Coworking is the perfect answer to the problem of isolation that many nomads experience at one point or another. It is also great for productivity, work-life balance and business networking. In this article, I explain why, how and where you should cowork.
Being able to work from anywhere is certainly very nice. It is also very challenging. One reason for that is isolation. Isolation in the sense that while you may have tons of friends, few are likely to understand or want to talk about your work. Another one is productivity. Coffee shops are simply not a great place to work from. Their internet often sucks, they tend to be loud and the constant coming and going can be a major distraction. Libraries are better but relying on them for day to day work is simply not realistic. Working from home is also not realistic, at least not for me. When home, I tend to be lazy and unproductive. Other challenges include business networking, work-life balance, transportation and health (the calories in those lattes do add up). Coworking is the answer to many of these challenges and then some. There are coworking spaces nearly everywhere nowadays and many of them are GOOD! So good that some have even become destinations in their own right.
How to cowork
This may surprise some to learn that there are actually multiple ways to cowork. You can, of course, walk into most coworking spaces and buy a membership but this is not usually the most advantageous way to do it, especially if you travel regularly. A great alternative is to join a coworking network. Personally, I am a big fan of Regus. Their business lounges are excellent places to work and with my Businessworld Gold membership, I have access to over 3000 of them. The lounges are usually located in prestige office towers and in many cases, offer views to die for (the article image, at the top of the page, is a pretty good example). Regus is also the best deal out there with the Businessworld Gold membership starting at only 50 USD per month. With over 500 coworking spaces in their network, Copass is another great option. They offer a pay as you go plan as well as 3 days, 10 days and unlimited use plans. They are more expensive than Regus but their coverage outside of major cities is better. There are other coworking networks out there but they are not worth it, at least relative to Regus and Copass. Another way to cowork is by joining coworking groups on Facebook and meeting with other location independent entrepreneurs and workers in rented space. This is not ideal but is an alternative in locations that have no coworking spaces or business lounges.
Where to cowork
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, it really depends on your own preferences and budget. Personally, when choosing a new destination I use the Regus app to find the best business lounges. My main criteria are the view from the lounge and how many quality restaurants there are nearby. I then book a hotel near the lounge(s) and that is pretty much it.
Top three coworking spaces in the world
thesurfoffice.com – Portugal / Spain
The Surf Office is one of the most famous coworking spaces in the world. They have multiple locations in both Spain and Portugal including one in the Canary islands. In my experience, most coworking spaces tend to be very “work-focused”. Surf Office, however, aims to provide its members with a more sustainable work-life balance. They do this by organizing tons of regular events, trips and meetups not to mention the daily surfing and beach activities. Single rooms start at 65 EUR per day while shared rooms start at 35 EUR (per person). This price includes unlimited access to the coworking space, the community and activities. Surf Office also offers company retreat packages. In fact, they have hosted companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, WordPress, Adobe, Mozilla and more.
hubud.org – Bali (ID)
Hubud is one of the largest and best-known coworking spaces in South East Asia. Located in idyllic Ubud, on the island of Bali, it is blessed with year round warm weather and amazing views of nearby volcanoes. Day passes, hour blocks and unlimited passes are available as well as group memberships and a nearly all-inclusive Soft Landing package. Copass memberships are also accepted. Hubud’s greatest strength is not its location or membership options, however, it is its community. It has managed to attract a very interesting blend of location independent entrepreneurs and professionals. Hundreds, in fact, thanks in large part to regular events and seminars. This translates into tons of networking opportunities and is a great place overall to grow your business.
kohub.org – Koh Lanta (TH)
Picture an open-air wooden building surrounded by palm trees and filled with flip-flop wearing nomads working on their laptops. The air is warm, it is sunny and you can hear the sound of the waves in the distance. This is Kohub, the award-winning coworking space located in Koh Lanta Thailand. Day passes, weekly passes and monthly passes are available and are priced very competitively. The best value proposition, however, is their all-inclusive packages. For around seven hundred USD (you will pay in THB), you get unlimited access to Kohub for one month, private accommodation, two meals a day, access to local discounts and more! This is a great opportunity for those looking to start their location independent business on a budget.