7 Alternatives to Working From Your Home Office

Woman working outside on a electronic device.

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Having a home business offers many great perks, such as working in your jammies, taking coffee breaks whenever you want, and napping. But sometimes, living and working under the same roof can become uninspiring and even tedious.

As a result, you might procrastinate on getting important work tasks done. A change of scenery can go a long way to end boredom and re-energize you, and therefore, make you more productive.

Beyond needing a change of scenery, there are several reasons why you may want or need to work in a location other than your home office. You may be traveling, and require an alternative location that has a place conducive to working and free wi-fi (or not if you have your own hotspot device). 

Or maybe the power or Internet access is out in your home forcing you to seek a backup work location. Whatever the reason, it doesn't hurt to have a list of alternative work spots you can use when you're sick of your home office or need a new location to get work done.

1. The Great Outdoors 

When the weather is perfect, I like to work on the swing on my back deck. I’ve also worked at the local lake and swimming pool. If you don’t have a spot in your backyard, go to a local park. If you need wi-fi to work, you can find an outdoor location with wi-fi or bring your own hotspot.

2. Java Joints

Few places cater to the home-based worker better than coffee shops. Most offer free wi-fi, comfortable working areas, and free or low-cost coffee refills. Just be aware of how much time you spend at the location. Many coffee cafes don’t like workers filling up their tables for hours, especially during rush times. 

3. Fast Food Restaurants

Motivational speaker, John Paul Engel said he once worked in McDonalds in Japan. Depending on the time day, fast food joints may not be the most conducive place to work, but most offer free wi-fi, so they’re an option. If you have children, finding a fast food place with a playground is a great way to keep them entertained while you work.

4. Other Restaurants

Many big name restaurants, such as Panera Bread, and locally owned establishments offer free wi-fi and a place to work. Similar to java joints, you’ll want to sensitive to rush hours and other patrons. Some establishments turn off the wi-fi during lunch hour to keep remote workers from hogging the tables.

5. Libraries

Some libraries may seem to stuffy or academic, but many are adding rooms and furniture that create a comfortable place to work. Most libraries offer free wi-fi and vast collection of resources of books if you need to research or simply want to take a break.

6. Museums

It might seem odd to work at a museum, but many offer free wi-fi, indoor and outdoor space to work and a quiet atmosphere. Not all museums are free or inviting to home-based workers looking for a change of scenery. Call or scout out the museum before heading there to work.

7. Co-Working Space

All over the country, co-working spaces are springing up offering office space, wi-fi, and other resources to work. Most have a fee to use, but it might be worth it to have an alternative place to work.

How to Work in Alternative Locations

To take advantage of working in another location, you need to make your business mobile. Using web-based tools and resources, as well as cloud storage, can make moving from the home office to an alternative location easy.

No matter where you work outside your home office, make sure you keep your equipment and work safe from would-be thieves and hackers. While many spots offer free wi-fi, they’re not safe from prying eyes.

If you’ll be accessing sensitive data, get your own wi-fi hot spot. You can turn your mobile phone into a hotspot or you can get the hotspot on a separate device. Check with your wireless phone provider for information.

One of the challenges to working outside the home is when nature calls. It’s work to turn off the laptop and pack up your belongings simply to go the bathroom. Further, you risk losing your table. However, better to lose your table than your laptop and work. At the very least, bring your computer equipment and cell phone with you to prevent them from being stolen.