Today, more than 34 million Americans work remotely, and in the next three years that number is expected to almost double. For many workers, coffee shops have been a go-to spot, but with summer just around the corner, professionals looking for a connected workspace may want to get their coffee to go and trade their favorite café for some fresh air.
The number of public Wi-Fi hot spots is expected to reach 5.8 million worldwide by the end of 2015, up from 1.3 million in 2011, according to Informa Telecoms and Media. As the ability to connect wirelessly outside of the home or office expands, a whole new world of workspaces emerges.
Warmer weather increases the potential to work outside. Cities across the U.S. have begun to offer free Wi-Fi in outdoor spaces like Millennium Park, located in the heart of Chicago. New York City offers free Wi-Fi in 20 parks across the five boroughs. For those with destinations lacking public Wi-Fi, working from a park is still an option with mobile hotspots that can provide high-speed 4G LTE connectivity for multiple Wi-Fi enabled devices.
Workspaces are also popping up in unexpected places as technology advances. Offering complimentary Wi-Fi, the indoor and outdoor cafés at Whole Foods locations offer a place for people to set-up shop, and remote workers can swap their lattes for frappes at Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops. With baseball season underway, fans can get in a couple hours of work from the stands. Many ballparks open two hours before the game, and with a 4G LTE-enabled device, game goers can work while watching batting practice.
With the virtual workforce growing and technology continuing to advance, more unique workspaces will evolve.