Working from home is associated with a boost in productivity, more flexibility for workers, and of course, less time wasted commuting. However, it’s not without its downsides. For example, many new remote workers find it challenging to conjure motivation while being stuck in the same home office day in and day out; your routine becomes stale, and your home environment becomes unstimulating.
Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this dilemma; you have to occasionally work in new environments, and in new ways. This refreshing burst of novelty and stimulation can give you a new perspective on your work, and help you stay motivated to perform your best.
The question is, what are the best places to work?
Criteria for New Workspaces
Ideally, your new workspaces should meet these criteria:
- Novelty. The brain craves “new” experiences. When you experience something new, your memory centers are stimulated, and you feel a sense of pleasure. This can also help you escape the feeling of being locked into a routine. To achieve this, your new workspace has to offer something that your home workspace cannot.
- Resource accessibility. Your workspace should also offer some kind of resource accessibility; you’ll need to have access to an electrical outlet and a Wi-Fi network, at minimum (in most cases).
- Safety. You should feel secure that your chosen work environment is safe, with minimal risk of injury to you. If you’re injured, you can always file a personal injury claim—and according to Console and Associates, such a claim is about more than just getting compensation: “A personal injury lawsuit is one way to help prevent future accidents. Holding the organization or person responsible for your injury makes them act more carefully in the future.” That said, it’s better to avoid the possibility of an injury in the first place.
- Appropriate noise. A little ambient noise can actually be a good thing for productivity; it helps to filter out distractions and relax you. But you don’t want to work somewhere with an oppressive volume or with distracting noise.
- Social options. If you’re feeling isolated while working from home, it’s a good idea to seek someplace with social options. You don’t have to talk to people while you’re working, but it can be comfortable to be surrounded by other people and make small talk with them when appropriate.
Unique Destinations to Consider
If you want to break out from your work-from-home routine, consider these alternative options:
- A coffee shop. One of the most convenient options is a coffee shop, since there’s probably at least one close to your house. You’ll have everything you need to get your best work done, including a table, an outlet, and an internet connection, and you’ll have a steady stream of coffee (if you enjoy caffeine to help you work). Coffee shops are also great for their level of ambient noise, with low-level music in the background and the steady white noise of conversations.
- A coworking space. You could also try a coworking space, which is designed to provide a better environment to people used to working remotely. Depending on the location, you may be able to pay a single-day rate, and gain access to all the features you’re used to in a conventional office. The only real problem here is that coworking spaces can be a little too similar to traditional offices.
- A boat. If you’re trying to break away from normal options, you could consider working on a boat (assuming you live near the water). Heading out on a boat can take you far away from mainstream society, which is great if you prefer isolation. Once you’re out there, you’ll be able to enjoy the gentle noises of waves and animal life, and an endless view of the water—just make sure you’re following boat safety procedures.
- A park. If you love the outdoors, but you don’t have access to a boat, you could try working at a local park. You won’t have access to electricity directly, but if you bring an extra battery and your own internet connection, you can make this work.
- A library. Libraries are notorious for their silence, so if you prefer a quiet work environment, this could be the perfect choice. It’s also free to sit at a library, and when you’re done, you can browse for a great book to read. Just don’t expect to have great conversations with the people around you.
- A bookstore. Bookstores are very similar to libraries, but they have a different vibe. They also typically sell coffee and other beverages, and they tend to have more seating designed for personal comfort. The biggest problem you face is finding a bookstore near you that offers all the accommodations you need; physical bookstores are a dying breed.
- A community center. It’s also possible to work at a community center, though you may have to pay a membership fee to gain access to it. As an added bonus, many community centers also double as recreational facilities—so you can squeeze in a workout as a break, and revitalize your energy levels with exercise.
Experiment with all these prospective working locations and see which ones you like best. Chances are, there’s one with a signature blend of ambient factors that allow you to do your best work. If none of them work for you, you’ll at least have the experience of trying something other than your typical home office, and don’t worry—there will be plenty of other workspaces to try.