In the last three years, a lot has changed in how we approach work. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone was forced to work from home. A lot of people then had the freedom to live wherever they wanted and many gravitated to the Tahoe Sierra. Now as things have somewhat normalized, offices have opened again, but many still find themselves on a hybrid or fully remote schedule.
“We have that café vibe where you can throw your headphones in and hang out. We also have great coffee, tea and Wi-Fi.” –David Renkert
However, it’s not always possible to get work done at home when all sorts of distractions abound. Fortunately, there are more places that are either welcoming remote workers or building a space specifically for them. Public libraries have always been a quiet refuge and there are a number of libraries available in nearly every community in the region (although you won’t be able to make phone calls). As a fulltime freelancer myself, here are some of my favorite places to write, brainstorm and network.
Incline Village Library’s Zoom Room
Incline Village Library recently installed a Zoom Room to allow its patrons extra peace and quiet as they take care of important business. Located in the back corner of the library next to the adult fiction section, the new four-person Zoom Room is soundproof and contains a table and bench seats along with a power box for charging devices, dimmable lighting and a hardwired data connection — although the library provides free Wi-Fi for all visitors. There’s also a computer monitor and camera that provides a 180-degree-wide field view. People have used it for doctor’s appointments, job interviews and library staff has used it as a recording booth for a show on a public radio station.
Located at 845 Alder Ave. in Incline Village, Nev. | (775) 832-4130, washoecountylibrary.us
Whether you need to set up shop for a day, a week, a month or more, Mountain Workspace in Incline Village, Nev., is a nice multi-story building in the center of town that provides workstations, conference rooms, private offices, open tables and a mail delivery service. Memberships start at $250 a month for 24/7 access. Drop-in remote workers are welcome for $35 a day.
Located at 855 Tahoe Blvd. | (775) 379-1124, mountainworkspace.com
A former ski shop has been converted into a coworking space with 18 desks in two spacious rooms, two private offices, a meeting room and a room with a kitchen and printer. Drop in and rent a desk for $40 per day or sign up for a monthly membership that costs between $325 and $570 and includes 20 hours per month of meeting room access. The best part about Tahoe Mill is that it’s attached to Crest Café, across the street from River Ranch and as close as you can get to Palisades Tahoe Alpine Meadows and the paved Truckee River Trail. Located at 150 Alpine Meadows Road. | tahoemill.com
Tahoe National Brewing Company
Behind Safeway and overlooking Lake Tahoe in Tahoe City, Tahoe National Brewing Co. describes itself as being somewhere between a French bistro and a man cave. Along with brewing its own beer, Tahoe National provides a staple gastropub menu while also bringing in a special rotating menu of cuisine from around the world. Tahoe National has primarily been a dinner establishment so far, but now with its high-speed internet and ideal location next to Lake Tahoe, it is striving to introduce new earlier café hours to accommodate the remote workforce.
“We have that café vibe where you can throw your headphones in and hang out. We also have great coffee, tea and Wi-Fi,” says Tahoe National Brewing Co. owner David Renkert.
Located at 850 N. Lake Blvd. | tahoenational.beer
Within walking distance to the lake, restaurants and Tahoe Art League Gallery, Cowork Tahoe (formerly Tahoe Mountain Lab) offers a combination of shared, open-concept desks and private offices complemented by internet, snacks, coffee and video conferencing technology. Cowork Tahoe emphasizes creating a cohesive community where professionals are encouraged to participate in local events, attend social gatherings and enjoy the outdoors while not putting the nose to the grindstone.
Memberships range from part-time (10 days per month) for $175 to full-24/7 access for $275 per month and there are 90- to 225-sq.-ft. private offices available on a yearlong lease for $500 per month. Open to members only.
Located at 3079 Harrison Ave., Ste. 21 in South Lake Tahoe. | (530) 600-3447, coworktahoe.com
All kinds of hidden nooks are scattered throughout this bookstore and cafe with cozy chairs strategically placed that can suck you in for 10 minutes or for hours. Cuppa Tahoe is a place where you can be as social as you want to be or not, with the possibility of always having a human connection. Because of its comfortable setting, it soon became a popular place to work so the café also includes a conference room that could double as a functional artwork with its bird-in-the-nest design, as well as a larger glass-encased coworking room with a wall of soundproof wired-in telephone booths.
Located at 2054 Lake Tahoe Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe.| (530) 600-0433, cuppatahoe.com
This co-shared workplace is ideal for entrepreneurs, freelancers and business travelers who are looking for a quiet, cozy place to work. With names “The Den,” “The Meadow” and “Our Nest,” areas are complete with printers, copiers and fireplace heaters. People have different options and the technology to get their job done. Reserve a room in The Forest for a half day or a full day.
Located at 1060 Ski Run Blvd., Ste. 200. | (530) 494-9211, tahoegump.com
This co-living eight-bedroom lodge includes a shared kitchen, lounges, deck areas and modern elements in a space designed to be ideal for digital nomads and others looking to live, work and play in Tahoe for a while. A monthly stay includes a well-stocked kitchen, fresh linens, fully furnished private bedrooms, a shared workspace (and supplies) and the most important thing — reliable Internet. Stays at Outsite Tahoe start at $2,520 per month. Located near Pioneer Trail. | outsite.co
Over at the Round Hill Shopping Center in Zephyr Cove, Untethered provides comfortable coworking areas, fast internet and coffee that is all within walking distance to shops, restaurants, hiking trails and the beach. People can opt to buy a day use pass for $30 and have access to the space Monday to Friday during business hours or pay $200 to $300 a month for 24/7 access, meeting room use and either open seating or a dedicated desk. Private offices are available, too.
Secure Wi-Fi, coffee and snacks are offered at all membership levels, and Untethered also offers a mail service. It opened in 2021 following the success of its sister property Cowork Tahoe that opened in 2016. Both locations were recently inducted as members of The League of Extraordinary Coworking Spaces. | untethered.space
Tahoe Mountain Realty converted its traditional real estate office at Old Greenwood into The Hub where people can network, socialize and post up on their laptop for a bit. The concept quickly took off when it was realized what an asset The Hub became to the community.
TMR now provides several open workspace environments in the Truckee community called Hubs that are free to use and close to some of the area’s premier activities. Check out The Hub at the entrance to the Village at Northstar, the pop-up Hub at Gray’s Crossing and the Hub in downtown Truckee. | (530) 550-5000, tmrrealestate.com
Bright, open-air spaces mixed in with conference rooms and private phone booths invite solopreneurs and mobile professionals to come, hang out and dream up their $1-million idea. Locally roasted coffee is brewed all day long, pets are welcome, there is natural sunlight streaming in and it’s 15 minutes away from Northstar California.
A drop-in day pass is $50 per month, 10-day memberships are $195 per month and an unlimited flex desk is available for $245 per month, along with other pass options available. Located on 12242 Business Park Drive, Ste. 19, in Truckee. | liftworkspace.com
Practice remote working etiquette
While taking up a table at a local café, it is important to be mindful of the people around you and support the business where you’re working. I’ve been on both sides of the café counter and you do not want to be the customer that a barista dreads seeing. Here are some things to consider when working away from home:
• Buy something in an amount relative to the time you are spending there. If you like the place you are working in, then help them stay in business.
• Use headphones.
• Keep your cords out of the way.
• Be respectful of other customers and staff.
• If you jump onto a free or open network, keep in mind that the connection is probably not private or secure.
• Don’t sit at a large table designed for groups; if you need to spread out then you need to rent space at a local coworking space.