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  • Writer's pictureSarah McGill

Great spaces to work in for the price of a coffee

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

If you find yourself working from home you know the benefits. You also know the downsides.

If you want a change of scenery every now and then and need some inspiration, here are some ideas of places you can go with your laptop...

Hotel lobbies and bar areas offer a comfortable environment from which to work, in exchange for buying a drink.

A member of staff, particularly at the moment when only table service is allowed, will be assigned to take drink orders from people sitting in the lobby area.

If you want more than an hour or two, some hotels offer a day pass or a flexible membership pass, which will give you access to a desk, free refreshments and high-speed wifi.

Village Hotels, for example, actively encourage the use of their premises as ‘your local home office, without the distractions of home’ for as little as £89 per month with their v-works service. Find your nearest Village Hotels e-works space here

Premier Inn offers free wifi throughout their premises and the ability to upgrade wifi speed for £5 for 24 hours, should you need to upload larger files.


Someone else's house can provide a valued change from your own four walls.

If you have a family member, a friend or a colleague that is working from home perhaps you could join them?

This is meant to be a motivating experience, not a distracting one so make sure that you are both up for it!

If you prefer to work alone, perhaps you can use your parent's home while they are at work.

This could be a mutually beneficial arrangement if you can walk their dog or be there for a delivery. Parents tend also to have good food in their fridge!


Café’s/coffee shops are a great place to plant yourself and your laptop for a while.

Try to avoid going during their busiest times such as breakfast and lunch.

The big chains such as Costa and Starbucks are a place to spend an hour or two. They offer free wifi and you can largely be ignored.

Independent coffee shops are increasingly happy to exchange the purchase of a drink for a small table and wifi access.

(If you stay for over an hour, you should consider buying more than one drink or perhaps a snack also.)

Some savvy independent café owners are even offering a ‘rent a desk’ option for a nominal fee and a free coffee.



Libraries can provide the ambience that you need to work and getting a library card is free.

Larger libraries offer a variety of seeing options from cosy corners to large shared desks.

Their wifi is usually reliable and you can use books as resources and give your eyes a screen rest.


Gyms and health club's that have a cafe area are a great place to sit down with your laptop for a while. It's your chance to use your membership as much as you have always intended to!

There really is no excuse not to go to the gym with this option!

(Note that during this COVID conscious time, classes, gym sessions and swims have to be booked and you should call ahead to make sure that you can sit in their café area).

If you are not a member of a gym, then now is a good time to check out new member deals. (Please check that your local gym has a café area to work in if you wish to combine the two).

Nuffield Health has over 110 gyms throughout the UK, and many have cafés with free wifi.

The monthly cost of membership is around £60 (off-peak).

David Lloyd Leisure has 100 clubs across the UK and 23 across the Republic of Ireland and Europe. They offer ‘large and inviting spaces to work, relax and socialise' and have new member deals.

Hotels with health clubs offer memberships. Again, a great way to combine working remotely and exercising.


Coworking spaces have increased hugely in popularity.

Find out more detail in my coworking blog*

*You should note that many employers will not accept the cost of a coworking space as an allowable expense if they have set you up at home with all the tools needed to do your job.


Pubs and restaurants can offer a comfortable environment to work in.

It's important to avoid peak times such as breakfast, lunch and dinner and remember to check the strength of their wifi signal.

During COVID times, these establishments have reduced capacity and so they may not have the space available for you unless you eat there also.


Other venues to open up your laptop in include (all of which have been used by friends)...

A park


Waiting for children (swimming lessons/gymnastics/music lessons etc)


Garages while waiting for your car to be serviced



National Trust premises

A castle!

The beach


In the car on the driveway (to reach the wifi)


On the train

Sneaking into work as no one else will be there!

I hope you that something here has inspired you! If you have a favourite place that I haven't thought of, I'd love to hear about it! Find me on Instagram.

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