5 Best Workspaces For Freelances
BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- If you ever want to make your home feel like the most stiflingly dull place on Earth, become a freelancer.
Along with tracking down 1099 forms at tax time and figuring out how many assignments it takes to pay for health coverage, limiting your time in the home office and the stagnancy of said place is one of the toughest challenges a freelancer faces. If you're not fortunate enough to have some company pull you into their own digs for a few days a week, chances are you'll need to check in to the nearest Wi-Fi enabled spot just to stop your beloved home's walls from closing in on you.
That's assuming the task at hand can be accomplished on your computer. Otherwise, you're either seeking out a friend's garage or basement space for your craft or looking for some like-minded folks who don't mind the mess and noise.
What's out there to satisfy "third space" needs is a pretty mixed bag, especially after a nasty recession that saw coffee shops cover up their outlets and limit online time to discourage seat squatting . You can bounce across the country using Wi-Fi at McDonald's(MCD) , Wendy's(WEN) , Denny's(DENN) , Taco Bell (YUM) and even Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) , but that also means parking it in or around one of those establishments all day and dealing with the lowest-common-denominator search, email and plug-in restrictions of each business.
That said, those restaurants and several other free and fee-based options are just the kind of facilities that can keep a freelancer on top of his or her game when working from home gets frustrating. Even freelancers who need a workshop more than they need Wi-Fi have options available. We took a look at alternatives for freelancers looking to leave home every so often and came up with five that could best fit their needs:
This should be your first stop if all you need is some Wi-Fi, research materials and quiet.
First off, it's free. In Boston, for example, every portion of its public library system including the massive, gorgeous library in Copley Square is a free wireless hot spot. All you have to do is get a free library card, connect to an access point, log in with your library card number and PIN and fire away. Want to print? It's $1 for a printing card and 15 cents per page.
It's pretty much the same story in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and just about any other public library in the country. That said, there are certain disadvantages that come with this particular forum. The quality of your Wi-Fi connection can swing dramatically depending on your library. If transferring large files is an absolute necessity for the task at hand, you might want to check the library's connection first just to make sure it can handle the load.