Today, more and more people are embracing the digital nomad lifestyle. However, whether you are a freelancer, self-employed, or a remote employee, you might need a physical office at times when you travel. That’s where co-working spaces come in.
With a co-working space, you pay a fee to access a workspace and its various amenities. Along with internet access, you can usually get your hands on phones, conference rooms, office equipment, and more. Plus, you can network with other professionals, some of whom may be digital nomads like yourself.
It’s important to know that not all co-working spaces are created equal. If you want to find the best options when you’re traveling, here’s what you need to do.
Understand Your Needs for Co-working Spaces
Not all people work best under the same circumstances. Some digital nomads can thrive in a somewhat chaotic environment or prefer to have others physically nearby, making an open office design fine for them. Others need to be able to step away from the hustle and bustle as well as prevent interruptions or distractions. In that case, a private workspace with a door might be a must.
Similarly, you may have the need for a certain kind of equipment, minimum internet speeds, or particular operating hours outside of the typical 9-to-5. If you want to find a great co-working option, then you need to tune into your requirements above all else. Otherwise, the one you choose won’t be right for you, making the experience less than stellar.
Use Co-working Space Apps and Sites
While you can always start looking for co-working spaces by searching Google, using one of the many available apps or dedicated sites might be more efficient. Options like LiquidSpace, WorkFrom, and Coworker can all help you find options no matter where your travels may take you.
Plus, you can often get thorough overviews of what a location offers. You’ll learn about the amenities, any perks, and even the standard cost. In some cases, there may also be reviews from past users, and that may help you during the decision-making process.
Factor in Location Accessibility
If you know you’re going to need a co-working space, then you want to make getting to one convenient. Getting stuck navigating public transit for several hours isn’t usually anyone’s idea of a good time. That’s why location is so important.
Consider how you will need to travel to the co-working space first. Are you taking a bus or train? Will you be driving your own vehicle? Do you plan to walk? Then, consider what options are reasonably accessible based on your chosen mode (or modes) of transit.
You also want to examine whether the location is near other destinations you might need. For example, is there a good lunch spot nearby? Are you close to anything else you may want to visit? If so, that could make one co-working option stand out from another, ensuring you select the best one for you.
Explore Who Is Using the Co-Working Spaces
In many cases, co-working spaces aren’t just great places to get stuff done; they can also be exceptional social and networking opportunities. However, that’s usually only the case if you find the right mix of professionals while you’re there.
Consider what the average user seems like and whether interacting with them seems enjoyable or beneficial. You can also consider the space’s vibe if you don’t know much about the people working in the location, as that may give you insights into the personalities of those who turn to that option when they need to work.
Pause to Take a Tour
Most reputable co-working spaces will let you take a look around before you decide to sign up. That way, you can see what amenities are available, how comfortable the location is, whether it’s especially loud or busy, and more.
Plus, if a co-working space won’t let you look around first, you are getting a pretty decent sign that something might be amiss. It’s a red flag you shouldn’t ignore, and can help you avoid spending money on something that doesn’t meet your needs or preferences.
Don’t Forget About Your Budget
Co-working spaces come with a range of price tags and fee structures. Not only can the cost vary dramatically from one option to the next, but then you also have to factor in the value of daily, weekly, or monthly fee arrangements.
In some cases, you might even need to explore whether joining one of the “club” or “membership” options – where you can use any location that is operated by that company for a specified period – makes more sense. It’s a lot to calculate.
However, even if you don’t love doing the math, it’s critical that you do. Otherwise, more of your travel budget might be going to covering your co-working space than you’d like.