Avoiding rail havoc: remote working
Whether you choose to drive or use public transport, one thing you can’t ignore is the havoc caused by engineering works and industrial action on the railways. If you normally use the train to get from A to B, then you really will be bearing the brunt of this as you join the incredibly slow rail replacement bus service, or you switch to an alternative mode of transport.
Rail problems have a habit of affecting contractors and freelancers (and everyone else, for that matter) even if you don’t normally catch the train, so what are the solutions? Well, the easiest way to tackle the problem is remote working. It’s not possible for everyone, of course, but if it’s a viable solution for you, then it’s worth considering.
So what are your options?
Working from home
You may well do some working from home already and so you may already have an office space set up. Alternatively you may opt for the (less ergonomically beneficial) method of working from the sofa with your laptop on your knee. Either way, there’s a big difference between working from home occasionally and working from home regularly.
Besides working out a space to work in, you should also consider other factors. Does your partner work from home or are the kids off school? Will they be noisy? Are you likely to find yourself distracted by Homes Under the Hammer and Father Brown on the TV? There are endless distractions at home, so make sure you’re strong enough to resist them!
Libraries can be a great spot to work from that take you away from the distractions of home. Most offer free WiFi, and have plenty of desk space. They’re usually reasonably quiet too and allow you to type away in peace.
However, they’re not good places to work if you need to use the phone a lot. The days of silence in the library are long gone, but no one appreciates someone talking on their phone endlessly. You also need to make sure you take everything you need with you so your laptop doesn’t run out of battery and you don’t go hungry!
The coffee shop
Everyone likes to think that freelancers and contractors spend all day working in trendy coffee shops. This isn’t exactly true, but they can be a good place to spend a couple of hours if you’re working from home or a library to break up the monotony. Nearly all of them offer free WiFi these days and you can talk on your phone without disturbing anyone.
However, most places don’t like people buying one small coffee and then staying for hours to use the free internet. You’d usually be expected to refill your cup or buy some food every so often. It can also be very easy to get distracted by people watching!
The one big benefit of all of these remote working solutions is that they don’t rely on you using the train, making your day much more stress-free, even if there are drawbacks.