I originally wrote this blog internally for my company, but the more Adam and I talk to friends and family about the co-working spaces we discover, the more we realize it’s not only interesting and applicable to yes, people working remotely, but also to anyone who wants to get some uninterrupted work done in a motivating space.
Okay, so imagine you need to get work done, but don’t have to sit in your office (or wherever you typically work) to do it.
What dream space would you magically transport yourself to for the day?
- Would it be inside or outside? Domestic or International?
- Would there be good coffee on demand or a pool to soak your feet in as you tooks calls?
- Would you work lounging in a hammock or comfortably in a personal office with a dog laying at your feet?
- Would you take a 45-minute break to do some yoga because it was available?
- Would you work barefoot all day or take a 15-minute power nap in a designated nap room?
Welcome to the world of ever-evolving co-working spaces, where there is quite literally a thoughtfully designed environment for every work style.
I’m not exactly sure when co-working took off and metamorphosized into awesome, functional and inspiring spaces around the globe, but it’s been pretty exciting to watch and experience firsthand.
Forbes seems to think it’s been in the last five years that “the concept has taken hold across industries. Co-working today is booming as a new generation of entrepreneurs, consultants, freelancers, and corporate organizations re-think the overhead costs of business and the value of collaborative work.” For those that may not be as familiar, here’s a rundown of the basics of a (good) co-working space.
At a minimum, a co-working space should offer a place to work for various individuals with fast, reliable internet and both open and private areas to work.
Beyond that, the sky’s the limit. Leather couches and Packman? Sure. Fitness classes and a barista? Great! Smoothie bowls and a punching bag? Why not?
These days, it seems that co-working spaces have started to adopt a live, work, play attitude, shattering the boring mold of what an office “should be” and foster an engaging, creative hub fulfilling wants and needs far beyond a space to work. Don’t get me wrong, coffee shops are great to hammer out an hour or two of work, but co-working spaces are ideal for comfort and longer worktimes as they are secure so you can leave your belonging as you trot out for lunch, and most are open 24 hours accommodating any schedule.
One of our favorite co-working spaces on our travels is Biliq Bali, located in Bali, Indonesia. At Biliq, coworkers are surrounded with beautiful murals of greenery, a central pool with workstands for dipping your feet in while working, a calendar featuring a slew of creative workshops available, as well as two office pups running around making everyone smile. Biliq is a co-working space that goes above and beyond just a space to work, although provides that as well. They very authentically showcase their values of work/play balance as well as health and wellness.
Co-working environments form micro-communities where a spectrum of people can not only work to their own pace and comfort level but cross-pollinate ideas with new people outside their network, industry and age group (if they want to). For example, in Porto Portugal at Porto i/o, digital nomad mixers are regularly held for those working in the office, which constantly changes, to get to know one other on a personal level knitting the office community together, giving travelers or expats a sense of belonging within an unfamiliar city. More often than not, there is a tangible eagerness for community for those that join co-working spaces, as they could always work from home or a hipster coffee shop in solitude. As great as flexible schedules can be, sometimes we all just crave a little socialization and routine!
I hear you asking, so who is meant to work in co-working spaces anyways? Entrepreneurs and location independent graphic designers and coders? Well yes; however, coworking spaces are meant for just about anyone as they are intended to be spaces that facilitate efficient, independent work. Even if you have a great office, try popping in a co-working space on the weekend to do some personal planning or reading. It is a great change of scenery and opens you up to a unique group of people and a new environment that you might never normally encounter.
As many of the jobs in our world and various industries continue to become more location independent, coworking spaces serve as vital touchdown spaces that ground people back into a community while still providing the freedom to work in whichever way is best for an individual.
Over these 6 months, we have grown to depend and really love coworking spaces. We’ve met some incredible friends, drank an obscene amount of coffee, got a LOT of work done, and had space in every city that started to feel like home. Go check one out!