Who Uses Co-Working Spaces? We’re Guilty 👋
I remember the first time I heard of a Co-Working Space. I was managing a party hostel where the main demographic was 18-24-year-olds flirting with the open-bar package. And each-other. It was pretty loose, not gonna lie. But every now and then we’d get some laptop warriors come in. The music was too loud, apparently, did I know of any Co-Working Spaces nearby?
“What’s a Co-Working Space?” I asked, unnecessarily.
(I mean, it’s in the name!)
It’s a shared office space, usually open-plan, with desks, chairs, power outlets and reliable wifi. Everything a respectable Digital Nomad could need.
The atmosphere is ‘getting it done,’ not grooving by the bar. Fellow Co-Working Space users respect each other’s reason for being there. But that doesn’t mean you won’t meet like-minded travellers.
It’s called ‘Co’ -working after all. It could be the perfect place for you to network!
The fact of the matter is, if you’re living the Digital Nomad Lifestyle you need to work sometimes. The right environment is important for *productivity*. Finding a reliable Co-Working Space could make all the difference in prolonging your work/travel experience.
So who uses Co-Working Spaces?
Well I’m using one right now.
Digital Nomads Are The Original Users Of Coworking Spaces
The family tree of Co-Working Spaces is really cool! It’s believed the original inspiration for such a useful concept comes from Berlin. The rise of personal computers in the 90’s bred a new generation of… wait for it… Hackers!
It was called a HackerSpace.
The first time the word ‘coworking’ was used, it was described as “working together as equals.” Ain’t that nice? It was Entrepreneurs in Sweden that opened the first hi-tech space, spurred on by the dot-com boom. Then Austria, then San Fran, and then the rest is history.
It was the innovators, the freedom fighters, the people wanting to escape The Matrix.
Digital Nomads we now call ourselves. Individuals who choose the laptop lifestyle and travel while we work. And Co-Working Spaces provide us the refuge to get it done.
After Covid, Many Remote Workers Started Using Co-Working Spaces
Hey, remember that global catastrophe that was handled really well? Let’s not get into it… but don’t you think it was funny that they made us sneeze into our elbows, then bump elbows instead of shake hands?
Covid, Corona, The Virus, whatever you wanna call it, was crazy! But every cloud has its silver lining.
It introduced the idea that we didn’t have to go to the office! We could wear shorts under our shirt and tie in the Zoom lens. Or sweatpants! The corporate world was forced to quickly adapt to an isolated work environment…
We were liberated!
And once The Pandemic was over, we, as remote workers, could take our new liberated laptop lifestyles with us all around the world. Making Co-Working Spaces an even more valuable asset than ever before.
Some Freelancers Will Use Co-Working Spaces As It’s Cheaper
Freelancing is another term for this sort of lifestyle. Of course, Freelancing is a broader term, that includes people working in a fixed space for another company. But those who choose to travel with their work, often use Co-Working Spaces because it’s cheaper.
Rather than lease an office, pay rent, buy office furniture/equipment.. tech, software, internet package, phone line, secretary… the list goes on. You could spend as much as you like.
Or you could just rent an already set-up desk in an office, with all the mod cons you could dream of!
They’ll likely have reliable wifi, phone accessibility, meeting rooms, air-con, desk chairs, and sometimes there’s a kitchenette with a kettle and complimentary tea & coffee. I even saw one Co-Working Space that had silent phone booths, fully equipped like Bill & Ted’s Time Machine.
Wanna know the best part???
Sometimes they’re FREE!!!
They’ve become an adjunct to hostels and backpackers around the world. If you’re staying there, it’s obviously included. But they usually have a bar & restaurant, so as long as you spend a few pesos you can use their Co-Working Space gratis!
Anyone Can Use a Co-Working Space
Good news everyone… Anyone can use a Co-Working Space!
Co-Working Spaces Are Used By Nomad Communities
We all know one of the best parts about being a Digital Nomad is the travel, but one of the side-effects of life on the road is riding in and out of places on your own. It can get lonely. Never fear my dear, introduce yourself to Digital Nomad Communities.
Social Media is a useful tool when it comes to finding like-minded communities. A little search for a Digital Nomad group in your area will surely produce some results. (Hint: might be good for research) Nomadbase – The Digital Nomad Community on Facebook has 67.7k members right now!
There are some well-established websites, like NomadList, that provide access to information and a network of fellow travellers. Meetup is another service useful for finding groups to join all over the world. You’ve even got a Digital Nomad dating site in Nomad Soulmates.
If you’re like me, then you value a good, old-fashioned, face-to-face exchange. So why not build a community of your own, by meeting people at Co-Working Spaces? Regular nomads build communities that keep going to the same Co-Working spaces. That’s why it’s perfect to meet people.
I discovered one in Adelaide, Australia that would hold enrichment lectures and invite CEOs to talk about their path to success. It’s always inspiring to hear about businesses overcoming adversity, and it seems to me like every business has its own story of how it almost failed but persevered.
It always seems impossible until it’s done.
Social events like these are filled with interesting people doing all sorts of interesting things. You may find your next collaborator!
Co-Working Spaces Are Fun & Friendly, So You’ll Likely Meet Social & Outgoing People
Spaces like these are usually really funky. Creative people are behind them.. individuals who want a business that exists outside of the system. That attracts less ordinary folk. Social and outgoing folk. Mad folk. Like you and I.
And we’re fun & friendly! Right?!
One of my favourite subjects is how people work and travel full-time. You’ll find a lot of us are open about our experience, and our journey, and maybe an exchange of ideas is brewing. Grab a coffee and let’s chat. We’re probably going to learn something.
You can get work done; don’t worry about that—headphones are the red light of office relations. Still, I remember reading that the ideal work:break ratio is 52min:17min, meaning, for every 52 minutes of work you do, have a 17-minute break. It boosts your focus, and you can fill the break time with some human interaction.
In my experience, you get out what you put in. If you’re friendly, people are friendly back. As the Dalai Lama says, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
For Most, Co-Working Spaces Are The Perfect Place To Network
You’ll find people doing all sorts of gigs at Co-Working Spaces. Remember, they started with hackers! There’ll be writers, editors, coders, web designers, animators, marketers, drop-shippers and investors. People who seem to have it all figured out, and people who are on the brink of breakdown! It’s quite eclectic.
Broaden your network with a little out-of-the-office experience. Nothing is stopping you from taking your office work to one of these spaces for a day… Covid made it easier to negotiate away days, and home is boring! Try it out, you might like it.
It might just turn out to be the perfect place for you to network.
Co-working spaces are all over the world, making remote work an even more available prospect. Freelancers are using them instead of renting offices, so you might meet locals in a foreign city. It could just be a nice place to hang out and socialise.
Do a little search and see if there’s a Co-Working Space near you, pop down and check it out.
If you wanna drop a comment below about your experience or if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to get back to you. Until then, I’ve been Rich and you’ve been attentive (if you got this far!)