The Workplace Gauntlet: For the Remote Employee
The technological shift has not only changed how we do business but where it’s done. Though a majority of companies still utilize the cube configuration, it’s become more cost effective, efficient and convenient to work outside of the traditional office space. These changes aren’t new. Turning your home into an office and working from the nearby Starbucks is pretty common but the rise of technology has made it become a commonality; even coworking spaces are becoming widely popular in major metropolitan areas. We break down the highs and the lows of the most talked about remote work spaces.
The coffee shop hustle
One of the more common places to work (an old faithful, if you will) is none other than the tried and true coffee shop. Getting work done at a coffee shop is one of the traditional routes to go when choosing a remote workplace. Starbucks, Philz and Peet’s Coffee is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to popular java houses — do some exploring and find the hidden-gems in your own backyard.
WiFi Network Connection
Since the majority of work is now handled online, there’s nothing more crucial than making sure you have a reliable WiFi connection. There were plenty of times where a home WiFi connection has been spotty due to outside extremities, but coffee shops usually have dependable WiFi. Coffee goers can enjoy fast, reliable WiFi in any Starbucks location due to the unlimited service provided by Google. However, we do advise that business professionals be extra aware and cautious. Employees should always secure company data and sensitive information. Though public WiFi access is great, it isn’t as protected as home WiFi security.
In my neighborhood, there are three Starbucks locations within a 5-mile radius of each other so not only will they provide that caffeine fix to get me through the day but they’re also easy to get to. When choosing the right workplace, the last thing you want to do is spend more time and money getting there. Convenience is a huge factor when choosing the right place; coffee shops hold up to that standard.
Since anyone can visit a coffee shop, visitors have to relinquish control on the noise level. This may not be a huge issue if you have noise canceling headset. But if you’re like me who needs a quiet place to write, this may not be the best option.
The money spent on coffee will add up fast. On July 12th, Starbucks officially announced that they will raise their price on everyone’s beloved cup-of-joe. The increase will be between 10 to 20 cents on selected coffee beverages and between 1 0 to 30 cents on espressos and lattes, which add up quickly throughout the work week.
There’s no place like home
The saying goes beyond the yellow brick road. Home is the center of comfort, where you have the luxury to design your home office however you want to. The number of employees who choose to work at home has increased by 103 percent since 2005. It’s noted that there is also 13.5 percent increase in productivity when working from home.
This entirely depends on your living situation. But if you have the house most of the time to yourself, this option will work in your favor. The ease and flexibility that comes with working at home will help you stay focused and productive, leaving time after work to do other errands and obligations. Your day will be more focused instead of distractions that may come from outside conversations during the work day.
Bye Bye Bye Morning Commute
Not to reference the popular 90s boy band, N Sync, but it’s true. If you decide to work from home, you will no longer have to deal with the morning commute. Eliminating the time it takes you to get to and from work gives you the ability to use that valuable time to focus on other things.
Maintaining Personal and Work Life Balance
Your home is a sanctuary; a place to find solitude and comfort. If you work from home, that line begins to blur and you may find yourself working late nights. You may find you’re overexerting yourself and spending more time and energy than you would have initially compared to if you worked in the office.
This entirely depends on your living situation. As much as working from home increases productivity, in some cases, it can do more harm than good. It’s challenging to put a definitive line between when it’s time to work and when it’s time to do house chores. One load of laundry can turn into a whole afternoon of cleaning around the house. Prioritize and map out what time is designated for your business and what time is for other obligations.
To cowork or not to cowork, that is the question
Compared to the options previously mentioned, coworking spaces are the newest, more trendy choices. Many business professionals, primarily millennials, have welcomed this shift with open arms. With most coworking spaces located in fast-paced metropolitan areas, these hubs center around innovation, productivity and creativity.
For the tenacious entrepreneurs, the movers and the shakers, coworking spaces are perfect in that they surround you with like-minded people. This kind of work environment makes visitors feel like they’re a part of the community — which is one of the top reasons why people join a coworking space. One of the pioneers in this movement of change is WeWork. Headquartered in New York, WeWork is changing the way we view and use our work environment.
The hustle and bustle of the city can motivate anyone, especially during the stressful workweek. The same is said about coworking spaces. The locations of these work spots put you in the center of the city. The high energy provides inspiration for the next creative venture. Being surrounded by local art museums, city skyscrapers and other fellow top executives will inspire your next idea and even attain a new business connection.
The Price Tag
Though coworking spaces are hip and trendy, they come with a substantial price tag. Unlike your home or the coffee shop, you have to pay to get a spot. A WeWork membership comes with various benefits such as a work space, invites to their networking events and access to an online network of other entrepreneurs. But your company has to decide if the perks are worth the investment.
Much like a coffee shop, you can’t and won’t be able to control the noise level that goes on in an environment such as this. The crowd levels will fluctuate depending on the time of the day and who is seated near you. If after considering all these factors, coworking sounds like something you’d be interested in, it may be a viable option to explore.
Pick what works for you
The increasing percentage of remote workplaces has become apparent. No matter where you work, it’s all about where you’re most comfortable and productive. The three options noted above each have their own pros and cons. Find that happy medium. Whether it’s a coffee shop, home or a coworking space in the city, find the best setting for you and your company. It’s time to hustle.