What exactly are the benefits of coworking spaces?
If you work remotely, you have the freedom to choose where you work. But these are your usual choices as a digital nomad working remotely:
- You can stay at home in your pajamas
- You can find a cute cafe nearby or
- You can join a coworking space
A lot of digital nomads choose only one of the options above and stick to it wherever they go. Others like to mix it up depending on where they are and how much concentration/work is needed to get done.
Working from home is free, why ever would you pay for a ‘workspace’, right? And if you work from a cafe – you get a nice space with wifi, a coffee and maybe even lunch out of it, right? With a coworking space, you’re going to pay extra cash to have a dedicated hot desk.
And yet…so many people still prefer to join a coworking space.
Why? Coworking spaces are a great way to gain a sense of routine and stability in a life that’s constantly changing. There are so many more benefits of coworking spaces that can easily be overlooked simply because you have an upfront cost.
We’ve been digital nomads since 2018 and we’ve experimented with working from home vs working from cafes vs working from coworking spaces. And we can honestly say, we have done our most productive work in coworking spaces.
Now there are a lot of reasons to love and hate coworking spaces. But here are the top 15 benefits of coworking spaces you can experience if you join one.
What Is A Coworking Space?
Coworking spaces have accelerated in popularity in recent years due to the rise of the digital nomad movement.
Research from Paula Hernandez at Porch showed that the global coworking space market will grow by 17.8% during 2023. In terms of dollar figures that’s $16.17 billion to $19.05 billion. There is no doubt that coworking is on the up.
As people get used to the idea of working from anywhere – coworking spaces will only continue to thrive.
A coworking space is a shared workspace with like-minded people. You can focus on your work, get a dedicated space for work and meet like-minded people.
Here’s how it usually works:
- You can tour the coworking space, if you like it then sign up
- You pay the membership fee (daily, weekly, monthly)
- You can sit at whichever desk tickles your fancy
- You get access to the high-speed internet connection
- You can start working and focus
- You might get interrupted by a fellow co-worker to greet you
- You can make friends from here
- You can join the social events they organize (movie nights, weekend tours)
- You can also join the educational events they organize (workshops, masterclasses)
That’s it! Coworking spaces are fairly straightforward. They are a great alternative to working from home because it gives you a little more structure and routine to your ever-changing digital nomad lifestyle.
When you join a (good) coworking space, you really feel like you become part of the family there. Solo travelers and digital nomads have a space they can call home even if it’s only for a month – you can’t really say the same about a traditional office space.
You get to meet inspiring like-minded people who love the same things you do, a good amount of activities to fill your social life and you get the peace of mind that the wifi will always work (and if it doesn’t – it’s not your problem 😉).
Who Would Benefit From A Coworking Space?
Digital nomads, freelancers, remote workers and online entrepreneurs are usually found in coworking spaces. It allows people who normally don’t work with anyone (obvs because they are remote from their team) to come together even if they don’t work on the same stuff.
If you don’t like working from home because it can get lonely real quick – coworking spaces offer a place to meet inspiring people even if you have a remote job and/or are a business owner. In the years we have coworked, we have met a wide range of digital nomads doing cool things like:
- digital marketing
- graphic designers
You won’t ever get bored and someone is always doing something cool in a coworking space that you can learn from.
We always want to make sure we are giving more value than we are getting. The same applies to the coworking space attitude – learn from each other but also don’t forget to share your own digital nomad skills and knowledge.
Coworking Spaces vs Traditional Offices
A coworking space is more than just a desk and chair.
With a traditional office space, you get your cubicles that is xyz square feet, maybe some sterile white lights and a dedicated desk to call yours. You also work with your team in the space and may have to deal with office politics. The office environment is part of what makes digital nomads escape the corporate rate race.
Coworking spaces are designed a little more creatively. It’s common to see bean bags, a nap corner, a swing or even a pool at a coworking space. Apart from that, you get ergonomic chairs and desks to hep you feel comfortable throughout a long work day. More than all of that, you get a solid, engaged community of like-minded people who actually do things together.
These are some glimpses of the benefits of coworking spaces, so let’s get to it already!
15x Benefits Of Coworking Spaces For Digital Nomads
Coworking spaces are a great solution to a great problem: digital nomads who work remotely need a suitable place to work and people to work amongst.
Some people hate coworking spaces and others really love them. After trying our fair share of coworking spaces around the world in place likes Medellin, Antigua, San Cristobal de las Casas, Playa del Carmen and many more…we can say we are fans of coworking spaces! We don’t think they are the perfect solution for all digital nomad destinations but there are certainly tons of benefits of coworking spaces.
Here are the 15 benefits of coworking spaces for digital nomads, remote workers and online entrepreneurs.
#1. Meet Inspiring People Doing Inspiring Things
As if I haven’t already spoken about this enough lol! If you value community as we do, one of the biggest benefits of coworking spaces is having a solid group of people to do life with wherever you find yourself.
