5 Things I Love about Coworking Spaces
I am writing this from my perch at an outdoor table on a deck that overlooks a river at the Selina Coworking in Medellin, Colombia, while the rest of my Remote Year group is in our dedicated area of tables. I’m getting slivers of sun on my face and instead of plugging in headphones for music, I’m listening to running water. The coffee is tasty, they have my favorite type of decaf tea (peppermint) and I just said hi to a guy from New Zealand whom I met earlier this week in the kitchen. This is where I’m doing work today.
Sometimes I find that I am explaining this concept to people who have not yet heard about how coworking spaces work. A coworking space is an office environment for people who work remotely. They are growing in popularity around the world, for freelancers, remote employees, small businesses and entrepreneurs. Coworking spaces offer an alternative to the traditional ‘work from home’ model in that you no longer have to be lonely if you have a remote job. You can work remotely alongside others who do the same, in an inspirational space with perks like networking, events and inspirational design.
Having never worked remotely before until this summer, there are a few things I now know about how coworking spaces work and why coworking spaces are so important in the future of work.
1. Coworking spaces are places to meet professionals who you may not have crossed paths with otherwise.
Unlike a group of employees who work in an office, in the traditional sense, a coworking space is the professional home for people who have all sorts of jobs and talents. I’ve never worked in the same room as web developers, graphic artists, software salespeople and e-commerce specialists before. Coworking has introduced me to so many types of professions I didn’t even know existed, and to the types of people who have these professions.
2. Coworking spaces are more inspirational than the traditional office.
Have you ever done work in a net? On a deck? In a cubby? Today I did two of these three things (can you guess which?) and there are many other types of creative designs with which coworking spaces have been planned. Sometimes switching your surroundings is the best inspiration of all.
3. Some coworking spaces are open 24/7.
While not all coworking spaces are open 24/7, some are, and that makes it easy in case you need to work late, come in early or take a call on the weekend. You might not even be alone!
4. Coworking spaces often host events, gatherings, activities and networking opportunities.
At Comunal Coworking in Lima, Peru, I attended a weekly event called Spanglish, where English-speaking professionals have the opportunity to link up with Spanish speakers and answer get-to-know-you questions in the form of a language exchange. Not only was it fun, but I walked away with some new colloquial Spanish knowledge and some new people to say hi to in the workspace for the next few weeks! Here at Selina in Medellin, there’s yoga classes and meditation sessions, and tonight there’s going to be an expert talking about remote work platforms at 7 p.m. I’m going to go to it!
5. Coworking spaces are becoming a great way to work remotely and travel.
If you want to figure out how to work remotely and travel, coworking abroad may be for you. Here in Medellin I’ve met a bunch of remote workers who’ve been traveling anywhere from months to years and seek cool coworking spaces wherever they go.