There are many advantages to working from home, but sometimes it can feel isolating. Over the past few years, working from home has been a godsend when I need to tune everyone else out and focus solely on designing. Since making the transition from working in a full-time office space, I have found myself wondering the streets of Boston looking for cool new places to get inspiration and still get work done.
More than just books
The library is a great place to get some peace and quiet, but also be around other human beings. Sorry Sully (my 50lb Akita, Shepherd, Husky mix), sometimes I need more than a bark back for a response. Some great benefits to working out of a library, other than human interaction, includes a plethora of reference books, free internet access, and cheap printing and faxing. It’s a great way to support your local library and you can always take out a non-work-related book on your way home.
Work bars anyone?
No, I’m not talking about going to bars and setting up shop. There are actual rental work spaces across the county that you can use (for a small fee) whenever you need to feel like you’re in an office. It’s great for holding client meetings in a pinch rather than inviting customers to meet at a crowded or noisy coffee shop. Most work bars even have free day passes you can try out for the first time. Be sure to also take advantage of networking with others. You never know who you might meet.
It’s never too late to go back to school
Another personal favorite is working on a college campus. Most campuses are open to the public and have several open spaces for use. They also have a library that you can use to work from, but you might not be able to check out books as easily as you can at a public library. An advantage to working from a college is the energy that comes with the student atmosphere. That wonder of what the future holds and willingness to jump into new adventures can be addicting and is great for getting the creative juices flowing. Just remember to come up for air in the working world every once in a while. Also, there is usually a cafeteria near-by for a well-deserved snack brake, so wins all around.
Misery loves company
Okay, the word “misery” might be a little harsh – it’s more like, many people enjoy having the company of others! After talking to some friends, I realized that although it might feel like I am the only person in the world working from home, I actually have quite a few friends who work for themselves or have flexible schedules that allow them to be home during the day. After agreeing that sometimes it gets lonely, I set up “work play dates” with some friends so we alternate going to each other’s houses on Fridays for a few hours. It’s a different kind of productive: Friday afternoons are good times to wrap up our work for the week or set ourselves up for the week to come.
Nature is calling!
If it looks like it’s going to be a bright sunny day outside, maybe consider going to the park for a few hours. Pack a lunch, bring your laptop, find an amazing tree and have a working picnic. It’s a great time to get inspired by nature and people watch. The only contingencies to working from the park are finding restrooms and finding WiFi. Depending on the park, you might find a Porta Potti before you get a clear WiFi signal, so think about hotspotting your phone or bring your own portable WiFi device.
After weeks of finding and testing out different locations to work from, I found my days revolving around where I was going to work rather than what I was actually working on. So, to wrap it all up, a day trip is nice once or twice a week but let’s all click our heels three times and remember “there’s no place like home (office), there’s no place like home (office), there’s no place like home (office).”
Remember to be kind to one another,
even in your dreams.