Digital nomads are some of the friendliest, most open and encouraging groups of people you will meet. We have made some lifelong friends through coworking spaces. In fact, we met Dom who became one of Matt’s groomsmen at our wedding, in a coworking space in Bali! We found that whenever Matt and I wanted to pursue a new project, we got the most support from our digital nomads friends who have been through the same.
While you work, you might get a tap on the shoulder and find someone who wants to meet you. That’s totally normal! You get to know each other, where they’re from and what they do. Sometimes, you won’t have even heard of their ‘job’ or business. This allows you to expand your knowledge and learn from them.
#2. A Zone For Focus & Concentration
I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: We have done our most productive work in coworking spaces.
Coworking spaces give you this defined boundary between work and life that can get hard to differentiate from if you work from home. The space also is usually designed with productivity in mind – from the way the desks are set up to the kind of chairs you’ll sit in.
I don’t know if this is just me but I also feel more productive when I have people around me that are working too. When you work from home, it’s easy to get up and reach for the refrigerator every time your mind wanders. That doesn’t happen at a coworking space!
A big benefit of coworking spaces is that you have every element you need to be focused, concentrated and productive to get the work you need done!
#3. Creativity Inducing Design And Environment
Coworking spaces are not your traditional office space filled with stale lighting and boring cubicles.
We have experienced a wide range of coworking spaces that have their own style and way of doing things. Some spaces had bean bags for nap time, others had a swing in case you felt like it (?), some had a hammock for chill time and most had a really beautiful design to help you stay inspired.
A lot of coworking spaces usually have big rectangle tables with around 6 chairs. It’s a hot desk style where you can have a different seat every day (or the same one if you’re quick enough).
One day you might decide you want to work outside in the fresh air, other days you’ll want to work in the AC. Most coworking environments are filled with cool and innovative ways to spruce up your work life.
#4. Available In Most Major Cities (And Lesser-Known Cities Too)
In recent years, coworking spaces have started to pop up everywhere – literally everywhere!
Southeast Asia is the most popular region for digital nomads because it’s honestly well set up for the lifestyle. You can easily find more than one option for coworking spaces in a small northern Thai town (Chiang Mai). Don’t even get me started on the plethora of choices in Bali – there’s more than I can count!
As we’ve lived the digital nomad life in Europe, we actually stayed away from coworking spaces. They are not your typical idea of a coworking and are more like your traditional office setting (something we steer clear of). But they are available in most European cities if you want to join one. We’re heading to North Macedonia soon and we’ve already found 2 options we can check out!
Sometimes, a coworking space is what makes a destination popular. This is true for the Coworking Bansko team who made this small, ski town in the mountain of Bulgaria – a digital nomad haven.
One of the big advantages of coworking spaces is that they probably exist wherever you are headed – especially if the work from home and work from cafe situation won’t work!
#5. Coworking Spaces Usually Have A Long List Of Amenities
There are a lot of amenities included in your coworking membership. Here are some of the great ones we’ve experienced:
- private meeting rooms
- dedicated podcast booths
- community managers (who take care of you)
- swimming pools
- collaborative spaces
- free coffee, tea and water
- day/weekend trips planned for you
- member lunches or dinners
and the list goes on. There are quite a few benefits of coworking spaces if you join one and these are just some of them. Obviously, it’s not the same anywhere and depends on the spaces you visit but this is generally what ‘good’ coworking spaces will offer you as a member.
#6. Coworking Spaces Host Educational Workshops & Masterclasses
Want to learn more about e-commerce? Maybe about SEO? Or photography?
You can learn those things at coworking spaces! A lot of coworking spaces will organize weekly or monthly events to give their members a chance to share their skills and knowledge. Members can usually attend for free and you can sign up to be a speaker too.
We have attended SEO workshops, finance masterclasses, crypto meetups and so much more through coworking spaces.
Note: This is not available at all coworking spaces (again because it’s not a one size fits all) but you’ll know it’s a really good space if they do offer this regularly.
#7. Coworking Spaces Host Social Events – Activities, Networking, Etc
Want to meet other like-minded people but not sure how?
Let the coworking space organize that for you! Most spaces will have events throughout the week or month and you can join anytime you feel comfortable.
We have met a lot of our friends at coworking spaces during the weekly lunches and/or the day trips around the city we are in. This is one of the biggest benefits of coworking spaces because it takes the stress off of you to organize events or work hard to make friends. It’s just so much easier when the space does it for you!
#8. Separate Work From Personal Life
Boundaries can be a good thing. When the lines are blurred between work and life, it begins to get hard to balance it all.
One of the biggest benefits of coworking spaces is that they can become that defined boundary line between work and life. It’s your dedicated space to get work done! When you enter, you know that it’s time to get to work and when you get home – you know it’s time to relax and recharge.
When you work from home – it’s easy to reach for the fridge and/or lie down for a nap. The hardest thing is that you spend all day at home and work in the same places you’re meant to share a meal or do life. This can make it difficult to have a work-life balance.
