Whether you’re visiting from out of town or convinced that your local office building is plagued with asbestos, there are times when your day’s list of to-dos just won’t fit inside a cubicle. But working remotely at just any old coffee shop isn’t fail-safe. This is Austin, and this is springtime: the mere notion of being outside conjures harebrained schemes of quitting that nine-to-five to join a perpetual drum circle, or faking your own death to live a life of patio beer-drinking under a false identity. First-world problems are the worst! Try one of my favorite places for working remotely – and actually getting something accomplished.
Looking for a quiet, dedicated workspace with a fresh set of amenities? You’ve got to try Vuka Co-Op: by night, it’s an event venue for everything from weddings to yoga to live-studio-audience broadcasts – but by day, Vuka’s the ultimate atypical office setting. It boasts public lounge areas and private conference rooms alongside daily yoga classes, free WiFi, and coffee – even an art station for when you need a brain break that’s not BuzzFeed-oriented. With few distractions but beautiful surroundings, the Vuka Co-Op is sure to get your work juices flowing. (Maybe you’ll even finish up early and make it to happy hour!) Tip: conference rooms are available at an hourly fee, as are drop-in passes – think of it as tender for the free coffee and finger painting – but your first visit’s free.1
Got your dream job? Great. We’re all super happy for you. The rest of us are still striving for the vocation that makes us spring out of bed in the morning – or at least lets us ease up on the data entry a little bit. When data duty calls, though, those spreadsheets seem to fill themselves a little more painlessly with the help of a pint of beer. Visit Thunderbird Coffee, the land of the pleasant busywork, to plug away with few distractions: patrons at this locally owned shop are always sure to use their inside voices, and the bar features local craft beers alongside delicious snacks. What’s more, their coffee frog-leaps the old fair-trade standard, proudly employing “direct trade”, which means they only brew coffee that’s sourced directly from farmers to ensure both quality and working conditions.2
If I were in grad school, I’d write my thesis on the correlation between intelligence, classical music and that little leaf design a good barista draws into the foam of my latte. And, naturally, I’d write that thesis in the cozy if cramped public living room that is Caffé Medici. Its Clarksville location has just the right mix of the aforementioned to guarantee a healthy work ethic, and the fact that it’s small means it rarely gets too noisy. Another perk that’s woefully overlooked at other coffee shops? Outlets galore. This is America! It’s your god-given right to never dip below 15 percent battery!3
For the purposes of working offsite, WriteByNight is a bit of a misnomer: the team of writing consultants on hand to help you craft your novel’s protagonist or talk you off the ledge after getting rejected by The New Yorker a-GAIN encourage nocturnal productivity, but when their workspace is open to the public, it’s typically during the day. This no-frills free space is ideal for when you need absolutely zero distractions between you and that deadline (free coffee and snacks notwithstanding). And if you are looking for writing services, the two-story space comes equipped with a bevy of prompts that are sure to cure that writer’s block. You’re just a few hundred thousand keystrokes away from that promotion/Pulitzer/beautifully articulated Yelp review – now get to gettin’!4