The digital age and the advent of the “sharing economy” have changed the business world forever. Gone are the days when you could only earn a living in a corporate environment. The traditional office is fading fast. Freelancers and entrepreneurs can now work remotely from anywhere across the globe.
According to a 2014 study commissioned by the Freelancers Union, 53 million Americans are now independent professionals, which makes up about 34 percent of the total United States workforce. Furthermore, this trend is expected to continue and increase over the next few years. By 2020, more than half of the total American population is expected to work remotely. This poses a very interesting question. Where exactly will all these freelancers and independent professionals conduct business?
Some independent contractors will work remotely for large corporations, as executives are hiring these professionals at an unprecedented rate. Some freelancers choose to work from home. However, many find the need to separate their work and home life for greater productivity. As the number of freelancers and independent professionals who work remotely has steadily increased over the past decade, one of the most popular places to conduct business has been Starbucks.
With 24,464 coffee shops currently open worldwide, Starbucks is the global leader in wifi cafe locations. With low prices, convenience, and free access to internet, Starbucks is a hub for professionals looking to work remotely. However, many freelance professionals would prefer an alternative to this corporate coffee chain for a variety of reasons. For example, some independent workers express dissatisfaction with the taste of their coffee. In contrast, some creative freelancers find their corporate environment too stale to work remotely. No matter your reason for seeking an alternative to Starbucks, we have three great options for you to try.
The hottest new trend in the modern workplace is the co-working office. A coworking office is a shared office space where you can rent a desk or workspace with other freelancers or independent professionals. Furthermore, a coworking office often provides access to shared communal space such as meeting rooms, lounges, and kitchen areas.
There are a myriad of benefits associated with joining a coworking office. Coworking offices are very affordable and certainly less expensive than renting a traditional space in an office building. Moreover, the coworking office is a hallmark of the “sharing economy” where ownership is less important than intelligent, efficient communal pooling of resources. Freelancers and independent professionals can freely network in coworking spaces, gaining new contacts and clients in the process. A coworking space provides a shared professional community of like-minded individuals to interact, socialize, and grow together.
If you are looking for a professional coworking environment in San Diego, come join the DesignStudio Network downtown! In a beautiful new shared office space overlooking the Gaslamp Quarter, you can connect with other digital professionals, freelancers, and creatives. With remarkably affordable pricing and a focus on the innovative digital industry, we can become something great together.
There are many free, public, local spaces to work besides Starbucks. You can work remotely from the local library, which often requires little more than a free membership for access. Once inside, libraries usually offer free wifi, access to a bounty of books or digital articles, and even have computer workstations you can use. Museums often require a fee to enter, but the cost is often minimal. Furthermore, the museum environment is wonderful for working remotely. Finally, if there is a college or university in your area, you can often work remotely for free in one of their many open buildings. Universities also have libraries where you can work remotely as well.
Tired of the Starbucks environment or hate the taste of their coffee? Why not work remotely from one of the many smaller, local coffee shops in your area! Check out reviews on Google Places or simply walk around your neighborhood to find a gem of a cafe right in your own backyard. The ability to work remotely as a freelancer or independent professional grants you with the ability to work from pretty much anywhere.
Explore your town. Go out and meet new people. Taste different local blends and strike up a conversation with a local business owner. There are many cafes that offer free wifi and delicious coffee besides Starbucks. The next one you visit could become a haven for you to work remotely and thrive in this shared economy.
What are your favorite places to work remotely besides Starbucks? Please share with our community by leaving a comment below!