Working Remotely…a blessing or a curse?

As I posted up at the local Coffee Bean today, I felt motivated and ready to have a productive Monday. My day was off to a good start, green tea in hand and good music playing (surprisingly not blaring in my ear like most days). I began doing some research on outsourcing (something I’m obviously interested in) and was on a roll when I was abruptly interrupted by an older man asking, actually more like demanding, a nearby father to keep his child quiet. Now this is a topic I don’t want to get into today, but I am well aware of what a touchy subject it is – you can’t always control your 4 year old or the levels that his/her small voice reaches, but others expect peace and quiet at their “office” even though it’s a very public place. Needless to say, the demand turned into a yelling match with profanities being thrown left and right. I tried to keep my eyes on my computer, but who can look away from a train wreck?! I assumed after the cops were threatened to be called by both men and the Coffee Bean employee began playing defense, the feud would calm down. Boy, was I wrong. At this point, I seriously considered packing up and sneaking out the side door – I was actually afraid. Finally, after what seemed like forever, the employees were able to calm the situation down. So now I sit here, trying to get back to my work, fearing another outburst. How can I focus after that drama?!

My point is, regardless of whose side you agree with in this specific situation, working remotely can be a blessing and a curse. It offers so much flexibility and the option to work when you know you’ll be productive, and to take a break when it’s just not there. I love trying different places (trust me, I’ll be steering away from this one for a while!) and finding where I’m most creative. But sometimes, these different work environments hinder us from being productive. So I’m now on a quest to find the best places to work remotely, and I want your opinion.

Best places:

  • Local – we gotta support our community, right? A few of my favs in SD:
    • Lestats
      • Pros: Lots of room, big tables, yummy food and drinks, close to cool restaurants for a beer after work, two locations
      • Cons: music can be atrocious and loud, parking is bit harder to find, not the cheapest
    • The Living Room
      • Pros: Comfy/homey feel, great food, nice and quiet, four locations (Point Loma is my fav)
      • Cons: sometimes the only seating left is a couch from 1950
    • Better Buzz Coffee
      • Pros: Very creative atmosphere, fantastic coffee, lots of power outlets!
      • Cons: on the smaller side, not great parking
  • Convenience – sometimes you just need the easiest option:
    • Starbucks
      • Pros: have you seen their new Powerspots?? I never charge my phone, not to mention I have an “old” iPhone, so of course it dies much quicker than the cool new ones; lots of food/drink options, locations on every corner
      • Cons: small tables, constant traffic, FREEZING – not sure I’ve ever been as cold as I usually am in Sbux
    • Home – some can do this, others have a tough time. It depends on the day for me.
      • Pros: Stay in your PJs, get stuff done around the house on breaks, save time from driving places
      • Cons: the TV is calling, it can get redundant, not the most creative environment
  • Shared Workplace – sometimes you need some inspiration:
    • ROC – I have a soft spot, that’s where we started.
      • Pros: lots of conference rooms, can use kitchen and save money, cool people
      • Cons: pay for parking, pay for conference room, downtown
    • Co-Merge – seems like it’s for “hip” people, not necessarily accountants. But hey, I’m hip right?
      • Pros: lots of room, collaboration
      • Cons: pay for it

Needless to say, working remotely has become a reality for many. Although it has its ups and downs, I love it and wouldn’t trade it. What do you think?