Boss finally gave you the green light to start work remotely? Awww yes!
Taking a longer trip and working remotely from a new city or country is so exciting. Good for you on deciding to take the plunge!
But in between the excitement, the research, and the planning, there’s an elephant in the room we need to talk about.
… Where are you going to work while you’re there?
Surely your Airbnb or hotel could be a good option. But what if the WiFi is spotty? Or the lobby is just too loud for you to take a call? I’ve had my fair share of remote work mishaps. It is NOT fun.
Enter: coworking spaces. The solution to remote work needs, coworking spaces can be a huge lifesaver when you’re traveling and working. But they’re not something you can quickly book without taking a second glance. You need to take your time and choose wisely.
Because your coworking space will affect your productivity, your social calendar, and how much you enjoy your workcation. And, they can vary widely from destination to destination.
To make the process of how to find a coworking space a little less daunting, I’ve compiled a list of the most important things to consider.
What is a Coworking Space?
A coworking space is essentially a shared office space. Digital nomads and remote companies use them to reap the benefits of having a place of work without needing to rent an office or stay in one place to use one.
Most coworking spaces will include all the amenities you’ll find in a traditional workspace such as high-speed internet, complimentary coffee, desks, private meeting rooms, and more. All of this comes at an affordable price point and various membership options.
For remote workers, coworking spaces represent an opportunity to escape isolation. Instead of working at home or in a coffee shop, you can hang out with other digital nomads, network, and make friends.
Where Can I Find a Coworking Space?
The quickest way to find coworking spaces near you is Google. Simply type [location + coworking space] and you’ll get a list of places in that area.
If there are several options catching your eye and you’re having a hard time choosing, there are so many coworking websites you can scour to compare the best options near you.
One I recommend for comparing coworking spaces is Coworker. Add your destination into the search bar, and you’ll get a list of results with filters for price, duration, and type. Plus, it gives you an average monthly cost for that city or town!
Coworking Nomads is a coworking space search tool catered towards digital nomads that helps you find workspaces near you and pay as you go.
If you’re looking for a longer-term desk setup that you’d like to pay for on a monthly basis, check out Desks Near Me.
If you and your work team are considering looking for lower overhead and more flexible work, check out your options on Deskpass, which allows you to add or remove space as you need it, and pay as you go.
No matter your situation, once you’ve found a coworking space you like, check if it’s a franchise. WeWork, for example, has multiple offices around the world, which allows remote workers to seamlessly hop from one location to the next at no additional cost.
One big pro of choosing a coworking space like WeWork? It eliminates decision fatigue and saves you time if you plan to make remote work a more consistent part of your life!
Tips for Choosing the Right Coworking Space For You
Location is Everything
One of the most important factors in choosing a coworking space is the location.
- Do you want one within walking distance of your Airbnb or hotel?
- Or are you prepared to rent a car or take public transportation to your coworking space every day?
Besides the daily commute, you’ll also need to look at the neighborhood.
- Do you want to be based in the city center, or by the beach?
- Is it important that you’re close to coffee shops and attractions?
- Do you need public transport access?
The Ease of Commuting
Location and commuting go hand-in-hand.
When working remotely from a foreign country, you’ll use public transportation to get around (unless you rent a car). With both options, your commute time is a major factor in choosing a coworking space.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t want to sit in gridlocked traffic for hours to and from work. I travel to get away from that! (LA, I’m looking at you)
Here are six questions to ask when considering your daily commute:
- Is there a reliable transportation network nearby, and how much will it cost you each day?
- How much is a car rental and gas?
- Are there parking spaces at your coworking location, and if so, is there an extra fee?
- Will your company cover your remote work commute costs?
- What is the traffic like? (Hint: Check Google Maps to get an idea)
- How long will the commute take you each day?
Remember, if you want to find a coworking space in premium spots in any city, it will always cost more. If you’re not finding a place within your budget, consider staying and working a little further away from the city center.
Set Your Coworking Space Budget
While I don’t consider myself a budget traveler, I always compare costs and try to make decisions based on what’s going to help me stretch my budget the furthest.
Unless your employer covers your costs, you need to have a number in mind to make sure you don’t put a strain on your financial situation.
So, how do you create a budget for a coworking space?
First, decide on the type of coworking membership that works best for you. Most offices have different price points you can choose from with different perks.
- Hot Desk: This is usually the cheapest membership option. You can choose any open desk each day and can reserve meeting rooms for private use. Some coworking spaces will have set hours for hot-desking and can charge extra for unlimited 24/7 access. Depending on where you go, hot desk scenarios will be the most popular and can sometimes book up quick. Try to reserve your spot ahead of time when you can.
- Dedicated Desk: With this membership, you’ll have a desk you can call your own for your entire stay. The workspace is 100% yours and costs a bit more than the hot desk option.
- Private Office: The most expensive membership at a coworking space is a private, lockable office. However, it’s worth the price bump if you need total privacy and zero interruptions for calls and meetings.
Once you have an idea of the type of membership you like, the next thing that impacts your coworking space budget is the duration.
How long will you be in town?
