I’ve been having meetings and getting work done in various hotel lobbies in NYC over the past few weeks. Here are my top 5 Dos and Don’ts on using a lobby as your temporary office away from home:
- Pick a lobby with decor that inspires you, to get your best work done.
- Dress the part. The hotel is much happier to have you if you are improving the look of their establishment by your mere presence.
- Consider purchasing a beverage, an appetizer, or a meal, to pay a little something for the space you’re taking up.
- Check out the restaurant or bar area, as a possible alternative space.
- Have a Plan B location lined up ahead of time, in case the your first-choice lobby is too full or too noisy.
- Assume there is free wifi. Some lobbies have it, and some don’t. Instead, set up your phone as a personal hotspot.
- Assume there’s a place to plug in your laptop or your phone. Come prepared.
- Plan on doing anything that requires a lot of space. Most of the tables are low and small.
- Talk loudly on your mobile phone. It’s very distracting to others, so remember to keep your voice down.
- Overstay your welcome. Yes, it’s a free place to work, but it’s not intended to be a full-time workspace.
Consider breaking your daily routine of sitting at your desk, and going to a hotel lobby to get some work done. The change of scenery might give you some great ideas.