Where do you work?

This post has been sponsored by Staples and Workbar.

redefine work

The new Workbar space at the Staples in Brighton, MA features conference rooms, tables to connect with other members, and even a kitchen stocked with goodies.

I’ve been a teleworker since 2008 when I returned to work from parental leave after my first child was born. Once a week, for eight years, I worked from home, away from the office. I connected to my coworkers and team members via phone, email, text, and Skype, and kept my laptop in overdrive trying to get everything done. As I learned how to balance career and parenting (truthfully, I am still working on that), having that one day without a commute and the requirement to get dressed up (and let’s face it: some days, even shower), gave me breathing space I needed to make all of the moving parts in my life work.

Yet throughout that time, I never deviated from where I teleworked. I sat at my kitchen table or desk (occasionally, my mother’s dining room table). I never even sat on my deck when the weather was especially gorgeous, or at a café, with its endless supply of sugar and caffeine. I stuck to my routine faithfully: desk or kitchen table, kitchen table or desk.

Then, a few months ago, on a day off from school and work, I took my kids to a local rock climbing gym so they could burn off some their it’s-too-cold-to-play-outside-and-I-am-driving-Mom-crazy energy. As they learned to boulder and belay, I watched, fascinated, as people worked in open areas surrounding the climbing walls. With free wifi and a clean space to focus, those workers were redefining teleworking and spaces needed to engage in professional life. I was intrigued.

While I couldn’t commit to working in a rock climbing gym (too many distractions and bad parking), I wanted to find a different place to set up shop. Enter Staples and Workbar.

Staples and Workbar, both companies providing tools needed to get work done (from printer paper and pens, to flexible workspaces), have recently launched a new partnership to redefine the workplace, adding a Workbar to three Staples locations in Massachusetts – in Brighton, Danvers, and Norwood.

These 2,500-3,500 square feet working spaces are filled with everything professionals need. From quiet work zones and conference rooms, to wifi and plenty of plugs for overworked laptops, and to private spaces to take a phone call and a kitchen area with coffee and other treats, teleworkers like me, self-employed professionals, and those needing a place away from the distractions of home or office can find a new professional headquarter in these Workbars.

You can find Workbar in other spots around Massachusetts but what makes the Workbar at Staples locations unique are that they are a dedicated spot in a major retailer. You can pick up school supplies for your kids on your way out (I did), or mail a package at the UPS desk—and you can get work done. Efficient, right? And, parking is plentiful—a notable feat in the Greater Boston area.

The space itself is bright and well designed, with plenty of places to sit, think, and work. I found myself surprised at how much I accomplished while I visited Workbar at Staples in Brighton; I’ll attribute it to the let’s-get-stuff-done vibe, but being away from the distractions of a work at home office (laundry, dinner preparation, the FedEx guy, the neighbor’s dog, and more) certainly helped. I even stayed off social media! (Well, for most of the time.)

Workbar at Staples is offering a special promotion for their new spaces: become a Founding Member by joining before October 1 and pay only $100 per month for the first three months of your membership. This membership includes 10 hours of month of reserved conference room time. Learn more here.