One of the great novelties of the entrepreneurial journey is being able to work in your pants with no one knowing about it.
While it’s great being able to work in a comfy environment, wearing yoga pants, with your cat as company I’m a big fan of getting out and about too.
When I started working for myself in 2009, one of my non negotiable must-haves was freedom to work when and where I chose – to be location independent.
What that looked like to me at the time was taking my work with me to the local cafe in suburban London. Back then, I never imagined that my local cafe would be one like this…
(I promise I’m not just writing this to show off! And anyway I prefer to think of it as inspiring, rather than bragging).
But, it’s because my desire for freedom-working was so important right from the start that it later meant moving abroad, and taking my business with me, was super easy.
So, what’s the alternative (and does it involve clothes)?
The alternatives to working at home in your pants may feel unappealing. So, what are the benefits of getting out and working from your local cafe (other than CAKE)? Here are the reasons I love me a bit of cafe working:
- You work at home, sleep at home, eat at home – blah. You need a change of scene girlfriend! To be at your sparkly creative best your brain needs a bit of variety and spice.It doesn’t have to be every day, for example if you always do client calls on a Tuesday then you wouldn’t want to be in the hustle and bustle of a busy cafe, right?But the other days mix it up a bit. The exposure to different stimuli is a great way to stop yourself getting bored and stale.
- The possibilities for procrastination at home are flippin endless!
First off there’s getting up to look in the fridge approximately every 22 minutes (despite knowing full well there won’t suddenly be anything new or exciting in there).
Not to mention the sudden desire to sort out the cupboards/your wardrobe/the pile of mail that’s been sitting by the front door for days instead of getting on with what you need to for your biz.
Your own home is chock full of opportunities for distraction so cut it out of the equation – get outta there!
- There’s actual science that proves a slight background noise is beneficial for your concentration. The University of Chicago found that “A moderate level of ambient noise is conducive to creative cognition.” Which in real terms means a bit of noise helps your creativity find its way out!
Notice it’s slight though – no need to hang out somewhere you’ll be deafened.
Watch out as well for places where the local teens flock to – unless your idea of concentration is listening to school yard gossip and trying to avoid selfie sticks. (disclaimer – not ALL teens, obvs)
- I don’t know about you but being able to order exactly which coffee I want is a massive bonus! And, someone else washes up the cup, win!
- And, you might actually meet people. The chances of meeting like minded entrepreneurial souls in your living room are…well non existent!
I’ve made loads of personal and business contacts by being out and about. It’s not an intimidating networking event, there’s no pressure so you can enjoy the interactions you have. And you can never have enough contacts, right?
- Talking of meeting people… working alone can feel really lonely, and being in a community environment can feel comforting and remind you that you’re not the only person who exists on the planet.Plus, by becoming a regular you become a familiar face to the staff, you’re supporting local businesses, and may even get the occasional extra benefit (coffee on-the-house, madam?)
Things on my deal breaker list (and you’ll want to research for an ideal workspace) are:
Crappy internet makes the difference between a productive day, and a guilt-ridden afternoon cafe lounging so check out the speed and whether there are any restrictions.
What’s ok for Instagramming pics of your cappuccino when you’re off duty might not cut the mustard when you’re working.
I know it sounds silly but you gotta be comfy – no one ever spent all day being brilliant sitting on a wicker chair.
Not just for your laptop to fit on but whatever else you need to spread out. There’s nothing worse than feeling cramped, except:
If you’ll be there for more than a little while, you need to be set up properly. Yes, that velvet sofa looks really cool but after 2 hours of crouching over the table you’re gonna look and feel like quasimodo. Not a good look.
I like to eat healthily to keep myself properly refueled so this is super important for me. You don’t want to hang out somewhere where there’s too much temptation to load up on sugary snacks (and feel crappy afterwards).
There’s room for both ways
Don’t get me wrong, I often work from home. There’s a lot to be said for having everything just where you need it. And, if it’s raining cats and dogs that’s where I’m staying, believe me.
But it’s too easy to get stuck in that habit of staying in all day, every day. The only contact you have is with your online buddies – who are COOL AS, I’m sure. But, we’re people and we need the company and buzz of other, real life peeps sometimes.
My challenge to you
So my challenge to you this week is to get out of your house, (yes you may have to wear something other than yoga pants) and scout out a cool place to work. Then, let me know about it: How did you get on? Did it make a difference? And, if you have a wicked view like mine feel free to hop over to my Facebook Page and share it with us!
If you’re feeling like the soloprenuer journey is a lonely one and you’d love to know what to do to find that little extra spark of excitement for your business, book yourself a Chemistry Call with me (it’s free!)