Working from home: Beyond the front door

Posted on Sep 25th, 2014 | Productivity

You’re set-up, have your tech sorted and you’re feeling motivated. Now that’s all out of the way, it’s time to start making the most of working from home.

You could, if you like, work just how you would in an office. You could sit yourself down at your desk every day, complete your work schedule and be done with it. But that’s boring. Why not take advantage of being able to work from home, by leaving it?

Here are a few suggestions to get you out of the house once in a while:

The Cafe

This might be the first place that springs to mind. A good cafe has comfy seats, free Wi-Fi and, most importantly, great coffee. In part three of this series we talked about using Coffitivity to keep yourself motivated, but that’s never going to beat the real thing. The smell of freshly brewed coffee, the buzz of conversation and the energy of baristas rushing around. Surely this is the ideal environment to spark creativity and get a load of work done.

Well, until some screaming children walk in, then a group of guys in the corner start laughing really hard at their really funny jokes. One of the big downsides of working in a public place is that you have to put up with the public.

It’s worth trying out a few different options until you find a cafe with a vibe you enjoy. For example, you have the Timberyard in London, designed specifically for freelancers. In cafes like this, you can find a uniquely creative aspect that is a little more relaxed than a formal coworking space, but a little professional than your average Starbucks.

Alternatively, if you’re inspired by animals, you’ve got the capital’s cat cafe and Brighton’s canine version. Just remember to actually buy some coffees while you’re there or you could quickly make enemies.

The Bar

Booze! Peanuts! Talkative old drunks! Bars and pubs are pretty great whether you’re after a roast on a Sunday or creating a reason for that roast on a Saturday night. But what about working in one?

It might not seem like a great choice, with temptation all around you, but it can do the job. They’re much quieter places during the day and a proper traditional pub will feel a bit more secluded than a cafe, and even your old-man locals are now getting WiFi. Also, a pint or two gets you thinking differently and you can come up with ideas you never would when you’re sober – even if they’re not always good ones.

There are, unsurprisingly, downsides. While I’m sure you’ll be able to keep yourself in check, others in the bar might not. If you thought those guys laughing in the coffee shop were annoying, imagine them after they’ve sunk a few. That’s a hard distraction to ignore. Along with that, booze is so expensive these days, so unless you’re willing to spend your day in a Wetherspoons, it won’t be cheap to nurse a couple of pints over a few hours.

The Coworking Space

It’s possible you might want to surround yourself by other people working hard without it feeling like a traditional office. A coworking space is exactly what it sounds like: a shared office for people who don’t want or can’t afford permanent premises.

For the most part they have desks, toilets, kitchens and meeting rooms. Many also encourage members to interact and socialise with each other. It is, for all intents and purposes, a regular office – the inhabitants all just happen to work for themselves.

Shared offices can be great places to work, where conditions never include babies or drunks (usually); many also have collaborative, friendly atmosphere. Obviously, quality will vary but for the most part they’re comfortable and offer everything you need to spend an entire day focusing on your latest project.

It isn’t all about it being a good place to work though. While there will be a fee to use the place, you get the chance to network and meet people from all different kinds of trades. Some will also put on events to encourage their community to get together. It’s a great way to meet other freelancers, swap tips and let each other know about any work going. Not only that, you might get to know someone with similar interests, which sparks ideas for future projects.

There’s a great list here if you want to find a space.

Join Crunch Chorus:
The free community for the self-employed

You'll get access to a range of benefits, such as invoice software, jargon-free business guides, great networking opportunities, discounts, plus much more

Written by Joshua Danton Boyd

Useful tools and resources

Business guides

From understanding expenses to starting a limited company, we've a range of jargon-free business guides for you to download and keep.

Invoicing software and templates

Create, send and store sole trader invoices in a snap with our free invoice software. You can also download a selection of invoice templates for all business types.

Take-home pay calculator

Use our Take-Home Pay Calculator to work out your true earnings and see if you could save money with a different company set up.