When you are working for yourself you can easily become the most unproductive person in the world with the cleanest apartment ever. The solution? Well it’s quite simple … you have to get out of your house when working from home. I definitely have days when I work from home, twice a week usually but I admittedly cannot do it more than that. I find things I need to do around the apt, such as say the laundry pile that has accumulated over the week.
Then there are the We Works, Kettlespaces and similar spots that are a great but if you don’t have the income flow coming in to swing their rates you turn to your local cluster of a Starbucks fighting for wifi connection and ultimately more distractions than you had at home. For New Yorker’s I’ve compiled a relatively solid list of spots in downtown and Brooklyn that are a soloprenuer’s dream. Dallas, I’m working on a round up of locations for you too!
Where to hook up, caffeinate and not be bothered! My prerequisites – they’re everything I looked for in a space but would love to hear from you if I’ve missed any places
- Strong (free!) wi-fi
- Friendly staff
- Space. Ample space.
- Atmosphere, environment and overall vibe.
- Location, location, location.
Arlo Hotels :This hotel chain has created a welcoming environment for those of us working remotely. I’ve even seen full teams from a PR agency that resides across the street set up shop for meetings during the summer at their outdoor spot. The Arlo hotels have more plugs and better wifi than some folk’s houses. The ambiance is mid-century modern meets 21 Centrury technology needs. If you’re in town for work they have ample rooms you can turn into chic meeting spaces and the rest of the time those rooms are used as work spots. The library for instance at the Arlo SoHo houses a long community desk with 10 chairs and plugs. Plus there is a Dylan’s candy bar on site and a happy hour bar that kicks on around 5.
Neighborhood: West Village + NoMad
The Hoxton Williamsburg:By far my favorite spot in Brooklyn to work from, this hotel recently opened and is perfect to work from. Aside from the usual needs, they also have a fireplace and well that trumps anything else! The food is fantastic – always get the burger or one of their salads, the avocado toast is huge so you can share that with your fellow remote colleague. There are two long communal work tables plus an array of chic sofas and chairs making this a rather homey experience. The Hoxton is also a gem of a location for meetings.
Caprices by Sophie: Possibly the best kept secret so you guys try not to bombard this place once warmer weather is back. Caprices has a hidden outdoor garden in the back of it’s patisserie. While there are no plugs it can only be summed up as heavenly back there. Add in the delicious pastries (always get the almond or chocolate croissant) and a dirty chai and you can’t go wrong.
The Marlton Hotel: This hotel tucked away near NYU and Washington Square park. This little hotel is a lifesaver, there are ample tables, cushy sofas and seats so that you don’t feel as though you’re sitting on top of someone. The staff just let you do your thing (can we all get a hallelujah!) – this spot is fantastic for meetings, meet-ups or even to just wind down from the day next to the cozy fireplace with a glass of red.
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
Ludlow Hotel: Yet another fantastic cozy hotel that turns on the charm. This spot is tucked away in the LES and is truly one of the most quiet, calm places I’ve worked from. The Ludlow has also been one of the best networking spots I’ve found, with its rotating highly creative guests and it’s location I’ve met everyone from hip sneaker guys who are launching their first brand this spring to jewelry makers and film directors. Not all have been a fit for me professionally but it’s incredible to see where a connection can take you.
The Roxy Hotel: Formerly known as the Tribeca Grand, this hotel has really stepped up the ante to be one of the go-to destinations for me. The hotel has so much space you’d think you were in Dallas, it’s a great spot for meetings or to just hunker down and work from for the day. Wifi game is strong, coffee is served up from Jacks and the seating? Quite cozy.
Joe & the Juice : This gem of a health situation not only serves up killer juices, smoothies and coffees but has a great all around vibe to it. The (insanely cute) staff has a fab number of playlists on rotation and often times there are an ample number of freelancers and creatives to network with. I recommend getting there early. If you go to the ones in touristy neighborhoods prepare to leave before the noon rush of tourists hit.
Merriweather on Hudson: Adorable, great coffee, quiet and relatively a hidden gem (until now) – this is a great spot to work from or do a coffee date and network. It is small but I think that’s the appeal of this little spot.
Neighborhood: West Village
Toby’s: Their West Village outpost is nice, not nearly as spacious as the one in Brooklyn but this one has ample counter space for your laptop, coffee and avocado toast. If you hit the one in Williamsburg be prepared for a spotty wifi and it can often times be overcrowded, especially now as we’re getting into the dead of winter. The staff and the atmosphere are fantastic but it’s your call if that’s enough to outweigh a wifi situation that makes you want to toss your laptop out the window.
Neighborhood: Williamsburg & West Village
Sweet Corner Bake Shop: Sure head here for the great coffee and mind-blowing chocolate chip cookies with sea salt and caramel but also for the great outdoor seating area. The bakery’s staff is just incredible, super sweet and always remember your order. The wifi? I’ve literally found nothing stronger in this neighborhood – ESPECIALLY outdoors. It’s my hidden gem!
Neighborhood: West Village
Devocion Cafe – The Columbian coffee shop is downright lovely, they took over an old warehouse space and built it out to be one of the most enjoyable, beautiful coffee shops. They have a massive garden wall, natural light and a constant rotation of art installations. The wifi is good and the coffee is out of this world.
Another coffee shop another day but what makes Gotan stand out from the others is the sheer amount of space dedicated to working guests. Big, giant shared tables and a decent amount of plugs. They are welcoming and friendly in both locations and their wifi is always strong. This is a great spot for a solo worker.
Neighborhood: Tribeca + Williamsburg0