With so many companies involved in a seemingly inexorable shift from traditional office-based working to a remote, distributed workforce, “working from home” is becoming the norm. In fact, almost 20% of the world’s workers already work remotely – and that number is only going to grow.
But for many people, working at home just isn’t an option. Noisy neighbors or room-mates, kids too young for school or just too many distractions can send productivity through the floor – and blood pressure through the roof. So what are the options for working out of the office but away from home?
1. Work at a friend’s house
If all you’re lacking is peace and quiet, try teaming up with a friend whose home offers the tranquility (and broadband access) you need. Whether they’re out all day or at home working alongside you, this is a cheap option. In return you can offer a contribution to bills, a dog-walking service – or even the convenience of being there when the delivery man calls.
2. Rent a desk
Co-working spaces offer many of the social advantages of an office with more flexibility and a less stressful commute. This is a particularly useful option for freelancers, as it offers a business address and access to meeting rooms for visiting clients.
3. Subscribe to a business services provider
Companies like Regus offer a range of packages to help remote workers. From day offices to meeting rooms or just a quiet space when you need one, this is an option companies can use to offer employees greater flexibility.
4. Hit the coffee shop
If you don’t mind working in a busy atmosphere, your local coffee shop is an affordable option for solo working or an informal meeting. Just remember it’s not your office, so be considerate of other people, don’t say anything you don’t mind being overheard – and don’t forget to buy the occasional drink.
5. Lurk in the library
Where could be better for a bit of occasional quiet time? With most libraries offering decent internet access and access to basic facilities like photocopying, it’s a great option if you’ve got to work without distractions from time to time. The downside? You’ll have to switch off your phone.
Whichever option you choose – or if you decide, after all, to work at home, flexible working puts you in charge of your time. And if your firm and manager are willing to give you that power, it makes sense to choose the workplace that best rewards their trust in you. Selecting the right environment will allow more people to reap the work/life balance rewards this increasingly common way of working can bring.