#Untethered

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The Freelancer’s Guide to Working on the Fly

Here’s the situation: It’s 5pm on a Friday evening, and you’re out and about in a city where you’re a visitor. Every mobile device you’re tethered to suddenly goes off. It’s your Most Important Client, and their Most Important Project needs your attention – immediately. You’re equipped with your digital arsenal; but where do you go to get things done?

As a freelancer, you have to take advantage of all the places you can produce on demand when faced with situations like this. Coffee shops, bars, coworking spaces — even the waiting room at your local tire repair shop can be fair game. Here are some important, yet potentially overlooked things to remember while hunting for a prime location to do good work.

Time of Day: Avoid the Rush

Just like the freeway or a popular bus line, many potential workspaces have “rush hours”. A Starbucks at 8am may not be the best place for you to ply your trade if you need space to concentrate. And that hip coffeehouse/brewpub combo may turn from chill to hopping when happy hour arrives.

Physical Environment: Know Thyself

Knowing the characteristics of the work space you favor can help you find a great place to park when you’re on-the-go. When looking for an awesome mobile work environment, consider the following:

  • Lighting: Natural light can increase your productivity and lower your anxiety. If you’re working during the daytime, spaces with plenty of windows or outdoor areas can be really energizing.
  • Ceilings: Believe it or not, something as simple as ceiling height can play a role in how efficiently you get things done. Certain studies show that high ceilings contribute to creative thinking, while cozier setups may be more conducive for tasks that require painstaking attention to detail. Brainstorming a new social media strategy for your client? Head to the cathedral. Making a few minor changes to your code? Find a cave.
  • Temperature: Some like it hot – but not if you need to cool down under the pressure of a tight deadline. Find a place with climate control that matches the weather and your thermal tolerance: it could play a crucial role in your productivity.

Environmental Noise: Choose Your Soundtrack

Are you easily distracted by people around you? A quality pair of noise-canceling headphones can help keep you centered when the hipster barista insists on blaring an art punk soundtrack. When you listen to your own tunes, choose carefully. Some music cognition studies have shown that lyrics can interfere with language-intensive tasks such as writing. It’s also a wise idea to opt for the familiar over the strange: music you’re well-acquainted with tends to promote focus and productivity.

Tools of the Trade: What’s in Your Bag?

It’s not just about having the ultimate lightweight laptop or the latest mobile devices on hand. Don’t let these essentials slip under the radar:

  • Office Supplies. There are times when a trusty pen, notebook, small personal care items (hello hand cream!), and other desktop supplies may be the way to go. Make sure you’re equipped with the tools you need to best foster your creativity on the fly.
  • Water. There are some thirsts that even the best double vanilla latte or craft beer won’t quench. Keep some of that precious H20 available at all times; it’ll keep you happy and hydrated, and allow your brain to come up with your next Big Idea.

Workfrom: Freeing Freelancers

Keep these simple strategies in mind to help you find your ideal office on the go. Workfrom is your ally in this process. Use us to find and filter workspaces based on criteria including noise levels, seating options, and other environmental factors. We’ll match you with a perfect space so that you can focus on meeting the expectations of even your most demanding clients.


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