One of the best things about being an online entrepreneur is that we get to work from home, right? But sometimes that gets lonely, distracting, or downright claustrophobic. Here are 8 places creative entrepreneurs can get out of the house and work.
I may receive commissions for purchases made through links on my site. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
1. Outdoors - at home
After being cooped up inside so much, it can be really nice to not only leave the 4 walls of your home office but to also get outdoors. My first suggestion isn't that far from home; it's actually AT home :) How about your own backyard, front yard, porch, or patio? You can set up with your laptop and mobile phone at a patio table, Adirondack chair with a comfy pad, or a chaise lounge (this seems like the ultimate in luxury, doesn't it? You deserve it!). Another option would be to spread a blanket on the grass with pillows to support your back or sit criss-cross-applesauce.
Pros: Access to drinks and food; ability to recharge your devices; a new perspective including things that may stimulate your creativity - a gorgeous spider web, the leaves turning colors, or the rainbow after last night's storm.
Cons: Technically still "home" so you can be tempted by housework, laundry, and personal phone calls; may be noisy or distracting if you live near a busy road, barking dogs, etc.; glare from the sun on your screens make work impossible so find a shady spot!
2. Outdoors - away from home
Do you have a park, plaza, or outdoor seating area you can set up at? Think office plazas, state or regional parks with amenities, even outdoor cafes or coffee shops with benches or tables and chairs.
Pros: I mean, the biggest "pro" of working outdoors at an office plaza is that you get to laugh and roll your eyes at all the people still working in offices, right? Maybe if you see a particularly sad sack, you can talk to them about entrepreneurship and change their life.
Cons: May not be the most comfortable seating with hard benches, patio chairs, and the like; can be hard to find shade+seating; access to restrooms, food, and drink may be limited or non-existent.
3. In your car
I do this weekly when I work from the beach. No, not like all the silly photos with a bikini, lounge chair, and laptop - too sandy, too glare-y, too hot, or too cold (it's the beach, yo'). Instead, I pull my car up to the edge of the sand and recline a bit in my passenger seat. Windows open, ocean breezes and crashing wave sounds coming through, and my windshield providing the perfect view. After working for a few hours, I reward myself with a walk on the beach and/or relaxing on the sand with a novel or business book. If you don't live near the beach, how about a nearby lake, reservoir, or river?
Pros: There's something so calm and focusing about working by the water; quiet other than nature sounds; solitary, if you really need to focus; great place to record Facebook Lives or videos for your business, course, or social media - just DON'T film while driving, for the love of all that is holy.
Cons: Usually no free WiFi available (use the hotspot on your phone instead); may not be a bathroom nearby; can be a longer drive to get there unless you live close to nature spots.
4. Starbucks, other coffee shop, or cafe
You knew I was going to say Starbucks, right? It's probably THE most popular place for online entrepreneurs to work away from home. They're ubiquitous so no matter where you live (at least in the US), there's probably one close by.
Pros: Caffeine and food source; stimulating atmosphere; restrooms; charging outlets.
Cons: Can be too noisy to concentrate; unless you snag a comfy armchair, the seating tends to be uncomfortable.
5. Local bar or restaurant
Hey, you're the boss! No one can tell you you can't enjoy a meal and a cocktail while you work. Why not work at your local hot spot? (Or quiet spot; your preference).
Pros: People are more social here than in coffee shops; you can strike up convos, maybe network a bit (so have your paper or digital business cards with you!); all the amazing people-watching may spark business plans or content ideas
Cons: Tend to be noisy; likely to be an expensive outing compared to other options; probably won't have charging capabilities
6. Co-working space
Whats a co-working space? It's a place where people like us can get out of the house and work! There can be separate or open offices, a kitchen and restroom, free WiFI, and more. Confession: I've never actually been to a co-working space because I live in a rural area and there aren't any nearby. But I hear other online entrepreneurs singing their praises. Plus I've seen them on TV ("Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce" anyone?). Check out CoWorker.com with 9000+ co-working spaces in 158 countries to see if there are co-working spaces near you.
Pros: Has everything you need to work, just like your old office.
Cons: It reminds you of your old office.
7. Nice hotel lobby
Similar to #5, settling in to work at a nice hotel lobby can be fun and interesting. I often work at one in a nearby city where we refer friends and family to stay when visiting the area. In the lobby, there's a quiet coffee section where people tend to work or read; a boisterous seating area and bar with appies, drinks, and TV; and a gorgeous outdoor area with a pool, chaise lounges, seating areas, fire pits, and beautiful greenery.
Pros: Very comfortable and nicely appointed; fab restrooms; food, coffee, and snacks to keep you going; and great people-watching (oh, the wedding party guests I've gotten a laugh at!).
Cons: It may feel funky hanging out in the lobby of a hotel where you're not staying. My first time there, I asked at the desk and they were fine with it; it's a public place with no requirements to be a guest. However, I always always buy things from the restaurant and/or mini-store so I don't feel guilty, lol. But it's a well-known practice so don't feel weird about, ok? Some hotels are even catering to the digital nomad crowd now as a new way to bring in business.
8. Public library
Working at the library is a great option for creative entrepreneurs who want to get out of the house. And it's a 2-fer; while there, you can also pick up some books on CD, DVDs, or even borrow a T-Mobile internet hot spot, which comes in handy for all this "working out of the house" you'll be doing now :) Contrary to popular belief, libraries ARE NOT "dying". In fact, they've become a real cultural and community hub with lots of activities and offerings. My libraries are always booming every time I'm there (which can be good and bad; see below).
Pros: Private, office-like seating in those carrels you remember from college; there are often many places to charge your devices; restrooms (although iffy in cleanliness sometimes); free computers, Chromebooks, and Wifi; easy access to any research you need to do; a great place to have client meetings - just call ahead to reserve a meeting or study room for free; and the only option on the list where you can walk away with some free stuff vs. many that require you to SPEND money.
Cons: I'll bet you thought I'd say a "pro" is that libraries are quiet but that's the olden days, people. At the several I work at, there's no longer the infamous librarian sssshhhh'ing people. I'm working at a library today and there are currently in the lounge middle school students talking loudly and playing video games, behind me a tutor helping a student with math, and next to me a couple discussing which video to check out for tonight. So, yeah, not quiet. I just bring my earbuds and listen to calming music on YouTube, iTunes, or Spotify (Deep Focus is a great playlist for the library!).
So get out of the house, creatives!
We're so blessed to be online entrepreneurs with the privilege of working from the comfort of our own homes. And many of us are introverts (raising hand!) so this is a huge perk. But as much as we appreciate it, working from home can also be isolating and distracting. Sometimes we just need to get the heck out! I hope that these 8 ideas for where creative entrepreneurs can work away from home has been helpful.
If you think of any other places that should be on the list, write me ASAP at [email protected]. What's your favorite place to work outside the house? Please let us know in Comments!