If you want a clear boundary between personal life vs work life, this is one of the advantages of coworking spaces.
#9. High-Speed Wifi Guarantee
Arrived at an Airbnb and the wifi absolutely sucks?!
Got to a cafe and the wifi is dismal?!
We’ve had that, too. One of the biggest benefits of coworking spaces is that you don’t have to worry about the wifi.
In fact, we have found that most coworking spaces are known to have the fastest wifi in town. That’s why people join them because it’s just a reliable space to work and/or have important meetings or calls that won’t get cut off (which is very important).
The wifi will usually be around 40+ Mbps and it will be a stable connection that doesn’t jitter. Our coworking space in Medellin had insane wifi speeds of 240+ Mbps!
#10. You’re Working Amongst Like-Minded People
Wish you could have a space to meet people that work online and love everything about traveling?
A coworking space is exactly that! Most people that join coworking spaces are digital nomads who are already working online and traveling because they love it.
There’s a lot of people that don’t understand this digital nomad lifestyle and it’s hard when you have to keep explaining (or even justifying) it to people all the time. One of the biggest benefits of a coworking space is that you’ll find people that just get you!
#11. Reduced Sense of Loneliness
Tired of doing everything by yourself?
Even as a digital nomad couple, we get lonely at times. When you travel full-time, you are constantly making new friends and saying goodbye to old ones. You’ll have times where it’s just you and it can get really lonely.
So lonely that it’s become the #1 reason digital nomads return home, according to the latest digital nomads statistics. One of the best benefits of a coworking space is that it can reduce your sense of loneliness. They usually organize educational and social events that give you the chance to meet people and get to know everyone in the space. Also – simply being around people in a coworking space (even if everyone is focused) can reduce that sense of loneliness, in my opinion.
In a coworking space, you have every chance to make new friends amongst like-minded people. When we first became digital nomads, we met all of our friends through a coworking space. ALL of them! The best thing is – they aren’t temporary friendships either, we have made lifelong friendships throughout our years on the road through coworking.
#12. Gives Digital Nomads A Routine/Schedule
Struggling to stick to a schedule or routine?
We get that! You know when you move around a lot, you’re constantly trying to get your bearings. We have made that conscious decision that we just have to create a new routine/schedule for each place we visit – it depends on a lot of varying factors like gym classes, exploring the city and friends.
One of the best benefits of coworking spaces is that you get this dedicated time and place to be. You can start structuring your schedule around it and make it easier for you to establish a routine (which is very important as digital nomads).
#13. Some Coworking Spaces Are Open 24/7
Do you happen to find yourself in a time zone that doesn’t necessarily work for your employer?
This happens more often than you think! For example, a few of our friends have hidden the fact they were all the way in Bali and simply worked throughout the night. This is only made possible by coworking spaces that are open 24/7. Besides working from home, the best place to work unusual hours is from a coworking space – a cafe definitely won’t be open 24/7!
Coworking spaces that are open 24/7 make remote work (for people with a 9-5) possible – basically anywhere in the world! That’s a pretty big benefit of coworking spaces for people who work fixed hours.
#14. Coworking Spaces Make You Push Yourself To Work Hard
For some reason, I’m a lot more productive in a coworking space and I think a big reason for that is because I see other people working hard.
When I see people focus and concentrate, it makes me want to do the same. This kind of hard-working environment can be motivating and encouraging for some people. I know it is for me!
When you meet the people at a coworking space and hear about all the cool things they are achieving in their business – it makes you want to strive as well in your work. One of the best benefits of coworking spaces is that you can’t help but be inspired to push yourself in your work.
#15. Gets You Outside The House
Working from home and feeling stuck? We get that feeling.
It depends on your personal preference but I personally cannot stay home all day and night for several days in a row. Getting outside is a great way for me to change up my environment and recharge.
One of the best benefits of coworking spaces is that they will get you outside of your house. If you work from home Monday to Friday – it can get pretty boring. You might want to change up your scenery and coworking spaces are a great excuse!
What Are Some Disadvantages Of Coworking Spaces?
I’ll be honest…
…Coworking isn’t always the best idea. There are some real downsides to coworking and here are just some of the ones we’ve experienced:
- It Can Get Noisy
- You Have To Commute Again
- What You Get Varies On Each Space
- Network Privacy/Security
If you want to find out more of the downsides, we wrote about the 10 disadvantages of coworking spaces you should know before you join one.
Are The Benefits Of Coworking Spaces Worth It For Digital Nomads?
Yes, we definitely think the benefits of coworking spaces outweigh the downsides! We believe we do our most productive work at a coworking space but more than that, we meet some pretty special people along the way.
If you’re a person that enjoys a little more structure in your routine, a dedicated boundary between work and personal life and an easy place to make new friends as a digital nomad – try joining a coworking space for a month! Test it out for yourself and see if you like it.
For those that have coworked before, what other benefits of coworking spaces did you experience? Comment below and let us know!