If work's a bore, why not explore!

10 alternative office spaces for freelancers

It can be a dreary, miserable affair, going to the same office and working at an unchanging desk every day of the week. If there was ever a thing to make us feel like robotic cogs in a machine, it would be the tedium of working in the same place every day. Lucky for us freelancers, we have the option, on most days, of working wherever we desire.

So instead of going to the same place you always use to work, why not make it count? Go on, be adventurous and find new, exciting or unconventional places to work. You may not have a productive day ‘in the office’ but at least you’ll get a good story out of it!

Here’s 10 suggestions of alternative working spaces for you to try:

1. A boat


Dry land is quite overrated - why not try working on some kind of boat? You can enjoy being waterlocked, avoid encounters with people you aren’t in the mood to meet with (by saying you’re on a boat - which wouldn’t even be a lie!) and last but not least, take pleasure in the occasional dash of seasickness, just to make your day a little more flavourful. With a slightly larger budget you could rent a housebout on Regent’s Canal near King’s Cross for between £80 to £120. Apart from a table with plentiful seating, some houseboats even come with additional features and equipment such as a projectors and printers. For a cheaper, nautical option, you can rent a boat with wifi during working hours for as cheap as £25 a day in Surrey Quays.


2. A country cabin

If you prefer to be out in nature, maybe even near water but not actually in it, you could always rent a cabin by a lake or pond, or just somewhere in the rolling countryside. In general, if your preferences are similar to a hermit’s, meaning somewhere less noisy and more solitary, then this might be a perfect option for you. Furthermore, you could always take long walks out in the surrounding countryside to clear your head in between assignments or teleconference calls/meetings. Also B&Bs or cabins will always be cheaper on weekdays, going from around £50 a day in many of the areas around London.


3. A pub


Maybe you’re not one to drink on the job, and then maybe you are… Whichever camp you fall in, doesn’t mean you can’t work in a pub – especially a quiet, civilised one minus the daytime, drinking punters. Besides, a lot of pubs around London, in recent years, seem to be doubling up as cafes during the day. So perhaps a carrot juice or a yuppie, fruit smoothie would better suit working hours and would lube up your grey matter nicely in the process. Some great café-cum-pub suggestions would include: Blind Pig, Forge & Co., Shoreditch House, Ace Hotel, The Laundrey – just to name a few!


4. A Caravan


Many people consider their car their real office, getting most of their work done in it, especially if their work is mostly done over the phone or via Skype. Many people also say the hour-long commutes aboard a train, at the start and end of a day, can be the most productive - particularly in the morning, when one is at their most alert, energetic and motivated. It also provides a small window away from the chaotic office, where adrenaline kicks in, allowing one to focus on accomplishing key tasks one by one, to arrive at the office in good stead for the day ahead. If any of this on-the-go approach sounds like you, then why not consider hiring or buying a caravan as a temporary office space. Not only will you give the phrase ‘mobile office’ a whole new meaning, but if you also install your own wifi, then you can really enjoy the portability it affords, by travelling to ‘exotic’ locations. Otherwise, there seems no real attraction in having an office on wheels.


5. A farm


As already suggested, perhaps the open spaces and fresh air (no, nobody said nice smelling!) could do you good to get your thinking cap on. Who knows, maybe you’ll even prefer having a cow or donkey as an office coworker! There are plenty of farms around London that are usually used for car boot sales or visiting circuses, starting at about £100 a day. With this slightly higher price point, it might be a nice place to consider going to one with your whole team (if you aren’t a lone wolf, that is!) for a nice work getaway from the big smoke.


6. A Spa


Sometimes your best work can be done in shorter bursts, in between periods of sheer relaxation. If one doesn’t have the time or means to get to a beach in Spain or Thailand, perhaps relaxing in a hydropool, breaststroking (no, not that kind!) laps across a swimming pool or just chilling in a Jacuzzi at intervals throughout a working day, could yield the best work you’ve done to date. Doubtful? Well, you’ll never know till you try it!


7. A penthouse


If any of the previous suggestions haven’t already convinced you that a smidge of luxury could up your productivity, then perhaps great views of the city from the top floor of a tall building will. You can feel regal and royal whilst you look down on ‘your kingdom’ and its humble, peasant folk hustling and bustling to and fro. Also, a skyline for the eyeline never hurt anyone…so let those views inspire some great new work on the horizon!


8. The park

The park can offer a serene environment away from congestion, traffic and the hectic chaos of the inner city. It’s a little ‘secret garden’ to escape to, without quite having to leave the urban landscape for a rural one - the best of both ‘worlds’, in a sense, where one can just go to tune into work whilst listening to a songbird also at work. Yes, perhaps this is a slight over-romanticization, but you get the picture I’m painting, right?


9. The library

The library can be a very productive environment. It’s very quiet, seeing as no one talks and phones are on mute. Consequently, it makes for a great working atmosphere where one can fully concentrate on things without much distraction – that is, if indeed you are one of those easily lulled by surrounding happenings. The bonus is, there will always be free wifi and an endless array of books for research or entertainment. Some great suggestions of libraries around London would include: Bishopsgate, Pancras Square, The British Library, Keats Community Library, London Metropolitan Archives, The Wiener Library, St Bride Foundation, The National Art Library (V&A), The Poetry Library (Southbank Centre), The London Library, Marx Memorial Library and Guildhall.


10. A hotel room


You may associate this suggestion with the likes of someone involved in a love affair in some Hollywood film, but indeed this option can be a godsend for many people, and one doesn’t even have to be travelling to be drawn to its attractions (no pun intended!). It’s one of the places with the least amount of distractions, but moreover, there is endless room service at your disposal and fingertips (sounds saucy, right?).

If none of the above suggestions have yet tickled your fancy, then perhaps you’d rather do your own research and find something that specifically suits you and your needs. You can do this by perusing places on Vrumi - a website similar to AirBnb, but instead used for people looking to rent workspaces in local residences, that offer more homey options to the typical, share office spaces. Happy location hunting!


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