Telecommuters know that working in an office is totally overrated; but sometimes, working from home is, too. What’s the point of staying in your PJs if you know you’re going to be chained to your desk all day anyway? If you find yourself going a little stir-crazy now and then, or if you just want a refreshing change of scenery to brighten up your day and boost productivity, here are six of the best PDX locations for workers from home to take care of business.
We hope you saw this one coming a mile away; Powell’s is awesome, and you should probably be there all the time. What’s not to love about a four-story city block full of every written work you could ever imagine, and then some? If you’re a real book lover, make sure you have some time set aside before or after you plan to work; you’ll need it just to explore! After you’re done wandering the color-coded maze of rooms (make sure to pick up a map if it’s your first time in), settle down at World Cup Coffee right next to the Gold Room. There’s a variety of drinks and snacks, shared table spaces, outlets, and a window-side counter providing a nice view of Portland’s central street. Be warned: World Cup does get busy, so if you’re looking to situate yourself for a while, it may be best to get there early. Besides, who doesn’t want to spend their workday surrounded by a million (literally) books?
While we’d like nothing more than to make another list of fun coffee shops that will boost your hipster cred, we believe it would be remiss not to include some of Portland’s actual shared workspaces. Most of these, like CENTRL Offices (yes, it’s really spelled that way) in the Pearl District, require paid memberships of some type; but if telecommuting is how you make your livelihood, it may be a worthwhile investment. The memberships at CENTRL Offices include a day-pass option, which could be great for those not willing to commit to full scale. Member services include beer, coffee, bike and car parking, access to talks and company events, and even showers. This is a great place to plant a growing business, or to hole up while you build one.
Okay, back to the fun stuff, Chit Chat Cafe is a cute place right near Portland State University with huge windows and a pleasant atmosphere. Outlet access is limited, but if you have a laptop with a strong battery, the Wifi (free) and bubble tea make up for it. There’s also a wide variety of Asian-style food available, including bento and yakisoba, plus bagels and spreads for breakfast. If tables aren’t really your thing, there are a number of couches around so you can make yourself at home. Our favorite thing about Chit Chat is that space is never an issue; you’ll always be able to find a table or a place to park yourself and work for a few hours.
Forge bills itself as “a community based accelerator and coworking space for social entrepreneurs and freelancers trying to do good in the world.” Simply put, it’s a shared office environment aimed at encouraging and inspiring businesses and individuals to help each other. If you’re looking for a collaborative but non-invasive way to be social and build a network as a self-employed professional, Forge has got your back. You can rent open or dedicated desks at their location in the Tiffany Center downtown, as well as office space. The location has a kitchen, classroom, and conference room for all your business-related needs; and, of course, there’s bike storage, because this is Portland.
If this name sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve already talked about Howl N Growl for their coffee, but they’re so awesome we had to mention them again. You like to drink while you work? You like a super-chill, friendly, open place to sit down, have a snack, and get that work ethic under control? No problem. Howl N Growl is open seven days a week for those who enjoy working on Sundays, and it bears repeating that they have a truly impressive repertoire of things for you to imbibe. Don’t worry if you’d rather work sober: there are plenty of nonalcoholic beverages available throughout the day, and the coffee doesn’t stop after 10 a.m. Bonus: work during the day and transition effortlessly into the after-office bar scene at night! What a perfect business model.
Let’s round out our recommendations with one of the largest coworking spaces available in the city. Deskhub boasts an incredible 20,000 square feet of “creative workspace” open to individuals or teams. What else have they got? Three floors, an outdoor patio, a host of conference rooms and collaborative areas, and something they call a “dedicated community liason,” whose job is to streamline your networking process and assist with your everyday needs. Deskhub isn’t free, but for anyone with enough resources who’s looking to find a foothold in their field or creative community, it’s certainly worth checking out, especially if you love being self-employed but miss the benefits of going to a dedicated office space and sharing your time with coworkers.