Flexible workplace policies are increasingly making remote working the norm. If you’re considering a Geelong region relocation on the proviso of regularly avoiding the workplace commute, here’s some remote working tips and tricks to get you off to a flyer.
Home office set up’s are all well and good. But cohabitating small children can also make working from home impossible.
Even without distractions at home, being out and about in a public space can help you connect with your new locale. Exploring new coffee shops and being on a first name basis with your fave café folks are simple things that can help give you a sense of belonging.
If you’re a cash-strapped or canny start-up, small business operator or entrepreneur on the go, these remote working options across Geelong, Bellarine and the Surf Coast will be equally useful to have up your sleeve.
Whether you’re chasing free WiFi or tethering the bejesus out of your mobile, these spaces and places can be your substitute office when you’re starting out, or just need to get out of the effing house and work alongside fellow humans for a while.
PUBLIC WORK SPACES IN THE GEELONG REGION
The Geelong Regional Library Corporation has an extensive network of libraries (16 of them!) throughout the suburbs of Geelong, Bellarine and the Surf Coast. Top of the pile is the newly opened Geelong Library or ‘Dome.’ (we say dissected golf ball, in a good way).
All libraries have WiFi access and offer suitable surrounds for plugging in a laptop and punching out some work.
Noise is an inherent part of public spaces. Libraries are not the super quiet wood paneled dens of yesteryear. If you’re sensitive to noise, keep that in mind. Today libraries are a vital resource for retirees, the elderly, students and new parents. Check your local library opening hours and the schedule of kids activities; nursery rhymes for babies and toddlers may not be conducive to conference calls or think time. Whatever you do, don’t make a goose of yourself by telling people to ‘shush’. If this is even tempting, libraries are not the right working space for you. Look somewhere else.
Waurn Ponds and Geelong West libraries both offer some great work desk areas.
The new Geelong library is very awesome BUT for the remote workers among us, it lacks quiet workspace areas. There’s a large central workstation downstairs with stools that’s not really conducive to long sessions of work. For one, the stools are freaking uncomfortable after any length of time (although perfect for a bit of newspaper/interwebs time-wasting). Secondly, as it’s located immediately facing the main entrance, you’ll be playing de-facto librarian, directing enquiries to the actual information desk further into the building.
Far better to head to Level 2 and station yourself on the bench of PC’s overlooking the park and upside down building. You can set-up a laptop between the desktop PC’s, plug in and chow down on free WiFi. Adjacent to this is a series of fab meeting rooms you can book for a small fee. If these meetings rooms aren’t booked for anything, you can nab them for as long as you need to, which is pretty great.
NAB Business Banking Centre
Opposite the TAC building on Brougham St, a hop skip and a jump away from the Waterfront and Moorabool St, you’ll find the NAB Business Banking Centre. Strictly speaking, it’s a resource for NAB’s clients and customers. But there’s free WiFi and communal desk space you can lurk on without much intervention. It’s a great client meeting space too that warrants opening an account to access. Casual catch up’s are easily accommodated in the main informal area, with dedicated meeting rooms available for hire for intimate gatherings and larger group sessions. If you have business phone calls to make, this is a pretty terrific spot to find a quiet corner and have those chats.
Deakin Waterfront Library
This is a glorious space that will get you heading to remote work early because it’s just so goddam lovely. If there’s a more beautiful view from another library in the world, we’ll go he. Swaddled by Corio Bay views to the north and dappled light streaming through pin oaks to the west, this is a modern, well-appointed quiet space offering desks, powerpoints and morning coffee. While it’s a resource for Deakin students, the IT helpdesk is very accommodating and will set you up with a guest WiFi connection if you ask nicely.
There’s also several meeting rooms here. Check with staff about the booking process or take your chances during quiet periods.
Best of all, there are periods when this library opens from 7am around the end of semester. This is a massive bonus when you’re really under the pump. Standard hours are still pretty sweet from 8am to 8pm.
Deakin Waurn Ponds Library
If it’s on your side of town, it’s generally open from 8.30am to 8pm during the week, or check opening hours here. http://www.deakin.edu.au/library/campus-libraries/waurn-ponds Parking can be a drag without the right passes so check this first too.
Geelong’s first foray into the world of ad-hoc and semi permanent co-working space, Start up Cloud, is on Ryrie St. Pitched as a creative hub for freelancers and entrepreneurs, it features an event space, meeting pods and an open plan workspace.
It offers its co-working community members a screen, keyboard and mouse, with fees ranging from $16.50 per day to $55 per month. Desks with monitors are $55 a week
Cafe WiFi action
Free WiFi is a missed opportunity for the Geelong reigon’s hospitality brigade. It’s a notably absent feature in many local café’s. With more cafe’s entering the fray in recent times, it will be interesting to see whether competition sees more free WiFi services popping up in venues. Remote working from a vineyard, as our top picture alludes to, may be a stretch too far, unless those estates with cafe facilities wised up to the merits of free Wifi perhaps?
Telstra WiFi hotspot’s are generally a safer bet (if you can access that network). Head to a cafe in close proximity to a Telstra payphone/hotspot station and you should be able to access WiFi that way.