Best and Worst Places to Work Remotely

Best and Worst Places to Work Remotely

The popular stereotype for remote work could look something like this: a sun-drenched beach, your laptop on your knees, the ocean lapping just beyond. Or, like this: a beautiful deck with comfy seating and a leafy green forest setting as a backdrop. Your choice? Fill in the blank!  In reality, places to work remotely can either be amazing, or, frankly, can fall well short of ideal.

At, we recently conducted an informal poll with a single question: What’s the best or worst place you’ve worked remotely? We received an amazing array of responses that offered surprising, funny, and eye-opening answers that tell us a lot about what it really means to work from anywhere, for flexible workers seeking flexible jobs.

Here’s a look at the many places to work remotely that respondents shared with us—including the good, the bad, and the ugly:

Worst places to work remotely:

The most universally shared response: any place with bad connectivity. A few examples:

  • “The car on the side of the road.”
  • “Public restrooms while waiting for a kid to ‘go.’”
  • “Any place with slow wifi feels like hell.”
  • “A lake house my family rented with a wi-fi router circa 1915.”
  • “[A] coffee shop or out in the open in a public space. I just don’t get how people do it.”
  • “A late-night call in an airport hotel room you’ve been stuffed [in] for a cancelled flight, with almost-nonexistent wi-fi and a half-eaten banana left on the sheets by the cleaning person.”
  • “Crunching myself into the corner on a tiny table and chair in a hotel room in the hopes of getting enough signal from the wimpy hotel wifi out in the middle of nowhere, Arizona.”
  • “Jury duty.”  

Best places to work remotely (hmm, beaches seem to be a recurring theme):

A few of the fabulous remote places to work shared by our respondents to

  • “On a balcony overlooking the ocean in Maui.”
  • “My friends’ house in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria in the UK. They have a view out over Morecambe Bay from their living room, and it was a spectacular backdrop to my work day.”
  • “A grassy area nestled in the middle of Catholic University’s campus. It was a few yards from where Pope Francis would celebrate a canonization Mass as part of his much-anticipated visit to the U.S. It was awesome to be present at such an exciting event.”
  • “I like working out of our co-working space in Bali. But I also love the buzz of coffee shops and the feeling of being immersed in my own (working) world while listening to the buzz and hum of life around me.”
  • “I’ve had some really productive times working in coffee shops and mid-flight on planes, but also other times those same environments have been terrible.”
  • “I love taking my laptop and finding a great, local restaurant (with wifi and outlets) for an extended lunch once each week.”
  • “My villa’s balcony when I was on holiday in Italy.”
  • “The best is my home office on a sunny afternoon when the sun shines right to my desk.”

We’ve heard from our readers—here are some of our tips your employees might benefit from when choosing places to work remotely:

  • Support functionality. Employees who set up a functional home office that provides a space that helps them meet individual needs and career goals can be a boon for companies, and can help pave the way for greater productivity.
  • Choose remote workplaces wisely. While co-working spaces can be great for some workers some of the time, they can also be a mixed bag. Whether it works depends on connectivity, quiet, and an undefinable quality that varies from person to person. In other words, one person’s perfect work haven can be another person’s nightmare.
  • Capitalize on the change of scenery. Support home-based employees who feel they may benefit from an occasional change of scenery if they work from time to time in co-working spaces, coffee shops, or other workspaces that take them out of their everyday environment.

When considering places where employees can work work remotely, encourage them to take into consideration the entire picture of what they’re seeking in flexible work. Healthier work-life integration? Non-traditional career options? A whole new career path? Whatever the answer, working remotely can mean approaching career options from a completely fresh perspective.

By Adrianne Bibby | June 7, 2016 | Categories: Work Remotely

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