McDonald's - my remote office of choice

Last week I posted a detailed overview of my "Zen Home Office" and I'm glad you liked it. I love working there, that's for sure. Yet, I'm not always there - I sometimes need to run errands, travel to a different city or just work outside of my home... and this may sound strange to you, but to work remotely I work at... McDonalds. Here's why:
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Free Wifi across Europe

When I lived in Warsaw (Poland) I thought it was just us... but this August I drove all the way to Spain from Poland and I traveled through Germany, Switzerland, France and Spain... and guess what? Every time I wanted to go online to check my email, I'd just go to the a McDonald's place on my way and I was sure when I pull out my laptop I'll be almost instantly online.

No charges, no extra signups, no extra hassle... it just works and it's free. This is what any road warrior needs - to know that in any city there is for 100% a place where the Internet will just work.

Cappuccino - good coffee (in most of the locations)

I love coffee and surprisingly McDonald's doesn't offer bad coffee anymore. They now serve a true Arabica blend coffee and whenever I order a Cappuccino (or "Cafe con leche" in Spain) I'm almost sure I'll get a good coffee with my free Wifi. Sweet.

Tasty salads so you don't get fat that fast

I've been visiting hundreds of McDonald's locations this year, yet I hardly remember when I had my last Big Mac... I just usually get a very fresh and tasty salad. They've improved and they are really good now. Believe me, I've been working hard to lose over 10 pounds the last 3 months so I know what I'm talking about.

Newest technologies that make a geek like me feel at home

Believe it or not, but McDonald's restaurants are trying to roll out the newest technologies possible, especially when it comes to quick checkout. I love these things. I always try to sign up for the most modern and credit and debit cards (and they do accept Mastercard Paypass in Poland) and I like to try new things (and make the Nozbe sigup experience as painless as possible).

On the photo above you can see me paying for my Ceasar Grill Salad at McDonald's in Toulouse, France, where there was a big line to the cashier... I payed in 1 minute using my credit card at the automatic payment machine and picked my order from a special window in the next 3 minutes. I really like new technologies :-)

It's not a Starbucks vs McDonald's debate

I love Starbucks, too, but in Europe we don't have so many of them and as far as I recall in the US you need special subscription to use the Internet there. There are lots of McDonald's restaurants in Europe (virtually in every city) and the arguments I listed above make McDonald's my perfect remote work office.

What is your remote office of choice?

--> me I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of Nozbe.com - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.

Posted on Monday, December 6, 2010 (business,office,productivity)

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Glenn Touger
Dec 6, 2010 21:22
Just FYI, Starbucks dropped the subscription model, so it's easy to get online there also...at least in the US. Cheers!
chillicoder
Dec 7, 2010 02:18
My favorite place to work outside home or the office is definitly a Starbucks. It's quite easy to connect, usually are quite places, there is choice of sofa o table and there is no phone ringing because I turn off my cell phone :P
Michael Sliwinski
Dec 7, 2010 10:49
I didn't know Starbucks doesn't charge for Internet anymore. That's good news. McDonald's is usually noisy but it's kind of noise I learned to ignore and can focus there on getting stuff done easily.

I love Starbucks coffee so effortless wifi makes it a good argument to visit it more often, especially when I'm in the US. Thanks for your comments Glenn and chillicoder!