Working from home is becoming a popular option for more and more professionals but sometimes your living room isn’t the ideal place to work. Luckily, if you’re in need of something more official and productive, a home office away from home, there are new alternatives.
An estimated 13.4 million people work from home at least some of the time, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. I’m one of them, as a journalist, filing many of my stories and conducting interviews from my apartment. It can be a great, flexible way to work but it has its challenges. Those that work from home know that it can be isolating and ripe with distraction. In fact, a recent survey counts family interruptions, household noise and television as top work-from-home distractions. You make think venturing out to a coffee shop is better but with unreliable internet, loud machinery and big crowds, if often isn’t.
For the many reasons you may want to work elsewhere, here are a few wallet-friendly alternatives to working from home.
Establish A Virtual Office
You can sometimes lose your appeal as a professional when you work from home. Give yourself some corporate cache by first separating the personal from the professional. Establish a virtual office. You can first set up a second line using Google Voice. Google’s service will allow you to pick your own number, establish a voicemail and forward you calls from your Voice line free of charge. Second, you probably don’t want to share your personal address for professional correspondence. Do it the old-fashioned way by setting up a post office box. Fees vary but start as low as $14 for six months.
Set Up Shop
Business centers around the country offer more advanced virtual-office services, but in a package. Companies including Regus and Davinci Virtual Office Solutions manage mail and calls for their clients with the help of their live receptionists at locations around the country. Prices range from $50 to $130. Need temporary space? Regus, for example, also has offices, meeting spaces and lounges that you can rent for just a few hours, days, up to months. Perhaps you don’t want the full commitment of renting and maintaining a space to work. Well, for a $30/month membership fee, you can visit one of their 1,500 lounges to work. The spaces sport fully-stocked kitchens, free Wi-Fi, support services and an administrative team to help you with your business.
Finally, studies show people report being more productive in the company of co-workers. To capitalize that finding and the growing number of independent workers, website Deskwanted.com launched in 2010 as a listing service for collaborative workspaces. Unlike business centers, the coworking locations available through Deskwanted are more open, for those who enjoy the social component of the workplace. The cost to co-work is fairly inexpensive and you can pick your own terms: duration, space. etc. One Brooklyn office, for example offers dedicated desk space for as little as $10 a day and $350 per month.