Where do you work best? A guide to remote work in the Triangle

I write to you from a very uncomfortable barstool in the Starbucks off Tryon Road, where I’m working remotely today. I started my day in our home office, thinking it was going to be a gloriously productive day…until my 18 month old found the singing Christmas ornament.

Sound like a familiar story? Coffee shop hopping to find the best place for client meetings and productivity is not a good use of your work time. So, I’m going to spare you the search.

Below is a list of the best places in the Triangle for working remotely. Whether you’re looking for the best wifi, the most delicious coffee, or the place where you can finally hear yourself think, there’s a place on the list for you. I even discovered a co-working spot that offers Montessori-based childcare! And please, leave your favorite spots with a note about what makes them great. Remote workers, let’s do this!

My top 5 coffee shops or restaurants for remote working

  1. Starbucks on Lake Boone Trail, Raleigh, NC. They offer a free meeting space for 10-12 people that you can book in advance by calling the store, complete with LCD display and wifi. The only downfall of a coffee shop like Starbucks is that you will walk away smelling like a freshly roasted coffee bean.
  2. Cary Whole Foods at Waverly Place. They offer a community room meeting space for free. You can call the store directly to reserve or sign up on the clipboard outside of the room. Open 7 am- 10 pm, it seats 12-15 people and has tables, chairs, and wifi. The only catch is that no outside food or drink is allowed; all food and drink must be purchased from Whole Foods. Whole Foods cake by the slice, anyone?
  3. Carolina Cafe at Cameron Village. With a wide variety of booths at this location, it is one of the best spots to hunker down solo or with another colleague. The noise level, even at lunch, seems to never be too loud, and their wifi is always speedy.
  4. The Umstead Lounge. Like most hotel lobbies, The Umstead is open to the public. It’s a fancy spot best used for business casual and solo work. Tuck away into a corner and sip on a blood orange soda or hibiscus punch. It will be the best $8 you’ve spent for free wifi in a long time!
  5. Sola Coffee Shop off Leadmine in Raleigh. Looking to impress a client or co-worker with fabulous coffee and delicious eats? Sola is the spot. Low key vibe, wifi is on point, and seating is great. You won’t be disappointed.

Always remember –

  • Don’t leave things unattended. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way when working from a popular coffee shop in Brier Creek. A slick criminal recognized our group was zoned into our work and swooped in for my wallet.
  • Always buy something. Make that somethings if you are there for more than 2 hours. Think of it as your purchase of wifi. It’s good manners and helps support local businesses who support this remote working lifestyle.

Co-working spaces have become all the rage in the Raleigh-Durham area. It seems like each week there is a new one to add to the list. Below I have listed Reify Media’s current favorites and also a list of places we hope to visit soon.

With multiple locations across downtown Raleigh, Greensboro, and Charlotte, you can’t go wrong with joining HQ. Memberships vary from $125-$275 for co-working access, and they also offer permanent office space. Membership includes free Jubala coffee, fast wifi, access to the internal Slack, awesome networking opportunities, and access to all of the hip and bustling HQ spaces. Bonus for nursing moms is that all spaces have pumping/wellness rooms that do not double as restrooms.

The Frontier
Located right off of 40 in RTP, the Frontier offers a convenient location, free parking, and free co-working space. You heard me right: the first floor of the Frontier is free and includes rooms you can reserve for up to 30 people. In addition to the free co-working space on the first floor, the Frontier offers offices for lease and meeting room space for reservation.

The Loading Dock
With a great location right outside of 5 Points in Raleigh, the Loading Dock offers ample parking and the added bonus of being connected to a brewery. The Loading Dock offers a modern vibe with both open, communal workspace and private rooms. Memberships start at $225 or pop in for the day for just $25.

Co-working spaces we hope to explore in the future

With locations all over the Triangle, Regus has the bases covered. They boast on their website that you can work for anywhere from an hour to years in their space. Pricing is right on par with other co-working spaces in our area.

Industrious’ Raleigh location sits in City Plaza, but they offer co-working spaces all across the US. A few different perks they offer are free local treats (yum!), free printing, and relaxation rooms. Their space appears on the website to be modern and inviting, with amazing city views.

American Underground
With locations in Raleigh and Durham, the American Underground appears to have the entrepreneur in mind. In addition to the typical fast speed internet and community that most area co-working spaces provide, American Underground stands out with its Incubation offerings. Their current incubation offerings include a coding foundations workshop to a startup stampede.

Nido in Durham is a one of a kind. It offers both co-working space and childcare. This concept fills such a need in our community! You can purchase community or family memberships. The family membership allows your child (age 4 months-5 years) access to the am or pm session of their in-house Montessori-based preschool. This is an excellent opportunity for parents who are balancing work and childcare.

Fun Fact –
Staples, Office Depot, and Apple Store offer free wifi. Great to remember if you are traveling and need a spot to quickly get online.

The remote working lifestyle comes with lots of freedom, but it can also come with lots of headaches. Hopefully these ideas will save you a few headaches so you can settle into a space, grab a coffee, and get to work!

This post was also published on LinkedIn:

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