How to get work done in the weirdest of places
I rarely sit at the same desk. Given the nature of my work, I simply have no need to call one particular room my ‘office’. In fact, such a place doesn’t exist at all, for I am forever making use of any available space in order to get work done.
Many people believe that we’re entering the age of the freelancer or ‘gigging’ professional and few millennials view the traditional working environment as the norm. Designated team rooms, dedicated desks, shared printers — it all sounds a bit old fashioned, doesn’t it?
The ability to connect quickly to super-fast internet no matter where we are has opened up a world of possibilities when it comes to the adventurous, travelling worker.
I’ve worked in some very unusual places, and if you’ve ever found yourself wondering how you’re going to get anything done in your current surroundings, my tips below could save the day.
1. The car
I’ve lost count of the number of car parks, roadsides and lay-bys in which I’ve knuckled down and achieved meaningful work. The car can actually be a fabulous place to get stuff done; it’s enclosed, private and has everything you need.
No, really. You’ve got a comfy chair, music, heating and an entire space all to yourself (no matter how small). All you need to do is switch seats (no one wants steering wheel getting in the way of an email session, after all), ensure you have a decent cellular data connection and the ability to tether your laptop to your smartphone, and you’re away.
2. The garden
Staring longingly outside from the confines of an office is one of the hardest aspects of summer. You want to get out, soak up the rays and enjoy one of the most vibrant seasons of the year. So why not do just that?
Take your laptop outside, pop some suncream on, and get working. It really is that simple.
3. The toilet
Come on, we’ve all been there and there’s certainly no avoiding this makeshift office location. Phone calls aside (yuck!), doing the odd bit of email or research while doing your ‘other’ business can actually be quite productive. You’ll be on a tight timescale, after all, and your productivity will increase as a result.
4. Your long-distant cousin’s wedding
I can guarantee you’ll be invited to a wedding every year which you’d rather not attend. The distant cousin or friend-of-a-friend — whoever it is, you know deep down that you were simply on the reserve list and have been called into action following the cancellation of a more important relative.
Not to worry! Weddings you’d rather not be at represent perfect working opportunities. While the speeches are underway, or during the evening’s entertainment, slip quietly away and find a spot where you can pop out your carefully-concealed iPad and get on with that report. It’s likely the venue will have decent WiFi and coffee, so make the best use of it!
5. The park
Sometimes, you’ll need to get away from it all. If your schedule allows for it, pick a quiet, midweek day and take your laptop, notepad and smartphone to the local park. Pick a quiet corner, lay down a blanket or pick a vacant bench, and lose yourself in your to-do list. It works. I promise.
You need never be tied to a traditional office desk ever again. Doesn’t that feel refreshing? The world is your oyster when it comes to being productive, so explore every corner and work wherever you can.