Working from home is the dream for some employees and entrepreneurs as it’s often difficult to work away from home for free. While there are some great benefits to working from home, there are also some challenges. Just like going to the office, every day can get old, and so can working from home. Especially, since at home, there are so many more things to distract you, be it doing dishes or the laundry. Honestly, the closer I get to a deadline, the cleaner my apartment becomes. To focus, sometimes I just need to get out and work somewhere else for a while.
Freelancers and other self-employed entrepreneurs escaping their homes and flocking to coffee shops to do work is nothing new, the downside to going to coffee shops, co-working spaces, and many other regular freelancer hangouts are that they usually involve spending money. It may not be much, the cost of coffee, but if you are just starting out all the little expenses add up. Here are five places freelancers can work away from home for free.
The most obvious choice is the library. Many local libraries will provide free internet access. You might also be able to reserve a room to work in to ensure other patrons will not disturb you. Libraries are also ideal for the resources they offer. The only downside might be the imposed silence. If you often work collaboratively and make lots of phone calls you may be better off with some of the other options below.
While some museums charge for entrance, there is usually at least one in every community that is free. As I write this, I’m sitting just outside the art museum entrance at a table with chairs and connected to the museum’s free internet. Inside is a coffee bar with a seating area. Since the museum is free and the seating area is large, I don’t feel obligated to buy a coffee to use the space. If there aren’t any free museums, look at your credit card benefits. Some credit cards offer benefits like free access to museums.
3. Indoor/Outdoor Shopping Centers
Whether it is a mall or an outdoor shopping center, there are almost always some seating areas with tables that you can work at; they are free to everyone. If you like to work surrounded by noise and a bit of chaos, a food court could be your sanctuary. The idea is that the tables and chairs there are for patrons of the mall or shopping center. Because there are so many stores, there is no way you’ll be singled out or asked to leave if you do not buy anything.
4. Housing Complex Cyber Cafe
Depending on where you live, your community may offer a community center, cyber cafe (with free coffee), or pool house that you can go to, to do work. You pay to live there and take advantage of the amenities provided. Instead of paying for coffee to work somewhere, you may be able to get free coffee working somewhere. There may even be a room or area that so long as it’s not rented out you can use. Where I live has an equivalent of a living room and kitchen area that is available for rent, but when not rented can be utilized by anyone. I pack a lunch as if going to the office and can settle in for the day.
Parks will have benches, and many may also have picnic tables, or when in doubt you can bring your blanket to sit on and do your work. Some parks have the internet available, even if your chosen park doesn’t, most smartphones can be used as a hotspot if you need internet access to do your work. Enjoy the outdoors without worrying if you are taking up too much space; it’s a park, and there is plenty of space.