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The mobile office- some options

If you are a small business owner, particularly in the services sector it is most probable that you work from home and don’t have a remote office. While this brings about  challenges of maintaining a productive pattern of work habits, many of us use the option to ‘become mobile’ to get things done. There are many options for doing so, and the level of productivity can increase or decrease depending on how you utilise this practice.

Let’s assume you decide to spend time ‘out there’ in the public, working during your week to escape the traps of too many home induced distractions such as coffees, washing, cleaning, TV or general ‘fluffing about’. What are some of the options and watch outs from where you can work?

The Coffee Shop

This can be a good option to consider, but it comes with both pros and cons.

You receive ‘service’ so you can get your coffee, lunch or whatever you fancy delivered to your table easily- this might add up to an increased kilojoule count over time, and may impact the hip pocket, but is a nice distraction.

The challenge in this case is internet access, as not many places have it, so you will need to be all equipped with remote access via 3 or 4G gadgets of which most business owners would have already. Macca’s may be an option with their free WI-fi, but from my experience the capability is pretty poor and slow. Often this may lead to becoming distracted with ‘people watching’ or not staying focused and the biggest trap is running into those you know. My advice if taking this option is to go to a location a good distance away from home so the potential for distraction (by bumping into friends) is reduced! One disadvantage is the coffee shop is not the most private of places, so it is a bit hard to have any confidential phone discussions, and you don’t want to be labelled the ‘loud speaker’ and obnoxious on your phone- and make sure you buy more than one cup of coffee if staying a while!


A nice safe and quiet option for you to work productively is the local Library. If you work well in this type of environment and need to get that piece of work completed for a deadline, the self immersion peace and quiet of a library can produce some serious outputs.

The library is a great space to work without the threat of loud noise, being interrupted or getting too bogged down watching and listening to what others are doing, and they usually have WI-fi access as well.

The big negative with the library is you can’t make any calls, so if this is not the intent, and you need some time without interruption, then the library may work.

Shared office space

Many corporate solutions exist for this option from the Serve Corp and Regus type solutions as well as numerous smaller boutique options around the city.

These are a great solution for those who need a physical office ‘space’ or location to meet clients, create a brand image or utilise a network of like offices around the country or the globe. The shared office can allow varying levels of access to basic infrequent access to the communal lounge area and basic services, access to hot desks, shared offices all the way up to a dedicated office within the confines of the building. This may be a cheaper option for start ups or low turnover businesses initially as the fixed cost is easy to budget and no additional costs are incurred.

Community workspace

This is a fairly new concept with a few local options becoming available. The newly opened Brainspace concept in Canberra is one whereby access to the space comes at various levels be it casual, hourly, daily, a few days, or permanent. What makes this concept slightly different is the ‘management’ of the space being driven by the community rather than any one particular person. Although it is in early days this is an option to watch for and a great place to informally meet with and network at the same time. Check out their link above as I probably haven’t explained it real well.

 So what is the right choice?

There is no right place to work if getting out of the home is your agenda.

The key is to find a place where you can be productive as well as have the tools, resources and access to conduct your daily business needs. I like to mix it up and escape my home office now and again by heading to coffee shops and other venues, but prior planning needs to be thought out as there is nothing worse than realising you have left your internet dongle or need to print something, or even worse, leave the power cord home and go flat after a short while…at least you can have a relaxing coffee if this is the case!

Happy remote working……Tony


* Image via Sira Anamwong/

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