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My daughter is in school 5 mornings a week and her school is a good 25 minute drive from home, so I am not real keen on driving home while she is there. It would cost quite a bit more in gas for one thing. Plus I would lose about an hour’s worth of working time. I have been working in places that offer free wi-fi while she is at school. I’ve been doing this for about 2 years now, so I would like to share some tips from what I have learned about working with a mobile office.
Working from a temporary office can be an interesting experience. For one thing you have to find a spot that will welcome you. I have had great luck working at Starbucks or Panera Bread. Both offer free wi-fi, tables, chairs, drinks and in some cases food. You do have to get a registered Starbucks card to qualify for their wi-fi, but the service is topnotch and I’ve only had a problem connecting once. Which was worked out with an easy phone call to customer service and I was up and running. A local coffee shop or library are also good possibilities.
Keep a fully stocked briefcase or bag with everything that you need in it. Where ever you end up is not likely to have a spare pen, laptop charger, or headphones for you to use. My laptop bag contains noise blocking earbuds (a must for canceling out background noise so that you can concentrate), planner book, laptop charger, pens, notepad, bluetooth mouse, and the cord for connecting my iPhone to my laptop. It is a good idea to have duplicates of the items you use at home, so that you can keep these items in your bag. Nothing worse than your laptop battery dying and you forgot to put the charger back in your bag (ask me how I know).
Don’t forget to be a good patron too. You are utilizing space in a business, so please be a paying customer. Buy a coffee and a bagel or get some lunch. There is nothing worse than seeing that person taking up a table meant for 4 people with their things all spread out and sign of food or drink. And if you are planning on being there longer than 2 hours, than get a second drink.
Do you work on a mobile basis? What are you favorite tips to share?