Searching for an office when I don’t have one

By now, most of you know that I’ve left my job of 8 years and am searching for a new job.  If you’re saying “wha?” in your head, I refer you to this post, and this one.

For the record, I am loving life. It’s been a whopping 8 days since my last day at the office, and while I haven’t accomplished as much as I’ve wanted to, I’m giving myself a bit of a break since, after all, it is a holiday week.  Cookouts and kayaking and trips to see Broadway shows can reduce productivity, after all.  So can blogging, but well, you know.

One of the more interesting pieces of “working on my schedule” involves space.  I love space.  I care a lot about what a space looks like, because I believe the aesthetics of place can impact creativity and productivity.  I don’t buy Mr. Sam’s belief that everyone is at their best in cubicles with no windows.  I love windows, and natural light; when I packed up my office, I had to take lamps home with me because I decided long ago to avoid fluorescent light if possible.

So, as I’ve tried to find a rhythm and new routine in this brave new world of being sort-of-unemployed (I have some part time work, and consider finding a new job to be my actual job), I’ve been searching for the perfect space to “work”.  Here’s the rundown of places so far.

Home

The benefits here are obvious.  Wine, ample iced tea, no public bathrooms, my comfy office chair, my dog to keep me company.  Loud music if I want it, silence if I don’t.

However, working at home can be distracting, especially if your house is a mess, as mine often is.  There’s always laundry to be done, dishes to do, floors that need sweeping.  There are also TV and books begging to be enjoyed.  And if I’ve gone shopping; food and snacks that I really don’t need.

The Perk on Wedington

Pros:  It’s close by, with free wifi and yummy chai.  The food offerings are uninspired, so I’m not tempted to eat them.

Cons:  Super uncomfortable chairs, and JUST when I was getting into the groove, some dude with a guitar showed up and started strumming and singing to the barista and the two of us who were working on our computers with headphones in.  No bueno.  I left and probably won’t go back very often.

Mama Carmen’s on College Avenue

Pros:  Super nice staff, great atmosphere, plenty of tables with outlets, free wifi.

Cons:  It was really loud and busy today, which I guess is to be expected.  Chairs are ok on the comfort scale.  This will probably become one of my go-to places.

Nightbird Books in Downtown Fayetteville

Pros:  It’s an indie bookshop!  Quiet little space, surrounded by books, birds chirping in the background, quiet music that doesn’t compete with my headphones.  Access to Italian cream sodas (to be fair, the other coffee shops offer those too).

Cons:  It’s an indie bookshop!  I can’t leave without buying books, which, while a good thing for my brain, isn’t so good for my bank account.

Fayetteville Public Library

Pros:  This is probably my favorite place to be productive in all of Northwest Arkansas.  On the 2nd floor, tables line the walls and there’s a lovely view of an Anita Huffington sculpture.  It’s crazy quiet and peaceful, and so beautifully designed that I can’t help but feel peaceful and focused.  And there are books…and they are all free!

Cons:  All those books tempt me to read, not work.  The hours, since I like to work in the evenings. And for the past few days, my VPN hasn’t been working (something with that network befuddles it) so unless I can fix that, this option is limited.

What a foolish and mundane post this is turning out to be.  🙂 I’ll try to bring it home by reflecting that there’s a certain sense of adventure to this kind of workstyle: where will I go today?  The novelty of it makes it pretty appealing compared to the routine of going to the same office every day.  I wonder when I will start to crave that routine again?

Anyway, I know lots of you are like me, working from home or wherever you decide to create your office.  What are your favorite places in and outside of Fayetteville?

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