You know, there is a certain attitude with freelance work: establish a rhythm, get yourself working hard, maybe even strive to work from home. That is all well and good, and some of it is even true. There is another piece of it though, in that you are not a freelance robot worker. You are a human! With all the needs and flaws of humanity, and the joys that come with it too.
You should get out of your regular working environment and try some other places! Who knows what effect this will have on your work. At the very least, it will break up the routine and give a breath of fresh air to your tasks!
I’m not going to pretend that this is a perfect list of places to go, or if it will sync with your type of work or not.
Working Spot #1: A coffee shop.
Some people live and breathe coffee. I am not one of those people, but I do enjoy the coffee shop atmosphere. It gives me a quiet place to think, but also a chance to socialize and enjoy good smoothies (or hot chocolate!). It’s a bit of a stereotype, but there is a reason for that: it’s a good place to go and choose to be productive, as opposed to working from home.
Working Spot #2: The Library.
I enjoy being surrounded by books, and I enjoy the presence of people. A library is top on my list of places to work, but the reality is that my local library isn’t always conducive to that effort. There are a couple of periods during the day that my library is bustling with patrons. As a result, those times are not always the most productive in terms of ‘applied’ work, but it does give me a chance to mingle with others, and build reputation around the town.
But I won’t lie to you and say that I don’t want to go to some of the more famous libraries. Some like this list would be interesting to go and visit. I definitely would have to carve out time from other activities on a traveling vacation to check them out, and it would require more time than my work normally would. For one, I would want to just wander around, and for two, the obvious need to discover secret passage ways. Not go in, of course. Just to know they exist.
Working Spot #3: The Woods
For the more nature minded of you, going for a hike or camping seems like a great idea. I will say, this location is difficult to work at when you do not have ready access to the internet or electricity. If you are mindful of that need, however, finding a cabin isn’t too difficult. This is one of my personal favorites that I have actually done. I have brought along notebooks, or in some cases, laptops, and wrote down everything I needed to while sitting beside a campfire, or curled up in a cabin. When I was done, I went and joined the rest of the party, or we went out for a hike. It was fun, and one of the thriftiest vacations I have participated in.
Working Spot #4: Outside Events.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that often in freelancing, you can take your work pretty much anywhere. It isn’t always convenient, but there is an element of truth to it. I was able to do a fair bit of work while I was at GenCon (a board game convention, to understate it), simply by talking with people and writing down ideas as they came to me. When I got back to my resting place, or had a few minutes between activities, I would flesh out ideas better. It wasn’t always great, but I certainly was able to enjoy myself, while still feeling productive. So, go on that conference trip that you have been wanting to! Mingle with people in your field, or with similar interests. It will work out just fine. More over, there may be conferences tied to your field of work that could be helpful for you to attend. One conference I went to had lots and lots to say, but my main take away was ‘Oh, right, there are other people like me out there, and they face similar challenges!’ Which in and of itself was encouraging, and improved my work.
Working Spot #5: The Beach.
(Or kind of near it, because water and electronics makes me nervous)
Working at the beach is talked of well in freelancing communities, but it seems more like people tend to work at Piers, rather than the beach itself. The reason being is that you get the benefits and fun of the sun and the water, but enough distance between you and the water that you don’t lose something precious. You can easily shift from what you are working on, to enjoy the rest of the beach by returning your belongings to a secure place in a car, or just enjoy the seaside breeze. Either way, even as I am typing this, my mind is wandering to different waterfronts to sit beside.
If you do decide to pick up roots and move the office, and depending on your work, you may have to pack more.
As a reminder, make sure you bring your charging cables. On top of that, make sure you bring your laptop, and the stuff you need to go with it (like a mouse, or a drawing tablet).
Basically, whatever you generally need at home, you may end up needing. On the same side though, choosing to exclude some pieces may mean you spend your time dedicated to a portion of the job. This is a common use of moving your workspace: to focus on a singular project or task.
One thing to definitely keep in mind is the need for security: if you choose to work online while on the road, having a secure VPN, and being wise to keep your devices as unconnected as possible is a solid suggestion. Nothing says a bad trip like having a data breach from your travels.
But enough about me! This is about you! Where do you get out to work?