Working remotely is great - until it's not. Like when you're more enthusiastic about doing the laundry than doing your boss' bidding, or when you crave a watercooler conversation. Or any kind of conversation. A free iOS app called Work+ helps you find spots that more or less match the work atmosphere you seek.
Work+, by Tender C, uses a mix of simple location mapping and user ratings to find places in your area that could make a desirable temporary work space.
This year it won second place for Best Overall Application in New York City's software developer contest, Big Apps 3.0. The contest was the city's challenge to developers to use city data and create apps that improve life in the Big Apple.
What Are You Looking For?
Do you need free Internet access? Want something to nosh? Or do you prefer to mix a little booze with your reports? Work+ can find that. The app will look for an "office" away from your home office and even allows you to save it for future reference. A partnership with Foursquare also lets you check in without having to switch applications.
The app can also gauge noise levels and find places that are dog friendly or have an "artful ambience." However, when I asked for a quiet space with WiFi, that's dog friendly and has an artful ambience, the local gas station down the street was recommended. Not ideal.
Monitoring time spent away from the home office is fairly easy with a timer that records how long you spend at a venue, automatically shutting off when you leave. You can get monthly reports on where you've been working and for how long, and even compare your stats with how long others have spent working at your locations.
If you're looking for somewhere to work, or just a place that has decent WiFi other than Starbucks, this app is pretty helpful. Just don't expect it to find you an engaging conversation. That's all on you.