Need a change of scenery? Find these out-of-office alternatives in your town.
Many Wisconsinites were forced to work at home during the pandemic, now, a record number are choosing to do so. Roughly six-in-ten US workers (59%) who said their jobs can mainly be done from home are working from home all or most of the time, much higher than the 23% who said they often worked remotely before the coronavirus outbreak, according to a national survey by the Pew Research Center. Working from home comes with obvious benefits: a better work-life balance, no commute, and increased flexibility. But it also has its drawbacks, like distractions and feelings of isolation. That’s why it’s increasingly important to find alternatives to make out-of-the-office life both efficient and enjoyable.
The next time you need a change of scenery, try one of these options:
If you crave routine and are searching for consistency, a coworking space may be the choice for you. The shared spaces provide everything a regular office would, like Wi-Fi, printers, meeting rooms, coffee, and even small talk by the water cooler.
These spaces require a membership fee to join, but some remote-based companies will reimburse you when asked. If you’re paying out-of-pocket and not ready to make a full financial commitment, look for a location that offers month-to-month or day-to-day membership options. As one example, visit The Nest Cowork & Club in downtown Green Bay for a tour, or purchase a day pass for $35. The facility offers 24/7 access, conference rooms, unlimited coffee, and more.
A Coffee Shop
Everyone knows the best work is done while caffeinated, and Wisconsin has no shortage of unique, local shops, from Door County Coffee and Tea Co. in Sturgeon Bay, which offers over 100 freshly brewed coffee options— to Zest Bakery and Coffeehouse in Stevens Point, known for its themed coffee drinks.
Most shops offer free Wi-Fi, a variety of drinks and food, and in some cases there’s also outdoor seating. And since these shops are a common workspace, you most likely won’t be the only remote worker in the room. Making a coffee shop your office for the day is also a great way to support local businesses in your community. Just remember to actually support them with purchases, hopefully more than the occasional cup of coffee.
The Public Library
Assuming your work can be done quietly through a keyboard, your local library is a classic and peaceful option that won’t let you down. From free Wi-Fi to affordable printing, scanning, and faxing services, your public library is a reliable office alternative that’s open long hours most days of the year. And of course, the library comes with the benefit of having thousands of books at your fingertips, should you want to look up anything the “old-school” way.
Some are old classics: Milwaukee’s Central Library, the state’s largest, has been open since 1898. On the flip side, Eau Claire’s LE Phillips Library is reopening after a yearlong, $18 million renovation. You can apply for a library card online or bring 2 forms of ID and apply within. Whether you live nearby or are simply passing through, it’s worth a visit.
True Wisconsinites understand the importance of making the most of every nice day, especially when winters feel as long as they do, which is what makes parks the perfect seasonal option.
Marinette County, the waterfall capital of Wisconsin, is a picturesque place to enjoy an incredible view while you work. Dave’s Falls Park in Amberg is a popular hotspot for visitors. Being outdoors has the added benefit of mental health improvement and stress reduction, according to—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But plan ahead for one possible downside: limited or no Wi-Fi. Cellular hotspots are a popular work-around.
An occasional change of environment can help you get motivated and stimulate new ideas. Remember: Remote work is what you make it. Take advantage of your newfound flexibility and find what works for you!