Working from home
Jun 29, 2007

For the past year or so I've been doing pretty much all of my work from home. Occasionally I go into a client's office and work from there, but the vast majority of my work I do here. Right now, for example, I'm sitting on my back porch. This week, however, has been a little different. As anyone in the area knows, it's been extremely hot. Over 90° for the past three days in a row with about 50% humidity. Not pleasant. We have an air conditioner in the bedroom, but I prefer not to run it if I don't have to so I've been doing a lot of work from elsewhere. Specifically, I did a lot of work from the Breugger's Bagels in Porter Square. They have free WiFi and free air conditioning, so it's a pretty good deal. Yesterday and today I also spent a little time working at the Boloco in Davis Square. Their air conditioning isn't nearly as strong, and wasn't quite enough yesterday, though their free WiFi seems a little more reliable and faster. Anyway, working from Bruegger's for basically an entire week was an interesting experience. I definitely wasn't the only one; every single day there were at least three or four other people there with their laptops working. Oddly though, there were very few people who did it multiple days. I definitely saw a buch of the same people every day, but they were mostly people who just came in for lunch. The people who came in to do work generally didn't seem to make a habit of it (except me, of course). I also discovered something about myself. I found that it's much easier for me to focus on work and be productive when I'm not at home. Pretty intuitive really, but the extent to which it's true was surprising. I was definitely much more productive when I was working from Breugger's or Boloco than when I work from home; which isn't to say that I'm not productive from home, just that it's a little easier to get work done when I'm not. As a result, I plan on working from other places more often. This should help my productivity, probably my quality of work too, as well as just get me out of the house more, which will be nice. I only wish that there were more places around here with free WiFi. It's basically Breugger's in Porter, Boloco in Davis, The Druid in Inman, and Grand Prix in ...uh ...out past Porter on Mass Ave. Those places are all nice, but of them only Breugger's and Boloco are really that good for working. The Druid is a bar and doesn't have the most comfortable seating and Grand Prix just doesn't do it for me. I tried working there, but the big Plasma screen showing Sky Sports kept distracting me with rugby highlights. Maybe this is something I can help address as part of the Young Somerville Advisory Council. In the meantime, I'd like to compile a more complete list of the places in Cambridge and Somerville with WiFi. There's any number of websites out there that claim to have a searchable list of this sort of thing, but in my experience they're usually pretty poorly done. I'm not sure why that is, it's an extremely simple concept. Maybe once I have a big enough list I'll try making one of my own. It's the perfect application for a Google Maps mash-up. Might even make a good added value service for the dy/dx tech website. Anyone have any suggestions for good places with free WiFi in the area I might not know about?
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