Finding Unusual Remote Work Locations in a New City

June 9, 2017
rethink9to5 West Dyke

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You’ve arrived in a new city and are looking for some remote work locations that aren’t your hotel room. The hotel lobby has also lost its appeal after hour number three and you’re wondering where to try next.

If you have a laptop with a good battery and are happy to tether, why not embrace nature? In my hometown, I have spots I go where I can work on the boardwalk, in bird habitats, or sitting on driftwood on the beach. I usually head to those locations if I want some concentrated time to write.

Libraries are a great, free option in many cities. My local library has quiet spaces, sofas, collaborative spaces, and facilities such as a 3d printer lab, audio lab etc. They also offer free business and marketing workshops. I was working in a library in Liverpool, England that had a resident Entrepreneur.

Malls are another free option. You’ll have to do some research; some have excellent facilities for working, others do not. Hopefully, you’ll happen upon a wonderful spot such as Beaugrenelle Mall, Paris or Tswwassen Mills in Tswwassen, British Columbia.

rethink9to5 Beaugrenelle Mall, Paris

If you’re on a road trip and need to have your car serviced, car dealerships can make fantastic work locations with free tea and coffee, free wi-fi and power outlets in many cases.

Ikea restaurants can be a great place for eating cheap food, enjoying free wifi and sometimes being able to plug-in. My favourite Ikea in Richmond, BC also happens to have great views of the mountains!

rethink9to5 Ikea Richmond

Spacious is piloting its innovative business transforming restaurants that are closed during the day into a network of co-working spaces. They are currently in New York but have plans to expand to other North American cities including Boston and San Francisco. For a $95 month-to-month membership, you’ll get free coffee & tea, power, and guaranteed high-speed wifi at any of a number of restaurants throughout the city. Let’s hope the idea takes off around the world!

Of course, there are always the classic coffee shops. Starbucks is a safe bet, but try to find the more unusual independent coffeeshops. There are some tools you can use in certain regions such as Coworking.Coffee which will help you find coffee shops and figure out if they are work-friendly and the WorkHardAnywhere app.

rethink9to5 Terra Nova Starbucks

Do some research into where expats or students go to work (search for ‘expat websites’, ‘expat coffee shop [location]’ or ‘student coffee shop [location] or just look on a directory site such as Yelp).

Use your commonsense – don’t take up a 6 seat table for yourself (in many places people won’t ask if they can join you), don’t take up one of only 3 tables in the whole coffee shop for half the day and always be considerate about purchasing something regularly.

For a more formal workspace and the use of meeting rooms, find out which co-working spaces are nearby – some offer a hotdesking option where you can pay by the hour. Here in Canada, Network Hub have a great on-demand hotdesking option at $5/hour. I love to work at the Richmond location looking out of the window watching skytrains go back and forth, barges with wood chips piled higher than houses and watch the log drivers seemingly stand on water as they move log rafts up and down the river.

So leave your hotel and absorb the city around you while you get a few hours of work done!