Working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, at times it can be as difficult and inefficient as being in a busy office. Distractions that would usually come from Maureen in accounts’ tales of her friend of a friend’s sister in law’s new cat’s bowel movements, have now been replaced by what sounds like your neighbours demolishing their house from within, and a pile of washing that has now sprouted legs and clawed its way out of the utility room. And of course, some days, for whatever reason, your head’s just not in the right space.
The solution? If you can survive on your laptop and mobile, then make the most of that freedom and get out there!
As a business that thrives in the versatility of mobile working, and with over 6 years combined experience of working in locations all across the UK, we’ve put together this mini guide on what to expect if you’ve not tried it before. Split into three tried & tested, easily accessible places, we hope you can find that ideal neutral space to help you get the most from working ‘from home’.
First on the list in most people’s books mobile working spots has to be the café. Independent cafés are great, and if you have a local that you can frequently visit, great. If you’re on the move however, coffee chains such as Starbucks and Café Nero are ideal for when you need to get online quickly and get that caffeine fix while you’re at it.
Advantages: Free WIFI, power points, as much coffee as you can drink, clear space, a range of different seats and the ability to take make calls – phone and ‘of nature’ – make the modern café a perfect place to get things done.
Disadvantages: Buy too much coffee and suffer the resulting caffeine overload – and calories if you’re counting – or buy too little and feel the dirty looks of other punters and your barista hosts.
The humble British library, especially in rural areas, are an underrated working environment. Not only is it quiet, but there are a range of magazines and newspapers, reading material to help with your writing and also printers – and computers if you don’t have yours with you – once you’ve joined and got the all important library card.
Advantages: Quiet working environment, staff on hand to help with enquiries, resource material, photocopying and printing services, free WIFI, clear working space
Disadvantages: Opening times. Smaller libraries operate reduced hours, and may even be closed on certain days during the working week. You can actually use your mobile in some libraries – though in truth, it’s frowned upon generally so most times you’ll have to nip outside. We’ve previously been subjected to sing song sessions by local children’s playgroups so at times it’s not the quietest place in the world!
In the garden
It’s a lovely day. Too stuffy in the house. Why not get outside and get some fresh air?
Advantages: It’s quiet, mobile phone signal will be better because you’re not behind any walls, and you can even listen out for the landline. In terms of health benefits, you’ll certainly be getting more oxygen to help beat stress and improve workflow. Also, that unbeatable sensation of a gentle breeze on your skin and the dangerously liberating feeling like you’re not really at work at all!
Disadvantages: Mother nature – she’s a demanding mistress. Ants crawling up your leg, wasps buzzing around your orange juice and the wonderfully unpredictable UK weather will all vie for your attention. Oh, and let us know if they’ve developed a computer screen that can deal with the full glare of the sun. Nothing worse than feeling like you’re squandering valuable free tanning time.
What do you think – do you agree? Let us know what your favourite spot for mobile working is!