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There’s a lot to love about the freelance life.

Deadlines and client demands aside, you can get up when you want, work when you want and wear what you want (housemates and indecency laws permitting).

But beauty of all beauties, you can also work where you want.

As a daydreamer from way back (and a human who hates being cooped up inside for long periods of time), I’m happiest when surrounded by fresh air, dappled sunlight and non-rowdy company.

But finding spaces that meet my ‘worth leaving the house to work’ trifecta can be tricky. So far, I’ve nailed it down to three – here’s how they stack up in the great working from home vs working out of home debate.


Seriously, what’s not to love about a library?

They’re full of fellow bibliophiles, the wi-fi’s free and hello, books!

Combine it with a coffee cart, a covered outside deck, comfy armchairs, working nooks and fridge like air-conditioning and you’ve hit the free-range working mother lode.

On the downside, story time can be distractingly loud, winter brings the sniffers who refuse to blow their nose, and all those bright shiny books and magazines can present a massive distraction when you’d rather be reading than working.

Still, I give it a solid 8 out of 10 for daydreaming, brainstorming and semi-focused work (stuff that can survive the odd distraction or two).

Coffee shops

It’s a freelance cliché isn’t it? Sitting in a funky little coffee shop, latte or pot of tea close to hand, laptop ready to go, appropriately hipstered staff poised to deliver baked goods at your command… You’re a freelancing stock photo come to life.

The reality however, can be a little bit different.

Milk cartons, low benches and armchairs look great for funky photo shoots, but aren’t so great when it comes to avoiding back and neck strain. Overly attentive staff and over-priced caffeinated beverages mean a little may have to go a long way, and the presence of so many living, breathing humans can be an irritating distraction when you need to get stuff done.

However, if you’re looking for somewhere to daydream, write freehand and let your mind go with the flow, a coffee shop can’t be beat. Throw in easy parking, good tunes and staff who know your name and you’re onto a winner.

Nature (aka my backyard, the park, and other tree heavy environments)

Fresh air, natural light and a soft, soothing breeze. They’re all at hand when you choose to work al fresco.

But thanks to uncontrollable external factors, working outside can be a bit hit and miss (more miss than hit in my experience). Think ants, bugs and stinging insects, wind that picks up and blows in the wrong direction and shade that refuses to stay put. I’ve also been attacked by kamikaze birds, but that’s another story for another day.

Great for the times when you need to move to think or can work with a voice recorder or old school pen and paper, the great outdoors is a paradise for the wandering mind, and a nightmare for the focused one. My advice is to save it for your free-range thinking time and stick to the indoors when you need to get stuff done.

So, where do you like to get stuff done?

Are you a fan of the coffee shop, park or cool co-working space? Which environments fire up your creative juices and make you feel super productive?