Could I Have Some WiFi with that Coffee Please?
Did you ever notice the number of people at Starbucks who are there with laptops? It's true that most people are usually in line ordering a latte to go, but the people who have managed to find a seat often look extremely serious; intent on their work. You soon realize that they might very well be "at work", enjoying one of the perks of telecommuting: the flexibility to work where and when you want to. In theory, anyway. Provided that you can work over the noise of the espresso maker and the baristas announcing the latest order.
Finding a place to work in the city is sometimes a daunting task. Whether you are one of the increasing numbers of teleworkers or someone who is frequently on the road for business, you've probably often found yourself looking for a temporary place to sit and work. Sometimes you just need a place for an hour, so that you can finish off that email that you just started. If you are a tech consultant or developer, you might be looking for place to work for a day, a week, or a month before you move onto your next job or project. And if you are a small business owner or freelance creative professional, you might be searching for an alternative to your home office space where you can network with other professionals.
In response to the ever increasing number of teleworkers and small business entrepreneurs in the U.S. and elsewhere, there are a growing number of companies that are providing on-demand temporary office spaces. So nowadays there are quite a few work space options to choose from, especially if you happen to live in a large metropolitan area like Boston, New York, or San Francisco. To start with, you can check out local co-working companies, such as Oficio (myoficio.com), Workbar (workbar.com), WeWork (wework.com), and NeueHouse (neuehouse.com). Co-working workspaces typically include large rooms with multiple desks as well as private offices and web conferencing meeting rooms. They also often provide kitchens, lounges, and other collaborative work spaces.
If you are in a rush and need a last minute work space for the day, a website like Liquidspace (liquidspace.com) might prove useful. Liquidspace allows you to book a temporary work space in over fifty cities worldwide. Their website and mobile apps list co-working companies like Oficio and Workbar, as well as hotels where workspaces are available on a daily or hourly basis. One of the hotel companies that is actively building out workspaces is Marriott, which has recently teamed up with Liquidspace to build a Marriott Liquidspace mobile app.
If you are looking for a place where you can work for an hour or two while having a coffee or eating breakfast, you might want to use the Starbucks mobile app, which guides you to nearby Starbucks cafes. If you're looking for something different now and then, you can use Work+, an iPhone app for finding local cafes and restaurants with WiFi. That's often worth the effort, since you might discover a new local cafe down the street that is serving delicious Fair Trade coffee and homemade pastries. And who knows, you might even find a quiet table where you can get some work done…