The beauty of remote work is the freedom to work anywhere—by the pool, on the beach, in your apartment, at a local cafe—the possibilities are endless. As much as we love location independence, some digital nomads actually prefer to take a more rigid approach, searching for a dedicated workspace when working remotely. Instead of pitching up with a laptop on the beach, I utilize the local coworking space to stay focused and maximize my productivity during working hours.
If you’re not already familiar, a coworking space is essentially an office shared by numerous companies and/or individuals. These prove increasingly popular with digital nomads, remote workers, and freelancers and offer a cost-effective alternative to the traditionally expensive private office space. There are countless benefits of a typical coworking space with everything from work-life separation to socialization and networking opportunities in the workspaces. Let’s take a look at exactly why coworking spaces are great for digital nomads and whether a hot desk option is best for you.
A Cost-Effective Office Solution
Although a coworking space shares much of the same traits as a private office, the solution is much more cost-effective for remote workers. Coworking spaces typically offer a hot-desk approach where members of day-pass holders are able to pay a flat fee to spend time at one of the workstations in the building. This may not offer the same level of privacy as a personal office space but the space can be used at a much lower rate.
The same level of service received in an office can be offered in a coworking space. Free tea and coffee, a reception desk with admin support, printing and photocopying services, a mailing address, and a high-speed internet connection are just some of the benefits available.
One of the biggest advantages that digital nomads gain from using a dedicated coworking space find is work-life separation. Freelancers, remote workers, and digital nomads can struggle to separate their personal life from their work when the two are so often intertwined. Tapping at your keyboard in your hotel room or Airbnb can be daunting, especially to those (like myself) who can be distracted by the smallest things.
Separating a workspace from a living space is not only great for productivity but fantastic for mental health. Getting outdoors every morning, establishing a routine, and focusing on deep work without distractions are one of the best ways to keep the mind right and moving in the right direction. Naturally, not all remote workers work the same, and constant overlaps between personal and work space are preferred by some. The only way to really find what works best for you is to try different work setups to find the most effective.
A Great Place for Client Meetings
Digital nomads with work requiring client meetings will no longer struggle to find suitable locations with a good coworking space. The professional setting of coworking communal areas is a great option for in-person meetings. High-level coworking spaces offer dedicated meeting rooms that members can book for additional privacy.
As the majority of digital nomads and remote workers will take most meetings online via Zoom, Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams, coworking meeting rooms may feel unnecessary to some. However, with a quiet space, a professional background, and reliable internet connections, these rooms are just as well-suited for online meetings as they are in-person conversations.
Social and Networking Opportunities
Finding a digital nomad community when traveling as a remote worker can be tricky–a task that only becomes more difficult when working from an Airbnb, hotel, or coffee shop. Coworking spaces are a fantastic place to get started and offer a real sense of community with digital nomads from all walks of life. You never know who you’re going to meet and with a huge variety of remote working professions, there are countless social opportunities with plentiful organized events, gatherings, and chance encounters.
It’s the people in the coworking spaces around the world that make each individual office unique and is one of the top reasons for choosing these office alternatives. You’re only ever one conversation away from meeting incredibly talented remote workers to add to your professional network!
No hidden fees or unreliable hours
The main alternatives to a coworking space for remote workers tend to be either a cafe or bar—but these don’t always prove to be the most reliable options. Unreliable hours may prove to be one of the biggest sticking points with cafes often closed for periods of the day in some locations. With a coworking space, you know exactly what you’re getting, when it’s open (often with 24-hour policies) and the service that you’re getting.
There’s also the issue of lingering too long in a cafe when sitting behind a screen. Some eateries market themselves as nomad-friendly, but there’s often still the pressure to purchase another coffee, cake, or sandwich. This is especially prevalent when spending a full working day occupying a table—there’s only so much coffee you can drink in an eight-hour stint. Coworking spaces are typically paid for by a flat fee, meaning there are no confusion or silent frustrations that come with spending full days occupying a table. There’s also no need to regrettably order that sixth coffee and stay wide awake for most of the night.
Summary: Why Coworking Spaces are Great for Digital Nomads
There’s a long list of reasons why coworking spaces are great for digital nomads, remote workers, and traveling freelancers. From work-life separation benefits to social and networking opportunities, coworking spaces continue to be a top choice for digital nomads around the world. These spaces are plentiful, cost-effective, and offer a fantastic hub for getting to grips with a new remote working location. Sure, coworking spaces aren’t for everyone, and experiencing cafe culture in new and exotic places is preferred by many. Cafes have their place in the remote world, but distractions, table-hogging, and coffee-fueled anxiety can prove critical for some digital nomads.
For a reliable, professional setting to get to work, it really is hard to beat a dedicated coworking space.
Adam Mace is Nurall's Lead Contributing Writer and a full-time digital nomad in search of the best hikes, unique stays, and local delicacies. When he’s not exploring far-flung places he can..
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