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2020 became the year of working from home – so much so that the Oxford English Dictionary was updated to include WFH.

In April of this year, almost 50% of people in employment were working from their own houses. The majority of those (a whopping 86%) were there as a result of the pandemic.

While these changes came about quickly, it did demonstrate that many businesses could continue to run as usual and their employees were able to get their work done, from wherever they were. This has meant that companies are planning to become far more flexible and allow their employees to continue working from home if they want to.

Whether you are a freelancer who was working from your own house already and are looking for alternatives or are employed and don’t intend to go back to the office (but don’t necessarily want to be in the same four walls, all the time) you don’t have to.

If you can do your job in your spare bedroom, you can do it from anywhere! Here are five alternatives to working in an office or at home:

Office Alternatives

1. Library

If you are looking for quiet places to work then there is nowhere better than a library. You don’t have the noise of chatter, coffee machines or doors opening and closing to distract you from your work. In addition, you are surrounded by people – who will all be concentrating on their work as much as you are, helping to put you in the right frame of mind for a productive day. If your job involves research then this is ideal, because all the books you could possibly need will be at your fingertips.

2. Coffee shop

If you thrive off background noise then a coffee shop is perfect for you. Plus, you can always take your headphones in case you do need a break from the noise or simply want to listen to your own music or a podcast, while you work.

That’s not to mention all the food and drink available to keep you going through the day. You might head here for a few hours in the morning and have a coffee and a pastry, you could work over lunch and treat yourself to a sandwich or pop in the afternoon and have a hot chocolate and slice of cake.

3. Outside

On a warm summer’s day, the last place you want to be is in a stuffy office. Or, perhaps even worse, looking out of the window at blue sky and sunshine while sitting in an office that is freezing because the air conditioning has been cranked right up.

Remote working means you don’t have to be inside at all – you can go to the park, sit in your garden – even be on the beach, if you want. Just make sure you are close to Wi-Fi or can use a hotspot. You’ll also need to ensure you have some way to protect your laptop from the sun, by sitting under an umbrella, for example.

4. The gym

We don’t mean sending emails or taking important calls with your boss while running on a treadmill. But, if you have a gym membership and there is a cafe, this can be the perfect place to work.

They don’t tend to be as busy during the day anyway but you may like to find a quiet corner. Then, when it comes to lunchtime, as well as grabbing a bite to eat, you can workout or go for a swim, energising yourself ready for the afternoon.

5. Co-working space

Hot desk in co-working space and you’ll be surrounded by people in exactly the same position as you are, making it a great way to meet other like-minded professionals. They tend to have a meeting space too, which is ideal if you need to meet with a client or colleague without going to the office.

There is also space to relax, so you can step away from your desk (and work) for five minutes and chat with others while you make a coffee, in the same way you would in your office. There are many benefits but it does usually cost to use the space, which you don’t have to take into account elsewhere.

Tips for working remotely

If you have recently started working remotely, here are a few tips to help make your days as easy and productive as possible.

● Have a designated workspace – to separate your work and home life.
● Shower, clean your teeth and get dressed, in the same way you would if you were going to the office.
● Write a ‘to do’ list at the beginning of each day to keep you focused – put the most important tasks first.
● Make sure you stay connected with your colleagues, via messenger, email and video calls.
● It’s easy to sit at the desk for a lot longer when you are working remotely, make sure you keep to your work hours and take a lunch break.

Top tip: Leaving the house and heading to one of the alternative working spaces mentioned above, will really help with all of these.

Are the majority of your employees now working from home? Perhaps you are planning to downsize the office as a result? Then check out our office storage – a safe place to keep your furniture and equipment, either during the move or until you have more staff back in the office.

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