Consultants: Embrace (and eliminate the shame of) “Squatting”

(This appeared first on LinkedIn and please note — the file photo above is much nicer than any actual Marriott Residence Inn)

For the former, I always order something (if I’m there long enough, two somethings) … for the latter, two best practices:

  1. Be certain to do so AFTER the free-breakfast crowd (they are noisy and messy);
  2. Be certain to do so BEFORE the nightly manager’s “wine and cheese” (unless that’s your sort of thing).

Last week, I was fortunate enough to utilize an MRI (Marriott Residence Inn to us in the how) for a few hours, and other than the housekeeping staff enjoying a break with Telemundo, it was quiet. I would recommend the following:

  1. Bring a USA Today; let’s face it, 99 percent of its readership is business travelers, and look like you belong.
  2. Bring two sets of headphones: noise-canceling ones if you’re trying to write and say, housekeeping decides it’s a great time to vacuum; and a decent pair of in-ear headphones that allow you to make calls.

If you are feeling particularly dangerous (and as a 45-year old father of two, this is as dangerous as it gets), help yourself to the free fruit water many of these fine establishments offer.

Finally, be kind to those who work there–if it’s a coffee shop, order regularly and tip heartily; if it’s a hotel, stay out of the way of any cleaning being done.

Finally (not that you asked), my favorite Boston-area spots for squatting:

Top Two Coffee Shops:

Atomic Bean–Central Square, CambridgeUpside: quiet, free WiFi, decent coffee, easy on-street parking; Downside: only handy if I’m going to be in Central Square.

Barismo 295–Kendall Square, Cambridge–NOT quiet, but the coffee is outstanding, and they make me feel less bad about myself than their flagship Arlington location. Sprung from the ruins of one of my favorites, Voltage (I’d pour out a latte, but that’s expensive). Upside: plenty of outside seating, and in a pinch, you can buy a day-pass to the nextdoor Cove shared workspace. Downside: Parking can be a bitch.

There is always option 3: Use Xfinity’s Wifi (or your iPhone as a hotspot) and work from your car.

For me, this smacks of desperation/near homelessness, but, hey, any WiFi-enabled port in a storm (which is the new tattoo I plan to get).

Please share any other suggestions in your comments below —

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