crowded, bring your own seating, and you’ll be fine.
No power, and many don’t offer wifi. You have to provide your own internet connection.
Parks can be noisy, even if you go on your own. Kids play, dogs bark, and people walk by all the time. You can’t always find a quiet spot to work.
9. Coworking Space
A coworking space is a good way to get the advantages of a large office while working on your own terms. It should provide everything you need to have a productive day – wifi, phones, desk, printers, copiers and so forth. A good coworking space will have everything you need.
There will also be other people around, which can give you some camaraderie with the other people who use the space. You get people to talk to, so you’re less isolated.
Cost. If you’re paying for it yourself, a coworking space can be on the pricey side. Some employers pay for coworking spaces for work at home employees if they want one, but it’s not a very common benefit.
The library can be a very good place to work. You may not even need to bring your own computer, although if you have any privacy concerns, you probably should. Most libraries offer free wifi. The air conditioning can be pretty good too. Unlike coffee shops, they rarely care how long you stay during business hours, aside from any time limits on library computers.
Libraries may also offer other services, such as copy machines or a fax machine. If you need these services , it’s nice to have them right there.
Libraries are thought of as being quiet places to work, but that’s not always true. Kids sometimes get noisy in there, as do other patrons.
Library hours can be very limiting. The one in my area, for example, is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you want to work outside those hours, the library isn’t for you.
In general, you should think carefully about where you work outside your home office. It’s nice to get away sometimes, get a little time around other people, but pay attention to what it does to your productivity. It might help, but it might not. Try working other places if your work permits it, but if you’re less productive, it’s probably not the right choice for you. You might be surprised at what works for you.