Two weeks ago, I was in Miami, a week ago in Florence and Modena, two days ago in London, and tomorrow likely Jupiter and Mars. Largely thanks to the two Brits Frank Whittle and his genius jet engine and Sir Tim-Berner’s Lee and his World Wide Web, this is a planet of access – making it more like a village. You can travel to any part of it in a few hours, and work and chat to the rest of it leveraging time zones. This has made it possible and at times obligatory (to yourself – with staff photographers becoming an endangered species I’m looking squarely at you here) to leave the office behind. Even if you’re not traveling far, sometimes it’s good to just get out to clear the cobwebs.
I can tell you that while working from various places can be brilliant, it also presents a number of challenges, the chief of which can be finding a good location to actually do the work. Even things like finding a spot to focus like a good coffee shop or a shared workspace with reliable internet isn’t always a cinch; especially in unfamiliar locations with people speaking unfamiliar languages, and then finding them vetted by fellow like-minds is harder. To this end, there’s an app/service called Work Hard Anywhere (WHA) that wants to help you get to work faster, in a better location, with reliable services and nice atmosphere, with like-minded people. Their motto? “Work may be hard, but finding a place to work shouldn’t be.”
Work Hard Anywhere (WHA!) is a community of creatives, freelancers, and entrepreneurs who work beyond the corporate cubicle…- a tool spawned from our frustration with finding a good cafe or decent work space when we’re on the run or in a foreign city….With your help, we hope to curate the ultimate directory for anyone in any city or any country to find unique and work-friendly spots to get their work on.
So what do you get? Whatever location you’re in, it brings up a map with the aid of your phone’s GPS and shows you points on a map that are possibilities to work at. However, it’s more than just showing you coffee shops and libraries, as each location has a breakdown of the services and quality of services and amenities on tap; things like how many power outlets are there, the strength and price (if any) of WiFi, availability of seating, price, and parking availability.
The app itself is dead easy to use, and navigation is so intuitive you’ll get it within a minute. The browsing view of the app is also able to be done via list or map, and you can scan locations quickly by tapping a spot and getting a quick overview of its stats.
With many, there are also photos of the location, and depending on where you are certain locations will be promoted or vetted by users. You can also see what the most commonly visited or popular spots where you are, or view only verified locations. It should go without saying that the app isn’t perfect, but will get better as time goes on. If you’re in a major location, your chances are rather good. I did some searches for spots I frequent like Miami, London, Toronto, and there are lots of verified spots. I can personally vouch for some of the locations as I’ve used them. Other places like Plymouth, where I am now, or somewhat obscure Spanish towns – not so much.
It’s good to see that there is clearly a community of artists and freelancers of quality who are adopting the use of this system, and it can be seen just from the Instagram tags and so forth surrounding WHA that some of the verified locations are quality. Another plus is that the community isn’t relegated to Instagram, and you can meet other freelancers and creatives at these spots. Share a desk? Share coffee? Share ideas.
The app is free to download, and you can check it out here.