Home Office, Cafe, Coworking Space, Oh My

Nearly four months ago, it took me almost an hour to go from door-to-door for my commute to work.

I’d wake up at 6am, fix breakfast for myself and my son, get dressed, drop my son off at daycare at around 7am-ish, hop on the morning train, get off at my station and walk another 10 minutes to reach my workplace, then another 10 minutes to get settled down and find myself actually in my seat at 7:50am. So in total, it took almost 2 hours between waking up and getting to my desk, ready to work.

Fast forward to present day — I wake up, take about 5-10 seconds to walk over to my computer, and I’m here at my office ready to work 🙂

The beauty of working remotely means the ability to go literally anywhere, and make it your office. In this post, I’ll be writing about “the where” points of working remotely — quite possibly one of the biggest aspects of what characterizes remote work.

I wrote about my home office a while back, and so far it’s been my basecamp for where I usually find myself working these days. There are immediate benefits to working from home, the first being that there’s zero commute to a workplace.

If you think about how much time is spent from the moment you wake up, to the moment when you actually start your first work task of the day, you may find yourself surprised.

Personally, as mentioned earlier, it took me nearly 2 hours to get up out of bed and get to my desk at work, with a good chunk of that time commuting. Nowadays, I use that time extra time to exercise or go for a run, and on occasion, I’ll admittedly sleep in 😀

However, I don’t work from home all the time. In fact, I make it a habit to get out at least every other day so that I don’t go crazy from being inside all the time — a unique challenge (and sometimes struggle) of remote work.

In Sapporo, I think I’ve established my main workplaces. There’s one Starbucks in particular I always go to located in Odori.

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Starbucks スターバックスコーヒー 札幌南一条店: https://goo.gl/maps/RMJ2Y6xvD7N2

This would be my go-to “morning office”, and I’m usually here from 8am to 11am on a 3-hour shift. I frequented this shop enough that the workers seem to know my hot chai tea latte (grande) order, and in fact the other day one of the baristas upped my order to a tall size! It reminded me of my uni days when I used to do the same for regulars while working at Cha 😀

This shop in particular is very quiet in the morning, and while I’m able to sit almost anywhere, my seat is always at the table since there’s integrated electrical outlets beneath the top.

I’ve also visited other interesting cafes like…

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STREAMER COFFEE COMPANY ストリーマーコーヒーカンパニー: https://goo.gl/maps/HBFeVsqJ9NE2

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St. Marc Cafe サンマルクカフェ 新さっぽろサンピアザ店: https://goo.gl/maps/cUKrMaPUFHJ2

And there was even this one really chic cafe I went to located near Bus Center Mae — that was cool!

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FAbULOUS ファビュラス: https://goo.gl/maps/bpovoQXq1KU2

I’ve also worked in an open area down in Sapporo’s Underground Walkway.

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Beside Gindako: https://goo.gl/maps/LHD4QSWQACq (approximate location)

But for when I want to really focus, or get some serious work done away from home, I go Space Kante, a coworking space (also language school) located a few minutes walk away from Sapporo Station.

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コワーキングスペース SPACE KANTE: https://goo.gl/maps/LXnVrwRGCs52

The space of course comes with internet, the amenities of a cafe, and the loungy-ness of a home — all for the price of $50 USD/month (5000yen/month). But because the place doubles as a Japanese language school for study abroad students it seems, the place can get a bit chatty with language activities being conducted in the same work area — this is where my noise-cancelling headphones save the day.

In more recent news, I’ve also worked at an airport…

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New Chitose Airport 新千歳空港: https://goo.gl/maps/KMcEnBcfaa42

And even in my hotel room at the Nanki-Shirahama Marriott.

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Nanki-Shirahama Marriott Hotel: https://goo.gl/maps/4S8UwmTExJu

As you can see, my workplace isn’t tied to a single location — just so long as I have a computer with a stable internet connection, my work can go wherever I go!

I’ve mentioned and shown the bulk of what’s great about working remotely in regards to choosing freely where to work, but on the flip side, it’s not all sugar and rainbows! If you’re not a highly focused, self-disciplined, and organized individual, it would be very easy to fall prey to external distractions.

Staying and working at home, for example, has made me experience a fair share of battling with — do I want to sleep in today, or should I wake up earlier to do something more productive — monologues. 

In summary, I’ve adapted rather quickly to this lifestyle, and while I do sometimes wish my team and I were together in an office environment, the work we do and the company we work for would not be what it is, if it wasn’t for the remote aspect.


This post is part of a chronicled series titled, The ‘W’ Series, of how remote work came knocking at my door, and influenced my life for the better.

01 – The WhyMy Journey of How I Went From Teaching English in Japan to a Career in Tech With The Coolest Company in the World
02 – The WhatSwagged Out
03 – The WhenPutting The ‘Flex’ In Flexibility: What It’s Like To Work On My Own Time
04 – The Where: Home Office, Cafe, Coworking Space, Oh My
05 – The Who: There’s No ‘I’ In Team

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