Every once in awhile bloggers like to make little posts about their work spaces. They post photos of their massive monitors (sometimes two), super huge desks crammed with important looking things, and sometimes even a strategically placed snowboard or some other cool type thing in the background.
Sadly, I have no workspace. Happily, I have many! So I thought a post with photos and little blurbs about my workspaces so far might be interesting. Some of my working spots so far have been inspiring, some have been depressing, but the beauty is that I didn’t have to be at any of them from 9 to 5. One thing I have realised though is that working from anywhere isn’t always practical.
Here they are, most recent first:
Airport – Shenzhen, China
China never ceases to amazing me with its free wifi and airports always seem to have a free signal floating around which is great. Too bad I spent most of my time trying to nap away a hangover rather than getting work done. I wish other world airports would get going witht the free wifi thing… come on Heathrow!
This place is great. Fresh fruit juices, healthy, tasty food, free wifi, comfy chairs, air-conditioning, friendly staff, and there are loads of other wireless workers here too so I don’t feel like a big nerd sitting by myself and typing away. They even have a guy playing live guitar on Saturdays. If there’s one in Beijing I am going to have to find it.Â Â Â Â Â
It ain’t pretty but it’s an ok place to stay and there’s a garden area to plunk down and do some work. The patio furniture isn’t exactly comfortable but it beats working on my bed.Â If you need some distraction thenÂ thereÂ is a martial artsÂ school on weeknights and they bust out theÂ karaoke machine on Sunday afternoons.Â Â Â Â Â Â
My travel buddy and fellow wifi addict found this place after combing the streets of Fenghuang. I decided to stay an extra five days because of the great working environment. There’s wifi access in the room and space to work and all for 25 yuanÂ per nightÂ (under US$4). Their smelly dog wanted to befriend me which was distracting.Â Â Â Â
Located in a tiny village that is popular with day trippers, there really was seriously nothing to do at night. So I hid away in my room, enjoyed the silence and typed away. Not the most exciting evening, but it’s good to have some peace and quiet now and then. I had the giant spiders to keep me company and the roosters in the (early!) morning.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
This place had no wifi but the rooms were cheap at 30 yuan per night, the setting beside the river was beautiful, and I managed to rig up a desk by pulling a small table over to my bed. The hostel did haveÂ a really fast net connection and the hugest monitor I’ve ever seen soÂ uploading work would have been possible.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
This place served great food and it seemed like I was the only one ever in there so I got plenty of quiet time. No wifi but the view was one of the best views I’ve ever had while working. I was tempted to spend all of my time just staring out at the rice terraces though.Â Â Â Â
I volunteered at an English school for a week in Yangshuo and got free accommodation thrown into the mix. The room was equipped with a desk but no wifi. My roommate was an artist and tended to take over the desk most nights but I usually spent my nights at the bars and worked during the day so it was no problem.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
It seems like all ofÂ the wifi I’ve encountered on my travels is faster than what I have in my apartment in Beijing. I always have problems uploading files with FTP. Things seem to stall a lot. But I’m all set up there with a desk in my room, food in the fridge, air-con pumping and access to books and other resources that help me get things done.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
This hostel had fre wifi that oozed into the rooms. I made a makeshift desk, sat on the floor and I was in a six bed dorm so had a couple of people around to keep me company. One girl put on some music and it was a great environment to get stuff done, despite my increasingly sore ass from sitting on the floor.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
This place was a hell hole! Terrible staff, scary toilets, prison cell rooms. There was free wifi but you could only access it from the hallway in front of the elevators and there were no tables. I had to plunk onto the floor and use a plastic stool as a desk under the watchful eye of the evil owner. Never stay here!Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
A brand new hostel, this place was spotless. It had what looked like a nice working environment complete with a balcony but I did most of my work from my room. I’m not sure why because working on a bed is never comfortable and the room, as you can see with the modern look, wasn’t exactly inspiring.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
A nice hostel with wifi, lots of spaces to work and some very rainy weather all meant that I got plenty done in the Cameron Highlands with a bit of hiking in between. Having lots of choice of where to work is great. The TV in the common room was noisy but there were lots of other nooks and crannies to escape to.Â Â Â
Ah the hammock on a beach shot. It seems to be what people think of when they dream of working from anywhere. Let me be the first to tell you that it doesn’t work. It’s super uncomfortable and attempting to look at the laptop while sitting in the hammock totally killed my neck. But itÂ certainly looks impressive.Â Â
I really liked this place despite it not looking like anything special. The staff were super friendly and the common area was filled with nice people. It just had a great vibe about it and I was surprised I enjoyedÂ it so much. It had free wifi but I spent more time chatting with people than working.Â Â
This place had no wifi but I had my handy, dandy net connection through my mobile phone so that was ok. They had great food and even a Western toilet but staff liked to come in without knocking. The do that in Bangladesh. I got lotsÂ done because IÂ didn’t want toÂ venture outside to the chaos that is Dhaka.Â Â
Of all the places I’ve been online, this has to be the most remote. I never would have expected to be able to get online from rural Bangladesh and I was amazed to get a signal from somewhere not even on any maps, not even local ones! The power cut out all the time butÂ I still got lots done.Â Â
This place promised a net connection but I never did get it to work. It didn’t matter though because I was online in no time once I bought a mobile phone. The guesthouse was super nice complete with a Western toilet, meals with the family and a huge room with a giant desk. I felt like I was back at home. Who would have thought?Â Â
This was one of the most unique places I’ve ever stayed. Built into an old tree with loads of character, it had lots of places to escape to do work. It had great food and friendly staffÂ to party with. The place has a really creative vibe and it’s impossible not to be inspired.Â If it had wifi I might still be there now.Â Â
Another beautiful, peaceful place with great food and not much else to do besides meet people and get down to some serious work. No wifi here either though but I managed to sort out photos and do someÂ writing.Â I did most of my work in the cafe which overlooks the forest but I forgot to take a photo of it.Â Â
My first attempt at working in aÂ beautiful, tropical location went well. This hostel was just far away from the beach not to have in tempt me, and had a good wifi connection, nice working area on the front porch of my room, and aÂ bar nearby serving up tasty beverages. The owner is nice and it was a great place to get stuff done.Â Â Â
I loved this place. TheÂ guy who runs it, Benji, is so welcoming andÂ friendly. He puts on a free wine and cheese night every Saturday and always parties with the guests who all seemed to be really interesting when I was there. The balcony is a great spot to work and meeting people is easy. I’d go back there in a second.Â Â
What’s the most beautiful, craziest or impractical place you’ve ever worked? Is there anywhere you got a net connection you never would have imagined would be possible?