Out of Office: Finding a place to work away from home

I love my home office.

My chair is the bomb.  You’ve gotta have a good chair.  It’s essential to feel comfortable when you’re working.

I love that I can listen to music, see sunlight through the windows, and I’m just a short walk away from the kitchen, where I often trek to refill my water glass.  I also love that it’s mine.  I share only with my husband, and he’s not a bad office-mate.

But sometimes, it’s not possible to work at home.  For the past week, I’ve been driving Luke to a camp near Zilker Park every morning.  Instead of taking 45 minutes- 1 hour out of my work day to drive back and forth, I decided to set up shop nearby.  All I needed was an Internet connection and a chair.

It was not as easy as I thought it would be.

Here’s what I hate — “free” wireless networks that require a password.  That is incredibly annoying.  Two different coffee shops I tried  had that kind of network — one didn’t even post the password (I guess you had to go ask the barista), and the other (The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf — which is essentially Starbucks) said it would log you out for 10 minutes every 2 hours so you could join the real world.  Or get up to buy another coffee, perhaps?  Sneaky.

No thanks.

But I did finally settle on a decent place to work: Austin Java.

OK, so there were downsides.

  1. The chairs aren’t all that comfortable.  They’re wooden.
  2. The music was loud.

But there were plenty of upsides to make up for the negatives.

  1. Wireless was easy to access
  2. Coffee (I only tried the decaf) was good and bottomless
  3. Food wasn’t bad
  4. Good place to meet business contacts and clients
  5. Clean bathrooms
  6. Decent music selection (Yeah, it was loud, but at least it was good!)

I ended up getting a ton of work done, and never once did I feel like I was missing something from my office (other than my awesome chair).  It was also nice to work around other people for a change.  I was by no means the only person working there.  Many other people sat down and pulled out their laptops during my time there.

So to the good folks at Austin Java on Barton Springs Road who handed me my coffee mug with a smile and brought out my bowl of fruit — you folks rock!  Thanks for the hospitality!

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