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Beyond the Coffee Shop: Our Favorite Places to Work Remotely

A woman studying a book and making notes in a library with her laptop in front of her.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

If you join the millions of people who work remotely, you suddenly face a surprising question: where should you work?

As a remote worker, the world becomes your office. Yet, most people either stay in their home or trek to their favorite coffee shop every day. A home office or beloved cafe are great places to work—but if you switch it up sometimes, it up can help you channel new inspiration.

When you go to work in a new city (or even a new neighborhood), it’s helpful to find some new, creative workspaces.

If you need to shake up your work routine, try one of these cool locations.

A Late-Night Bakery

Over the last few years, lots of major cities have jumped on the “midnight bakery” train. This trend started with a cookie delivery chain called Insomnia Cookies—its target demographic was college students. Since then, many late-night cookie companies and bakeries opened up to compete.

These businesses usually offer chill nighttime hangout spaces as an alternative to bars and restaurants. And for the remote-work crowd, they can be ideal places to set up shop. You likely won’t have to compete for a table or deal with large, disruptive crowds. And the fresh-baked goods certainly don’t hurt.

The Library

Libraries offer quiet, work-friendly environments, and the vast majority of them also have free Wi-Fi. In addition to lots of tables and chairs, some even have private rooms where you can set up your temporary office.

One drawback is the internet tends to be slow. If you don’t do a lot of work online, though, this won’t be a problem.

To bump up the studious atmosphere, you can work in a college library. You don’t have to be a student. Many college libraries are open to the public either all the time or during certain hours of the day.

You might need to sign up for a guest library card, and the rules depend on the college. But these are excellent places to work—you’ll be surrounded by focused students, and the buildings themselves are often beautiful.

Coworking Spaces

A group of people scattered around a room at long tables, working on laptops and talking on cell phones.

Coworking spaces are community office spaces specifically aimed at remote workers. You pay for access monthly, weekly, or daily, depending on how often you need the space.

It’s pricey to rent a coworking space in some cities, but they do come with perks. You can network with other remote workers, use conference rooms, or even take free workshops and training classes. The extras depend on the space, but they might be worth the money.


Many museums have attached cafes or restaurants that offer quiet, elegant places to set up for work. Even though you won’t be in the galleries themselves, these spaces often have interesting artwork or thought-provoking installations, which can make them inspiring.


Some bookstores offer dedicated reading spaces where people can hang out and read their new books. If there’s also Wi-Fi, this can be an ideal place to work.

Because everyone’s reading, it’s almost always quiet. And if you need a break, you can flip through a few books.


Hotel lobbies often have an array of open tables and comfortable furniture. And few people hang out there during the day, so it’s quiet enough to focus. This is a great place to work, even if you’re not near a major city.

The staff usually assumes you’re staying there, so they’ll give you the Wi-Fi password, the internet tends to be fast.

If you feel weird about doing that without being a paying customer, though, you can head to the attached restaurant or cafe and order something before getting down to work. Hotel restaurants are also often slow during the day, so they make great workspaces.


If you have a gym membership you don’t use enough, you might be able to turn it into a remote workspace. Fancier gyms often have cafes or hangout spaces for members.

Also, you’ll probably find it easier to fit in a workout if you’re already at the gym for work.


Some parks offer free public Wi-Fi now, too. You might not be able to plug in your computer, but you can enjoy the fresh air until your battery runs out. This is a great place to work during the summer to avoid the nice-weather FOMO.

The longer you work from home, the better you’ll get at finding places that fit your work style. This list will get you started. But once you see the whole world as your potential office, you’ll come up with tons of new places to work.

Of course, it’s important to avoid the temptation to work everywhere you go. Make sure you maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Elyse Hauser Elyse Hauser
Elyse Hauser is a freelance and creative writer from the Pacific Northwest, and an MFA student at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. She specializes in lifestyle writing and creative nonfiction. Read Full Bio »
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