Some coworking spaces offer a daily and weekly rates, while others only have a month-to-month package.
The Perks of Working Remotely from a Coworking Space
No matter which coworking location you choose, it should at the very least come with the basics:
- Reliable WiFi
- A desk
- Complimentary coffee and tea
- Additional office perks, like a printer, pens, paper, and sometimes a phone booth for taking private calls
But those aren’t the only perks you should look out for. Oh no no no.
Some coworking spaces go above and beyond and throw in a bunch of additional perks like:
- Social mixers
- Happy hours
- Pet-friendly rules
- Community lunches
- Personal lockers
Yup, just like real office perks, but times 10!
If you’re having a hard time deciding between a handful of options, look at the perks and see whether any of them are unique and catch your eye.
Access to the Coworking Space
A couple of years ago, I spent a month working remotely in Southeast Asia. I still had to meet my deadlines in between platefuls of sizzling sisig and lazy afternoons on the beach.
The only problem?
The Philippines is 15-hours AHEAD of Los Angeles (where my clients are based).
I ended up working remotely from beachfront tents, lively hostel lobbies, and empty restaurants that happened to be close to the WiFi router (yup, in the middle of the night), all so I could send emails and pray for Zoom call connection. If I had access to a coworking site, I would’ve leapt at the chance.
Not long ago, I worked remotely from the Czech Republic (which is 9 hours ahead), and found lots of great coworking options. The problem here? Most of them were closed by 8 pm!
If you’re working remotely with a huge time difference (or you’re just a night owl), 24/7 access is an important factor when choosing a coworking space. Learn from my mistakes!
Read The Fine Print
Coworking spaces will sometimes try to sweeten the deal by throwing in a few benefits. But before you sign on the dotted line, check which benefits are included in your membership and which ones cost extra.
For example, printing and securing meeting rooms are an additional charge at some places, while others include it in your monthly fee.
Don’t be shy to ask all these nitty-gritty questions. Having a crystal clear idea of how much every line item will cost will help you stay on budget and figure out how to find a coworking space that’ll give you more bang for your buck.
How Much Noise Can You Handle?
Are you the type of person who thrives in chaos? Phones ringing, people chatting, traffic zooming, cups clinking… utter madness?
Or are you someone (like me) who sometimes gets distracted over the smallest things?
When choosing your coworking space, you need to consider what environments get you into the zone for working while traveling.
For me, I need complete silence or low-fi beats and noise-canceling headphones. The second I hear another person or sound, my goldfish attention span quickly ends my productivity flow. Before I know it, I’m eavesdropping on a stranger’s conversation and aggressively Googling why everyone keeps mentioning this local bar nearby I’ve never been to but clearly need an invite to ASAP.
If you relate, invest in good-quality noise-cancelling headphones or find a coworking space with “quiet spaces.” These are rooms where workers are not allowed to talk and must turn all devices on silent. This setup is perfect for getting you in the zone and keeping all those pesky distractions off your radar until it’s time for lunch.
The Look and Feel of the Space
Another thing that plays a huge role in our productivity levels is design.
- Do you work better in a space with huge windows and lots of natural light?
- Are indoor plants your jam?
- Does the thought of staring at dark wood finishings every day sound like your idea of interior design hell?
- What about the desks? Do you prefer a school classroom layout or a long table to encourage collaboration and socializing?
Obviously, depending on where you are traveling, you might not have unlimited options to choose from. But if you do, take advantage of that and choose the perfect place to inspire you.
When you’re presented with ample coworking options with similar amenities, think about what design elements inspire you, and use that to find a space to help you show up and perform at your best. Then, try to “screen” for those elements by looking at photos on the coworking site’s website, review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, and other people’s firsthand accounts on blogs or social media.
One of the best parts of working remotely is the freedom to choose environments that work for you and not against you. Take advantage and curate your ultimate coworking experience for the best possible time.
Let’s Get Social
Unless you’re traveling with a partner or a group of friends, working remotely (even in a coworking space) can feel lonely.
Especially if you have social anxiety and don’t know how to break the ice.
That’s why a coworking space with social events is a wonderful way to meet other location independent professionals.
Depending on the space, there could be weekly educational events or after-work activities.
When I was working from a coworking space in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, the location offered surfing lessons and environmental education opportunities, as well as live music bar nights, to help travelers get to know one another.
It’s little touches like that that help make your remote work experience as much fun as your travel experience. When you’re on a workcation, take extra time to curate a fun, healthy, inspiring work environment that helps you thrive. You’ll be so much happier you did.
I hope this guide helps you find a coworking space that’s perfect for you! Got questions about working remotely? Let me know in the comments!
Read This Next:
- 9 Tips for Working While Traveling and Staying Productive
- 10 Priceless Benefits of Traveling Alone
- 18 Careers That Allow You to Work Remote
- Business Travel 101: Tips For Your First Time Traveling For Work
- How to Navigate Working From Home with Your Significant Other
- What I Learned From Traveling One Month in Southeast Asia While Working Full Time
- Essential Remote Work Tools for Successful Work Anywhere