By Sergio Astorga
Since the start of the pandemic in 2019 we as a society have had to make significant changes, a major aspect of that was how we worked. Many people had to leave their physical locations and work remotely from home and many are now looking for alternatives to doing it all from one roof.
There were many problems with working at home that I noticed. When I had roommates I’d constantly get side tracked when I was stressed and friends are great stress relievers, however they aren't that great when you have a deadline coming up and you just used half that time procrastinating with them.
If you live with family, that is an added distraction as, in my experience, they will ask for the most random requests when you are in the middle of something important, or they will walk in on a zoom meeting just because they are curious. I currently live with grandparents who simply don’t understand remote work. My nana recently told me that I “shouldn’t be on my laptop for too long” because it will strain my eyes - wait till she finds out millions of people do this for a living.
If you don’t have roommates or family members living with you, your mind will surely do the trick in distracting you, from items around the house to your bed seemingly calling to you. If you are the type of person that can just sit down and do your work in one sitting without being distracted, I applaud you and working from home is most likely the best option for you.
So If you are anything like me and can't work from home due to any of these or your own circumstances, here are some remote work environments in Ambos Nogales for you can get work done.
In Nogales, Sonora I went to SHARE and found that Coworking spaces are by far the most productive place you can be. The environment is filled with people who either have their own businesses or are remote working for a business. When I first arrived, a meeting was going on between some co-workers and their client. SHARE has a conference room that anyone could use for in person and virtual meetings. I heard the whole meeting and, at first, I was intimidated by how much more professional they were. I then realized that I shouldn’t be intimidated by other professionals but should learn from them. I began talking to others in the co-working space and found that everyone was nice and respectful and were genuinely interested in what I was doing and I in turn became interested in the projects they were working on. Coworking spaces are the perfect place to network with like minded individuals. The feeling was similar to a homework study group, but we all had differing assignments. Coworking spaces such as SHARE in Nogales, Sonora and La Suprema Works and Events in Tucson are my top recommendations if you want to get your work done in a new age office environment. Try it out and let them know we sent you!
The only downsides to these options are they require a membership which would not be accessible to you if you're on a budget. If you don’t want anyone listening in on your meeting this would also be a downside as I mentioned above I heard their entire conversation. This still would be my top recommendation because the downsides pale in comparison to what you can get out of a co-working space if utilized right.
Coffee shops are the most common places you see people on their laptops working, because of that this is the perfect place to immerse yourself and focus. Not all coffee shops require you to purchase something to use their tables so this is also great for saving money.
Don't get too comfortable either, another downside could the worker taps you on the shoulder telling you that they need to close. Although most don’t make you purchase something, you will be tempted to though, I know I did. Consider supporting local business as often as possible. I wouldn't worry about privacy as everyone in a coffee shop is there doing their own thing, however if you’re in a meeting the noise around you might be distracting to others in your call meeting.
Nature has a way of clearing up writer's block and inspiring you to think of new ideas. Las Lagunas is a park setting and the best place to sit down and do your work and my favorite park overall, by far it's tranquility and it's the only wetland in town. The park is a great place to work if you are tired of fluorescent lighting and or if you want to be extra careful during this pandemic.
For work, you will want to have access to a hotspot or if you have a portable internet device. Downside to this is that nature is not very compatible with technology. Depending on what internet you are using results may vary. I was using my phone's internet for my laptop so the bandwidth wasn’t very strong. Also, there is no place to plug in your dying devices. So make sure to charge up and have reliable internet for this option.
Libraries are favorable if you need absolute peace and quiet. These are great for tasks that require an intense amount of writing.
We know the traditional environment here and as typical expect a lack of privacy and a time limit on shared resources. If you need to work on something that involves audio or if you’re having a zoom meeting, you can just feel everyone staring at you and I personally did not like that. Something more to consider is that libraries close and you will be forced to leave even if you’re not done with whatever it is you were doing.
A place I visited was the C-CREO Hub, short for College and Career Readiness Educational Opportunities, it is designed to assist students in finding their post-secondary path by educating them on different career options, college enrollment and transition, and financial aid and scholarship opportunities. The people there will also encourage you to take a class and further your education. This is the perfect work environment as you are surrounded by people who want the best for you.
The downsides are that other events or activities might be going on which could be distracting if your main focus is to get your work done. Also they close at 5, which is normal work hours but still if you’re not done with your tasks you will have to relocate.
Dinners are great because they have internet and are 24hrs. If you have your own booth you have relative privacy, however, Dinners are more useful for nights if your work day was unusually busy.
The downside to this is that you would need to buy something to use their internet and booths. You could just buy a single coffee but still if you’re planning on not spending money at all you might just want to go to anything listed above. Unless they are all closed then this option will be a last resort.