I have always known Starbucks as the global leader in WiFi cafe provision. I have also worked in various Starbucks stores and I have come to dislike the corporate environment. In my desperation to find an alternative, I decided to try out new spaces, and I have found satisfaction. If this is you, this post is going to open your mind to various alternatives to Starbucks. You’ll be surprised at the convenience of some of them.
6 Alternatives to Places to Work Besides Starbucks
As much as Starbucks is the most popular place for remote working, there are alternatives like the local library, museum, public college or university, hotel lobbies, malls, and co-working spaces. These options are available for free so let’s explore them.
The Local library
This is a great place to start. All you need is a fee membership to access the library, books, and all the digital information here. The internet is always free and the ambiance is chilled. You can get so much work done in a library. I must warn you that if you are the guy who bursts into song in the middle of your work, the library might not be for you. I know of a guy who does this and he says that it is his way of deflating his pressure levels. Many public libraries have computer stations that you can take advantage of.
I know you never thought about it, but it is one of the best places to work remotely. Think about it, it is a slow-paced environment with low noise levels, free Wi-Fi, and plenty of space. On the flip side, you might be required to pay an entrance fee, but this is nothing compared to what you are going to achieve at the museum. You don’t have to endure the strong smell of coffee all day. The museum is one of my favorite places to work remotely. The museums that offer free admission will most likely charge you for parking. Either way, the price is worth paying.
Public college or University
Here is another free public facility to take advantage of. If there is a college or university near you, just walk to its numerous open buildings. Chances are that these buildings are all equipped with free internet. All you need to do is identify a suitable spot and you are good to go. Alternatively, you can head straight to the university library and get some work done. The university spaces may be congested, but there is always a building with less or no population that you can use.
Lobbies are usually deserted in the morning hours and all weekdays, making them the perfect place for serious work. You can freely make calls, use the internet, and print or fax at the available business centers within. I don’t recommend freeloading, so you can order a drink or something to eat. It will cost you as much as Starbucks, but you get more comfortability. If the staff catches on to your habit of freeloading, you might be embarrassed by being drugged out of the hotel. Drama is the last thing you need in the middle of getting some work done.
I know many remote workers who escape the comfort of their homes just to hear a little noise. Yea, it can get lonely, especially for those who live alone. The ambient noise can be therapeutic after a lonely home session. The food courts are the best places to work remotely, especially during the week when the places are less crowded. You can take advantage of the space to spread out in the week and get some serious work done.
You might be lucky to be living near a big mall chain that offers free internet and free parking. I like a moderately noisy working environment. The dead silence at home makes me restless, so the mall is one of my favorite places. The best thing about this environment is that you can do your grocery shopping and every other kind of shopping on your way out. It’s killing two birds with one stone, plus you get to see humanity.
One of the disadvantages of remote working is the alienation from the rest of the world. Many freelancers are opting for a shared working space where one hires a desk in an open space. This is quickly replacing the traditional office setting. Here, you get some interaction with other freelancers and remote workers, and it is a cheap and more permanent option.
If you thought that Starbucks is all you had as a remote worker, this post has given you other options that you never even thought about. Try them out and compare notes. You might be surprised to find a new favorite working spot.