This is a list I originally posted on my business blog but I figure, any creative freelancer who uses a laptop can use it too. If you ever want to get out of the apartment and be around other people, there are co-working spaces now available but they tend to run around $300 a month to use. Here are some interesting alternatives I’ve found:
Parks & Recreation Centers and YMCA’s – In New York City, most of these facilities have a computer room. And in the earlier part of the day, before kids get out of school, these places are practically empty. Plus, you can work out if you want!
University Libraries – Unlike public libraries, these open earlier and close much later, like midnight even. Plus, you don’t get as many strange people wandering about. If you’re not a student, you can usually become a “friend” or “member” of most university libraries for around $100 (donation) a year.
Bryant Park in New York City – If you haven’t noticed yet, this beautiful park on 42nd and 6th Avenue not only has wifi, but power outlets as well. A great way to work while getting back to nature. Except maybe in the winter.
Hospital Lobbies – As some of you may know, I’ve recently had to spend A LOT of time at hospitals. And almost all of them have couches, wifi, and CAFETERIAS! Strange place to work, I know, but it’s free!
Hotel Lobbies – If you want something a little swankier, hotel lobbies are a great place to spend an hour or so of laptop time. The better dressed you are, the longer you can probably get away with it. But not all of them will have free wifi so you may need a mobile hotspot or iPhone to tether to.
Regus Business Lounges – This may fall under co-working spaces that I’ve already mentioned, but the $25 a month Gold Membership is just too good not to mention. There are Regus offices all over the world and like 27 in Manhattan alone. Free coffee and tea too!
As a bonus, here are some restaurants that usually have free Wifi: Panera, Cosi, La Pain Quotidien, Bread & Butter, Starbucks (Of course), McDonalds, Duncan Donuts and Wendy’s.
Hope you find these resources useful. But if anyone asks you who told you about them, I’ll deny everything!