I work late roughly one night a week. When I do, I go to the library. The easiest option is just to go to my local branch, which is only half a mile away, though it’s fairly small, and it isn’t open until 9 every night. On the nights it’s not open, or if I’m looking to be around people other than the librarians, I go to a bigger branch that’s about 10 minutes away. There are options to sit in comfy chairs, or at tables, or deep in the stacks, or in the windows that look out on the street. When I take a break, there are more books to paw through than my local place. I have kind of pawed through most of my favorite spots in the Dewey decimal system in my local library.
I tend to go to the library, rather than a coffee shop, because coffee shops feature people talking. I have a hard time ignoring their conversations and just working. Not always. I wrote What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast in (irony alert!) a coffee shop at night. But I don’t do that regularly. I have the same problem on Amtrak, which is why I have to sit in the quiet car. However, if I’m meeting someone, I usually go to a coffee shop that is not Starbucks that’s on the main drag around here. I have nothing against Starbucks, but it is located perilously close to the Banana Republic and J. Crew. Since I have to walk past these stores to reach the parking lot, I sometimes slip in “just to take a look” and risk losing another half hour of my work day. To say nothing of the cash.
I tend to get a lot of work done in my car dealership’s waiting area, but I haven’t tried going there when I don’t need an oil change or inspection.
I have had some success in out-of-the-way diners. If they’re busy, you need to move along, but if you buy a reasonable amount of stuff and are there at non-peak hours (2 p.m., or maybe 4 a.m.) you might be OK.
I have holed myself up in a hotel room for a few days to crank things out. I also find it an intriguing idea to work in someone else’s house. One’s own house has all sorts of distractions. The most dangerous are the useful distractions, like taking an hour out to organize the basement. You are highly unlikely to organize someone else’s basement.
I’m making a list of remote places to work — beyond home, the coffee shop, and an official co-working type space.
Where have you done remote work successfully? Any other ideas for places I should include on this list?