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Mobile Office Reviews: The Front Gallery and Cafe

By Barcham - 10 April 2013 38

mobile office

Mobile Office Reviews are a thing now!

We now live in the future. Johnboy bought himself a pretty little Chromebook and I’ve got a Macbook Air so slim and sharp I once cut a chunk out of my nose with it (true story).

What this means is that the RiotACT office is now fully mobile and we can go wherever the news is…

…or we can just go hang out at the Front for the day.

Welcome to RiotACT Mobile Office Reviews!

Today we’re at the Front Gallery and Café. I used to practically live here when I called Lyneham home. It’s a wonderful place to hangout with friends for the afternoon, and a great venue for a gig, but is it a good place to spend the day working?

Let’s find out.

We decided to split this review up into sections that we deemed important.

Productivity:

During the day the Front seems to be a fairly popular workplace. I can see many laptops open, lots of fingers tapping across keyboards, several people bent over a notebook in deep discussion with their work mates.

The Front lends itself well to creative endeavors. The music is soft and sits in the background, but remains interesting. The walls and shelves are covered with bizarre odds and ends; it feels like a lovely share house, only cleaner.

However like a share house, there are always distractions. There is a constant flow of interesting and strange people, quite a bit of road traffic, and more than a couple of dogs hanging about.

None of these are awful things, but if you do need a completely distraction free environment the Front is not the place for you.

There’s also usually some lovely art in the Gallery, which is a welcome distraction, but a distraction nonetheless.

Coffee and/or Tea:

I don’t like coffee, or tea. Yes I’m a weirdo. I hate chocolate and onions too, just in case you need more reasons to think I’m all wrong inside.

I’ll let Johnboy handle this:

Coffee at The Front varies wildly with the baristas but with Paul in charge my coffee was entirely decent for a middle of the road $3.50 flat white.

Not exceptional, but there’s a lot worse going for a lot more out there.

Comfort:

Well worn in couches and chairs with all the wonderful quirks and bumps that comes with old furniture. Friendly people, chilled atmosphere, a decent amount of shade, I am very comfortable here. Perhaps even too comfortable, it’s very easy to have a nap here.

Internet Access:

Buy a drink and ask for the password. Simple. The free wifi served our purposes just fine, however as lunch approached and the placed filled up the speeds did noticeably drop. Never so low as to be unusable, but enough to be a little irritating.

Worth noting is that a lot of our work involves downloading and uploading images of various sizes to various places. Most of which are quite large. If your work involves nothing more than sending emails full of text you may not notice the difference in speeds at all.

Service:

The staff are casual and friendly. Our drinks came quickly and with a smile. You have to order from the bar, but I actually prefer that. I dislike having a waiter however over my shoulder, particularly when working.

Other People:

Very interesting people go to the Front, many more hang out about the Lyneham shops. There is a never ending flow of people wearing beautiful and interesting things to distract you, being so close to April’s Caravan probably being responsible for quite a few of the outfits walking past.

One guy came up and tried to sell Johnboy and I several jars of honey, we didn’t want any.

I saw a lot of people I know walking past, and enjoyed a happy wave every half and hour or so. Your mileage of bumping into friends will probably depend on how much of your social group is made up of Inner North boho types. Once again, pleasant, but not always the most helpful thing when getting work done.

A backpacker was having a rather loud and public discussion over Skype about how her eyes don’t look red anymore when she’s high. Her English friend on her laptop claims nobody can tell when he’s high.

They both sound pretty high.

You meet a lot of dogs here. So I guess if you’re some kind of monster who hates dogs that might be a downside, but you’re a monster so who cares what you think?

Johnboy and I were spotted by Poetix while working here, but then again we’re super famous, your mileage may vary.

Conclusion:

Yes. We had a very nice morning and work got done.

So well done Front.

Now it’s your turn Rioters!

We need to know where you want us to go, or where you find is a nice place to work.

Hit the comments with suggestions gang.

What’s Your opinion?


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38 Responses to
Mobile Office Reviews: The Front Gallery and Cafe
johnboy 4:40 pm 10 Apr 13

A reasonably modern phone will act as a wireless modem for your computer if you ask it nicely.

You do need to be aware of your data plan though.

poetix 4:33 pm 10 Apr 13

Phone tethering. Is that like a burro-ed line?

