Office space that works

Let the nature of the work-related tasks you expect to take on at the lake dictate the space. If you merely need to stay in touch via brief emails or review materials, a lounge chair on the dock with a cold drink and an iPad nearby might be all the office you need. But if long emails, web surfing, drawing, video viewing or editing will be required, you may be more productive from a comfortable office chair and a laptop on a narrow counter in a converted closet.

And if the office needs to share space with overflow sleeping accommodations for the grandkids, consider choosing more durable surfaces and seating options that could survive children’s activities that realistically could even include the introduction of certain plants and animals from the lake.

On the other hand, if you’ll entertain your clients at the lake while you conduct business, you’ll want a showcase space furnished with high-end leather chairs placed in front of a big panoramic water view – perhaps with a nearby bar.

Consider the equipment that would help you to be efficient in your space – copiers, multiple monitors, printers – anything that could quickly get you back to family, friends and water.

The danger in thinking small lies in creating an inefficient space when efficiency is paramount to getting the work done and back to fun.

In addition to equipment, assess the types and amounts of storage you may need. It’s easy to tell yourself that you don’t need room for files, but that mindset could be an invitation to an unorganized and cluttered desk.

Make sure the lighting in your makeshift office is sufficient by adding under-the-cabinet supplementary fixtures or can lights above the workspace.

Perhaps one of the most important considerations in creating a workspace at the lake is its location. If a lake view or a window onto the outdoors would help you get the work done more efficiently, by all means include one, but if it would be a distraction, choose a windowless space.

Your lake office should be positioned for privacy if that’s what your work requires, and though it should be easily accessible, don’t make it too accessible. Going to work should be intentional and short term, so you can turn your attention to what really matters when you’re at Lake Martin.

Internet Service at the Lake

With multiple providers of internet in the Lake Martin area, there are flexible options for the appropriate bandwidth and download speed to meet business and entertainment needs.

Only Charter Spectrum provides a cable connection, the mode of internet with the fastest speeds available, but for many customers on Lake Martin, cable connection is not an option. Customers have been forced to consider digital service landline (DSL) or a satellite provider – until now. 

Point Broadband, a new, local company that provides internet service to customers from Manhattan to rural and suburban areas in America, entered the Lake Martin marketplace in February.

Todd Holt, CEO of Point Broadband, said the company has already begun to provide service to businesses and residences on the lake shoreline. The Point Broadband market will mainly consist of customers who cannot connect to cable but want more reliable internet than satellite or DSL provides. Because Point Broadband uses fiber and local base stations, the company can provide speeds comparable to cable for downloading data. Point Broadband will not require a contract and will not cap data usage, which means multiple devices can stream at the same time.

Headquartered in West Point, Georgia, Point Broadband is one of many technology companies owned by ITC Capital Partners, an entrepreneurial investment company that provides money to start-ups and also develops its own interests.

“About 18 months ago, we researched and found a huge demand in rural areas for reliable internet service,” Holt said.

Unlike a satellite, which is 20,000 miles away, Holt explained, Point Broadband is a fiber-fed, fixed wireless service that connects to existing vertical infrastructure, such as cell towers and water towers. Antennae mounted on those structures shoot the signal to customers’ receiving antennae. Using a local tower rather than a satellite, service is less likely to be affected by weather and does not require a huge receiving antennae at the residence or business, Holt explained. The Point Broadband antennae is approximately 4 inches by 6 inches.

Holt also touted customer service as a central focus of the company.

“We are fanatics about customer service. We want Point Broadband customers to know that they will always have someone answer the phone when they call – someone who works for our company and cares about our community,” he said. “Plus, we’re local. Many of us have homes on the lake. Our family and friends will be customers, so our reputations are at stake.”

The first Point Broadband customers on the shores of Lake Martin began service in February via a cell tower at the corner of County roads 34 and 49 in Dadeville. Service in the Walnut Hill area was scheduled by the end of last month, with the addition of Jackson’s Gap soon to follow.

To find out about internet service in a specific area of the lake, consult the chart below for service providers’ contact information.