Working remotely sounds like a great idea. Who wouldn’t love the flexibility to choose where and when you work? But working remotely can come with some challenges, making choosing the right remote work location perhaps the most important business decision you’ll make.
Here are the top secrets of those who successfully work remotely.
Understand what environment you work best in.
John Mascari, co-founder of Bundle Organics, says he feels best when working in a room with a lot of energy and ambient noise. Mascari chose a coworking space with an open floor plan that’s “always buzzing.” “Some people who prefer quieter environments and value the ability to have a closed door would struggle to sit where I sit,” he says.
Consider who you’ll meet.
If you’re interviewing coworking spaces, you may want to consider the types of industries that occupy the space. Take the time to meet with other members before signing on the dotted line. Even coffee shops are often frequented by certain types of individuals. Realtors, consultants, freelance journalists and designers may commonly be found in your local coffee shop. Check out various locales to see where your business will best fit in.
Consider other companies.
If you select a coworking space, consider what other companies you’ll be surrounded with. Kwany Lui, the other co-founder of Bundle, chose a coworking space that offered an eclectic mix of companies. “It has a good mix of brands, digital-media experts, designers and developers,” says Lui. This mix of companies has been valuable to the company, allowing them to get recommendations and collaborate on projects. “As an entrepreneur, you are a jack-of-all-trades, so it’s beneficial to have folks around you who can provide their expertise in areas that you’re not as familiar with,” says Lui.
Consider your company’s culture.
Whether you’re a solopreneur or have a team of employees, the space you choose to work in will impact your company’s culture. “Your office space environment will impact how your business is perceived by folks coming in for meetings and interviews,” says Mascari. Some coworking spaces, for instance, cater to younger entrepreneurs who want a hip, open-concept feel while others have a more mature feel.
Consider your everyday tasks.
The best remote work environment for you will largely depend on the type of work you do daily. If you’re a freelance designer, a coffee shop with wi-fi may be a great option, but if you’re taking calls all day long a dedicated office space with a closed door may be a better fit.
Consider the energy of the environment.
Do you thrive off the energy of others? While some people love to work alone, others find they’re able to perform better when surrounded by the white noise of others. If you find yourself getting distracted or bored when working from your home office, consider heading out to the local coffee shop where you can surround yourself with ambient noise and the hustle bustle of people moving about or a coworking space where you can be motivated by others who are working hard.
(Editor's Note: Entrepreneur Media, the publisher of this website, is an investor in and partner of AlleyNYC, a coworking facility.)