The other day, I saw a guy in Starbucks typing away on an iMac. Yes, he set up a desktop computer in a café. Another dude at another Starbucks was painting on canvas, his art supplies sprawled across the table. And in yet another café, a naïve young man yelled his Amex credit card information into his cell phone, repeating it slowly several times, as everyone in the coffee shop watched, aghast.
Working in a café can be vastly entertaining — and counter-productive. As a self-employed writer and consultant, I’ve bounced from one coffee shop to another, looking for a place that’s quiet and conveniently located, with power ports, strong Wi-Fi and good food/drink. I finally found such a place — and then it closed.
Which brings me to Workfrom, a website designed to help people like me find the ever-elusive ideal spot for working remotely. Workfrom recently released free Android and iOS apps to help you find a place to work on the road.
Workfrom is community-sourced, like Yelp
Workfrom is a searchable guide to remote work spaces in more than 1,250 cities worldwide. The listings for coffee shops, coworking spots, and bars is community sourced. You’ll find useful information from other users regarding a location’s background noise; access to power ports; and in some cases, Wi-Fi speeds.
You can also contribute notes about food and "work-friendly capacity" (how many people can likely work there at any given time) and offer "pro tips." In other words: Think of Workfrom as a highly focused Yelp.
Establishment owners can also give their stamp of approval on their listings, to indicate that laptop- or tablet-toting vagabonds are welcome to crash there.
Filter your Workfrom searches
Workfrom’s search algorithm lets you filter results by a variety of factors, including "dog friendly," "group friendly," places that are "quieter" or serve alcohol and have outdoor seating. Alternatively, you can browse nearby locations and view search results in a list or on a map.
Some Workfrom listings are a bit odd
You won’t find every possible remote working spot listed in Workfrom, and some listings seem odd. The Starbucks in my San Francisco neighborhood isn’t to be found, for example, while the Whole Foods across the street — which has a few outdoor seats in the parking lot — is included.
But that's a minor complaint. Workfrom is a free, handy resource for mobile workers, teleworkers, and the self-employed who need a place to work away from home or office but in the company of (sometimes eccentric) people.