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You Need a Field Trip: Why Working Offsite Leads to Better Work

Woman working offsite at Groundwork in Fall River
GW member Alanna getting after that to-do list at our Fall River location.

Here at Groundwork, we believe that simple changes in routine are the key to both a happy and productive work life. Stepping into a new environment, whether it’s a coffee shop or your local coworking space, can provide perspective to look at those problems in a new light.

There’s no doubt about it: working offsite leads to better work.

So what do you do when you own a coworking space? Although I love Groundwork, my role and responsibilities here mean the magic of a fresh perspective is not readily available. When I’m at Groundwork my priorities are checking in with staff, catching up with members, and attending to any necessary details. When I need to focus, my favorite thing to do is visit a new coworking space.

Every time I step into a coworking space as a guest, I get to experience what it’s like to be a member. Here are my top three reasons to work offsite:

There really are no distractions

It never ceases to amaze me: I get to the coworking space, I pick my spot, I fuss around with getting my coffee and beverages ready, and I sit down to work. And then, it hits me. There is nothing to do except for the items on my to-do list. No pile of bills on my desk. No coffee ring that needs to be wiped down. Nobody poking their head into my office with a question.

It is (nearly) impossible to procrastinate

Let’s say I get up in the morning, pack my bag, and drive 40 minutes to Cape Space (my favorite offsite space) to work on my strategic plan. Do you think I’m going to get there and not work on that plan? It’s highly unlikely. But if I roll out of bed and go to my office, there are a million easier things I can do before I touch that important plan. The intentionality of traveling to a new space and carving out specific time for important work is very powerful. When Shakyamuni Buddha sat in pursuit of enlightenment, he left home to sit under the bodhi tree. He didn’t sit in a corner of his bedroom.

I’m out of the office by lunchtime

I find that when I bring work to Cape Space, I get a good 3-4 hours of solid focus in before lunch. This is enough to get most important tasks done, or at least a very good draft of them. I leave for lunch and then spend a few moments to review what I’ve done when I get back to the office. Then I congratulate myself for getting more done than I usually accomplish in a week, and I take the rest of the afternoon off.

I’ve noticed this pattern with many of our Groundwork members. Our space tends to clear out around 3 in the afternoon. Why? Because our members don’t procrastinate when they are here. They get their work done and then leave to live their lives.

Working Offsite is the Key to Productivity and Balance

Whether you work at home or you report to an office, getting offsite periodically can do wonders for your perspective and productivity. Coworking spaces are ideal, because they are designed to enable work and offer all the amenities you need. What have you got to lose by giving it a try?

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