I’m constantly on the lookout for different public places to work from my laptop. I’m the kind of worker that needs new locations and environments to be productive. Because of this, keeping my eye out for places I can work from is like second nature for me (this is especially true when I’m travelling + working!)
I keep a shortlist of locations that I enjoy working from near where I live, but the following list is a collection of places that might work where you’re at!
1. Coffee shop: Arguably the de facto remote work location. If you want to spice things up (and you live in a bigger city), find one that also has a coworking element to it. Conference rooms, phone booths, etc. They’re out there, but rare for sure.
2. Coliving space: Coliving spaces are often designed with remote workers in mind, and offer flexible, fully-equipped workspaces as well as shared living areas. Imagine if WeWork and Airbnb had a baby. That’s coliving in a nutshell.
3. Coworking space
Many cities have coworking spaces that offer flexible, fully-equipped workspaces on a pay-as-you-go basis. If you need something more short-term, find a coworking space that offers day passes. This will be a bit more expensive than just going to a cafe (most day passes are between $20-$30), but the price might be worth it if you have a lot of calls/video chats that day.
4. Hotel lobby: Most hotels offer very spacious floor plans to work from. Additionally, the nicer ones often have their own restaurant, bar, and sometimes even a coffee shop. Similar to working from a restaurant, you’ll want to at least get a drink or a meal if you’re going to essentially squat from their lobby though :).
5. Park: As long as you have nice weather, this is definitely a viable option. The parks with eateries inside them might also be a great option. Just make sure you don’t have any calls, or if you do, that it’s a quieter park.
6. Airport Lounge: Most airports have designated lounge areas that offer comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi, and other amenities such as food and drinks. If you don’t have a qualifying credit card to get into these areas for free, you can opt for a day pass into many of them. Expect to pay at least $40 in that case.
7. Airbnb: It’s not uncommon to book an Airbnb or vacation rental solely to get work done. It’s not my jam necessarily, but for those who thrive in solitude, it can be very valuable alone time.
8. Boat: If you have access to a boat, you can set up a workspace on board to work remotely. Make sure there’s wifi!
Many public libraries offer quiet, designated areas for people to work, usually with comfortable seating and large desk or table space. Most will also offer printing services for a small fee. Free wifi and printing services are generally included as well.
10. Rooftop: If you have access to a rooftop or a balcony, you can set up a workspace to enjoy some fresh air while you knock stuff out. Keep in mind that many restaurants and Airbnbs will also have rooftop availability for you to work from as well.
11. Beach: If you live close enough to enjoy a beach, this could be a great option. Setup in a shady spot or under an umbrella so you can answer those emails while listening to the waves crash.
12. Museum: Many museums have designated areas for visitors to work, often with free wifi. Sometimes this will a lobby area or a restaurant that they have inside the museum.
13. Community center: Many community centers offer quiet, designated areas for people to work. Hours can be flexible at spots like this, so make sure they’re open before you go.
14. Hostel: Some hostels offer private rooms or shared spaces with desks and other amenities that can be used as a workspace. Most of the time you need to be staying at the hostel, but some offer standalone coworking space as well.
15. Local business: This is quite broad, I know, but there are so many different types of brick and mortar businesses that offer wifi, you could work from almost anywhere if space allows. It may not always be conducive to working longer than an hour though, depending on the type of business.
Some campgrounds offer wifi, and might be good options for the digital nomads out there as well. Just make sure you’re allowed to be there beforehand.
17. University campus: If you’re already a student, you’re good to go. If you aren’t, you may be limited to public spaces. Make sure to check first. One time I made the mistake of getting lost trying to find a coffee shop on a campus, but ended up in the very not public cafeteria!
18. Pop-up workspace: Some cities have pop-up workspace events that offer temporary, fully-equipped workspaces in various locations, such as parks or outdoor plazas. These are often associated with certain events or companies, but are often open to the public.
19. Train or bus station: Larger train and bus stations offer seating areas with wifi. They will also have power outlets and sometimes even desks. The larger the station, the more options it will have for you. For example, one of the largest stations in Paris – Gare Montparnasse, has several stores and eateries attached.
20. Airport terminal: Between the open seating, tables dotted with plugs, and the numerous restaurants, there are no shortage of places to work in a terminal.
I love working remotely from bookstores. The smell, the knowledge, the quiet, it’s all pretty great. If you’re looking to stay a long time, try and find one with coffee availability.
22. YMCA: Many YMCAs offer quiet, designated areas for members to work. This is largely limited to members, so keep that in mind before going.
23. Religious institution: Some religious institutions, such as churches or temples, may offer quiet, designated areas for people to work. I’ve noticed that many of the “mega churches” are starting to build coffee shops into their lobbies as well. That said, there’s no need to be a member of the church to get your caffeine fix.
24. Art gallery: I may be cheating a bit here. Many of the galleries that are work-friendly, are actually a cafe/galley combo. Even still, it allows for a quiet place to get work done and sip on your coffee or tea.
25. Zoo: This is similar to the museum-there are likely places to work, but they’re usually in a cafe or restaurant located in the zoo itself. Rarely will you be able to work from a zoo without a ticket to enter.
26. Casino: Believe it or not, I actually thrive in when I work from a casino :). There are plenty of open spaces and eateries to work from. If you find yourself in Vegas, you could actually have some luxurious working conditions as well.
27. Food court: Malls, as well as larger office buildings often have food courts that are work-friendly. A word of caution though, I’ve noticed that traditional food courts (malls) are usually slim on outlets.
If a beach isn’t in the cards, a terrace might be your next best option. Hotels, restaurants, bars, all often have open patios that are available to sit at. Outlets aren’t always prevalent, but as long as the weather is nice if can be a delightful place to work remotely.
29. Grocery store: Whole Foods is generally regarded as the leader here. They also have fresh food, decent enough coffee, and even a bar if you’re lucky. If you’re productive in this environment, you could, in theory, stay all day long working remotely from here.
30. Gym: this depends heavily on the type of gym you go to, but the nicer ones have areas that you can relax and even bust out the laptop. Either way, most all gyms provide wifi now.
31. Shopping mall: I already mentioned food courts, but there are many places to work in a mall. These could be restaurants, bars, or open space. Keep an eye out for plugs though, they are often hard to find in mall areas.
32. State/national parks: Some parks have designated areas for visitors to work, often with free Wi-Fi and other remote-friendly options. Larger parks often have visitor centers that can be quite nice.
33. Sports Arena: No, not in the crowded stands, that’s a bit much. But there are plenty of other spots in a stadium that could work. Eateries have tables with great views, and if you’re lucky enough to have box seats, then even better!
34. Brewery: Most breweries don’t have an age limit, so going with anyone under 21 usually won’t be an issue. And unless you go to an extremely popular one, their taproom likely isn’t going to be very crowded.
Jared has worked remotely for 15 years in various marketing capacities, and has managed hundreds of marketing campaigns along the way. He has held freelance, agency, and in-house positions for companies large and small.