Working from home, to me, is the only way to work. The freedom, the family time, and the environment are just few of the perks. There’s nothing quite like working away in your lounge pants, favorite t-shirt, and worn-out hat. But there are times when cabin fever sets in, or the noise and distractions get to be a little too much. It’s at these times when I escape to what I began calling my WAHOO getaway – my Work-At-Home Offsite Office.
Choosing a WAHOO
If you work from home, you would probably benefit from a WAHOO. It’ll help you keep your sanity when you need to get out, but still need to work. Your offsite office can be a local café, a favorite park, a pizza place, the library, a shared office space, anywhere that you can go on a regular basis to get out of the house, but still be productive.
Every person will have their own needs when choosing an offsite office. I tend to gravitate towards cafés and restaurants. I know lots of folks who prefer outdoor places, like parks. Whatever the place, the key is to make sure it has what you need to get some work done. Things I usually look for are…
I make pretty good coffee at home, so if I’m going to plunk down 2 bucks for a cup, it better be good. I know, you’re thinking – two bucks? Yeah, I get the regular drip stuff, preferably an organic, shade grown, dark roast. No dessert drinks for me. I prefer good flavor on a cheap budget.
Most of the time, I need an internet connection if I’m working. I’ll be writing and need to research stuff or to IM. But on many occasions I’ll turn off email and IM when at a café to avoid distractions.
Tables and Space
Many places cater to those who need to work, so the tables, chairs and space available is ideal for the mobile worker. Some prefer a corner table. Others may like the big plush chair. Being able to get comfortable and settle in is important.
This may seem trivial, but many places only have one or two outlets to plug in to when your battery is low. I’ve seen guys who bring their own power strip so they could share the one outlet available.
This is more a personal taste thing, but I like comfortable spots that tend to be quiet and soothing. Some places are more conducive to groups of workers, and I can only take so much of a corporate offsite that thinks their company’s plans should be heard by all. “Wow, I’m sure your PowerPoint with the 10 paragraphs of 6 point type is swell and all, but I try to avoid the stuff you’re yapping about like a pox.”
Having a place to go not only gets you out of the house, but gives you the opportunity to interact with other people – and often the best way to work through a creative block is to change the scenery.
Think about what would make the ideal offsite office for you – and plan your own WAHOO getaway.