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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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Working from home… and home is a Doha café with free wi-fi

Working from home… and home is a Doha café with free wi-fi

Where are you working from today? At a café? A library at Education City perhaps? Or on the beach?

[boxify cols_use =”1″ cols =”2″ position =”left” order =”none” box_spacing = “20” padding =”10″ background_color =”#3c3c3c” border_style =”solid” ]When the weather is still good, try these iParks:
Dahl Al Hamam
Suburban Al-Wakrah Public Park

And if you don’t need free wi-fi, how about giving these beaches a go?
• Simaisma. Half hour drive from the Golf course, on the way to Al Khor
• Wakra. 20 minutes out of the city.
• On the Corniche itself.

The most popular out of office workplaces in town include:
1. Bread & Bagels
2. Caribou café
3. MIA Café
4. Education City libraries
5. Caffe Vergnano 1882

[/boxify]In a country of trailing spouses and entrepreneurial opportunities, an increasing number of people set and control their own work schedules and spaces. While this might be out of choice for many, for a significant number the forbidding rentals put regular office space out of reach.Free wi-fi, snacks within reach, ample parking, and no security deposit? No wonder cafes and student libraries are winning this one. And when the weather is good, the iParks make for great workspaces too.Still the requirements for workspaces vary from person-to-person. Freelance Writer Christine Gerber-Rutt frequents Caribou Coffee, Bread and Bagels, the library at the Virginia Commonwealth University–Qatar and even the seaside occasionally. Privacy is an important factor, but access to good coffee and a place to take walking breaks is helpful too. Christine says of Bread and Bagels, where she spends a lot of her working hours, “when you frequent the same places, you develop a low-key relationship with the staff. They will reheat my coffee if it gets cold, they give me old copies of magazines. That makes Doha feel just a little bit more like home.”

On the other hand, the quiet ambience of the Diplomatic Club along with its friendly but unintrusive staff makes it an ideal work spot for Habiba Radcliffe, a Freelance Writer and Marketing Specialist. She prefers big but calm spaces that afford privacy to speak on the phone without being overheard along with wireless Internet, large desk space and unobtrusive customer service.

Some of these locations seem to be more popular than others:

Desk for rent

While the above options work well for freelancers, when you are working on a start-up, and require a more professional ambience—printers, fax machines, a second chair for a meeting—you have no choice but to look for something more than friendly restaurant staff and free coffee refills.

Rentals in office towers are prohibitive but there are a few options left. Katara Art Centre’s (KAC) Workspace offers a private, well lit and quiet place equipped with a work desk, printer, wireless internet and a coffee machine. Creative professionals such as designers, architects, research-based artists, writers or others who want to develop their practice or creative business in a dynamic environment can rent one of the four desks here for QR1,500 each. The courtyard at KAC is a great meeting venue for clients, team members and guests.

There’s also Regus, which rents out all types of work and office spaces right from small ‘thinkpods’ for one or two people to large fully-furnished office spaces. Unlike the Workspace at KAC, Regus has locations around Doha, primarily on D-Ring Road and in Al Fardan Towers in West Bay.These include spaces for meetings and video demonstrations, suitably equipped with LCD video screens and other technology. Rental rates vary by the nature of the work space desired; this option is definitely pricier than a café or desk at KAC however, it might be a worthwhile investment for a start-up. A fully-furnished shared workspace for one or two persons is available for QR3,000 per month at Regus. With add-ons such as telephone and internet spaces can go up to QR7,000 a month. A fully-furnished office space for up to 10 people will cost QR3,000-4,000 per person with telephone and internet priced at QR729 per person per month.

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