In a 28-city survey, global staffing firm Robert Half counts Chicago as one of the top three cities with the most companies offering remote work options. The Windy City is certainly no stranger to remote working, and apart from the companies that support this dynamic new work culture, there’s also no shortage of places where remote workers and digital nomads can thrive.
Although it’s not technically a public library, it’s still free to enter the Newberry Library. Founded in 1887, Newberry is not just a quiet place to work, but is also home to a wealth of American and Western European knowledge —something you can explore when you need a bit of an escape from the stresses of freelancing. Remote workers, bookworms, and other visitors flock to the upstairs reading room, where there’s a rather nice view of Chicago’s historic Washington Square Park.
Industrious Coworking Space
Complete with meals, snacks, coffee, refreshments, community managers, and a crowd that’s mostly hustling professionals, an Industrious coworking space is where you want to be if you’re aching to hanker down for some serious work. Moreover, Industrious has eight coworking spaces located in Chicago — from Central Loop and Oglivie to Wicker Park and the Fulton Market. Community memberships also range from branch to branch, starting at a rate of around $495 per month, while private offices for small teams cost a bit more. As expensive as certain Chicago coworking spaces can be, you certainly get what you pay for.
Bodega at the ACME Hotel Company
If you’re looking for a coworking space with a more homey feel (and cheaper rates), look no further than the bodega at the ACME Hotel Company. This dedicated workspace occupies the second floor of the River North Hotel. Although the cozy seating spaces, desks, and tons of natural light are impressive, Curbed highlights the working fireplace as its defining feature.
Sometimes, it can be quite nice to get some work done outdoors. Daley Plaza is one of the best places in the city to work while getting a bit of fresh air. Think umbrella-shaded sitting, people watching, a comfortable amount of white noise in the form of chatter, and a farmers’ market for fuel (but only on Thursdays). Daley Plaza is also where you’ll find Pablo Picasso’s monumental untitled sculpture, which gives the place a unique character. Just watch out for the pigeons, as Chicago Magazine warns that they can be grabby if you have some food on the table.
Museum of Contemporary Art
You can head to the museum’s commons to grab a seat in one of the quietest and grandest places to work in the city. Although you might get a bit distracted by the echoing footsteps thank to the high ceilings, the common area at the Museum of Contemporary Art is a great place to flesh out that novel, marketing strategy plan, or dissertation. Apart from the 215-lantern installation above the commons, the museum’s collection of modern artworks provide a visual respite from work stresses during breaks.
These are just some of the many places in the city where remote workers can thrive. Apart from straightforward work, some of these locations can also be great places to meet coworkers and other people face-to-face, which comedian and modern-day philosopher Aziz Ansari rightly explains is necessary for any relationship to progress —whether it’s romantic, friendly, or professional. As a remote worker, it’s important to find places that are not only work-conducive, but can also serve as venues for meeting like-minded individuals, collaborators, potential clients, or just friends.
This is a contributed post.
Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.