And nobody do the google thing, I’ll look it up later, or wait until the knowledge seeps down to the ignorant in a couple of years.

Diggety 4:31 pm 10 Apr 13

caf said :

How about Lonsdale Street Roasters, A Bite To Eat and to keep zorro29 happy, Dickson McCafe.

Maccas are very good mobile offices actually, all around the world in fact. I can check the local PPP by the Big Mac Index while I’m there too.

johnboy 4:21 pm 10 Apr 13

Jivrashia said :

To go fully mobile you’ll need to get one of those pocket routers/wifis so that you aren’t always reliant on a wifi hotspot.

I remember there were some posters accusing RA of being too focused on the north side of Canberra for news and stories. So, how about taking the office to the south?

Already got a mobile hotspot but these days phone tethering is making even that pretty passe.

We’ll consider south of the lake, but if it’s further than an easy cycle from the center of town it’s going to be a hard sell.

sans_lemon 3:56 pm 10 Apr 13

Edgar’s at Ainslie, Wilbur’s at Hackett, or the office of desparation (and free internet) … Macca’s.

caf 3:52 pm 10 Apr 13

How about Lonsdale Street Roasters, A Bite To Eat and to keep zorro29 happy, Dickson McCafe.

FioBla 3:09 pm 10 Apr 13

Barcham said :

it’s easy to find a nice soft ‘arse groove’ in the couches, kind of like how you do with your favourite couch at home. I did not mean that they were all lumpy, gross, and uncomfortable.

Rereading what I read I can totally see how you would take it that way.

Were you pitching or receiving that arse groove?

Barcham 3:01 pm 10 Apr 13

zorro29 said :

looks like a total dump! hipsters are ruining everything…i love how “shabby” is hip and cool and funky…if i want to sit on “Well worn in couches and chairs with all the wonderful quirks and bumps that comes with old furniture”….well, actually, i don’t have a conclusion for that sentence – i never want to do that

To clarify I mean “quirks and bumps that comes with old furniture” in the way that it’s easy to find a nice soft ‘arse groove’ in the couches, kind of like how you do with your favourite couch at home. I did not mean that they were all lumpy, gross, and uncomfortable.

Rereading what I read I can totally see how you would take it that way.

Jivrashia 2:38 pm 10 Apr 13

To go fully mobile you’ll need to get one of those pocket routers/wifis so that you aren’t always reliant on a wifi hotspot.

I remember there were some posters accusing RA of being too focused on the north side of Canberra for news and stories. So, how about taking the office to the south?

johnboy 2:31 pm 10 Apr 13

We can bring our own internets.

Frankly when stoner chick was skypeing her boyfriend the rest of the network was not much better than mobile.

Masquara 2:28 pm 10 Apr 13

poetix said :

I must suggest just up the road, at Tilley’s, for another mobile office day.

Tilleys doesn’t have internet access though, does it?

zorro29 2:06 pm 10 Apr 13

looks like a total dump! hipsters are ruining everything…i love how “shabby” is hip and cool and funky…if i want to sit on “Well worn in couches and chairs with all the wonderful quirks and bumps that comes with old furniture”….well, actually, i don’t have a conclusion for that sentence – i never want to do that

Masquara 12:53 pm 10 Apr 13

I wish the Front would abandon the horrible “Piazza D’Oro” coffee they’ve had for years. (it’s actually cheapest of cheap Dutch coffee, guys, it’s not Italian!). Not even a top barista could make a good coffee out of that sh*t. If they invested in some good coffee, they would be a great cafe. Front, you don’t owe anything to any multinational! Go talk to an Australian-owned, knowledgeable coffee provisioner for goodness sake! There are dozens of them.

poetix 12:51 pm 10 Apr 13

I had hoped I was one of the ‘interesting and strange’ people, before I saw my user name! And I was looking most middle class and respectable today. Sigh.

Very nice to see you both, John and Baccalaureate.

I must suggest just up the road, at Tilley’s, for another mobile office day.

CrocodileGandhi 12:33 pm 10 Apr 13

I suggest the next Brumbies home game. The metric for success could be work done multipied by the number of rules understood by the end of the match. It could be a learning experience for Barcham.

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