The way people work is rapidly changing – especially if that work is tied to online industries.
Instead of signing up to do a manager’s bidding from a drab office cubicle, more and more people are opting in to do remote work from locations of their own choosing.
Since working from home eliminates hassles like the stress of daily commuting – or even having to put pants on in the morning – the benefits of such careers are becoming increasingly appealing.
But even as people ditch the corporate cubicle, they’re not saying goodbye to the office environment all together. Remote coworking spaces are quickly becoming the productivity environment of choice for modern day solopreneurs and freelancers.
These work locations offer opportunities for coworkers to share their skills and build networks with other online professionals in a way they can’t do from home.
If you’re thinking about leaving the comfort of your home office to work from a coworking space near you, this week’s Silver Bulletin will show you the many productivity benefits and drawbacks these new work environments have to offer.
By 2020, the boom in coworking is projected to reach over 26,000 coworking spaces and 3.8 million coworkers globally.
While most corporate employees are forced to work in factory-farm style cubicles and conform to the internal politics of their corporation, remote workers gain much more freedom over when, where and what jobs they work on while always being able to bring their true selves to the office.
Although many remote workers set up shop from a home office or local coffee shop, modern coworking spaces seem to offer more lifestyle freedom, skill-development and collaboration potential than the solitary alternatives.
The explosion in coworking spaces across the globe has also brought the power of internet-based work to previously unconnected utopias. While digital nomading was once an exotic lifestyle achieved by a rare few, increased internet availability around the world is quickly making The Four-Hour Workweek a remote work norm.
For example, I’ve spent the past four months working for ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes from Dojo Bali Coworking – a coworking space located just a stone's throw away from one of Bali’s hottest surf spots.
Not only do exotic coworking spaces like Bali Dojo offer access to daily beach activities like surfing, but they also include cool features like pools, hip cafes, daily skill share presentations and several collaborative coworkers from a range of online industries.
Coworking spaces definitely aren’t for everyone though.
Daily distractions – especially at beach vacation spots – are a constant threat to your productivity and must be managed.
Coworking spaces are noisy at peak hours and full of interesting people up for sharing big ideas. Although you can learn valuable insights from such people, a “quick conversation” can easily turn into a multi-hour “networking” session.
And aside from the noise and networking opportunities, coworking spaces can also house wannabe entrepreneurs that are prone to abusing your time.
It sounds a bit harsh, but you can quickly get a feel for wantrepreneurs in coworking spaces because they’re usually more interested in socializing than getting serious work done. If you decide to start coworking, it’s definitely important to become judicious about who you trade your time with so productivity doesn’t suffer.
In my own experience, coworking space cultures are usually collaborative and supportive in helping everyone advance towards their bigger business goals. However, stories exist of some coworking spaces harboring unhealthy levels of competition.
But in the end, the nature of remote work and solo-entrepreneurship demands that you protect your time and constantly build increasingly productive habits. If you don’t have effective strategies in place to combat distractions, coworking spaces will likely hurt rather than help your online business.
Since I’m currently working from a collaborative coworking spot in the middle of a distraction-rich paradise, I decided to ask a few insanely productive remote workers how they accomplish all their tasks each day.
I asked each of them “What are your 4 to 5 personal secrets for maintaining high levels of productivity while coworking?” Here’s how they replied:
Viola is a high-powered SEO consultant and copywriter. She not only manages a team of copywriters to meet the needs of her many demanding clients, but also maintains a vibrant life for herself outside the office.
Joe is a graphic designer and partner in a small software startup. I asked Joe how he stays productive since I see him continuously buried in his laptop while coworking. He leaves at a decent time every day and always seems to be doing fun things outside his work hours.
Kate is an ex-lawyer turned kickass copywriter. She writes eBooks, website copy and creates entire marketing campaigns for her many clients. She writes at least 5,000 words per day so I feel comfortable calling her a productivity beast.
I'm an ex-geologist turned online marketer for ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes. Here’s my own 5 tips for maintaining coworking space productivity.
These are the top 5 lessons I’ve learned – the hard way – about how to minimize distractions and maximize productivity in shared coworking spaces:
The following lists are what I consider to be my coworking space must-haves, nice-to-haves and deal-breakers. If you’re going to invest in a monthly membership at a shared workspace, make sure they have what you need to succeed.
Nomadic coworkers building their businesses one jungle coconut at a time – Outpost Coworking in Ubud, Indonesia.
The pool, standing desk and bean bag chair area at Dojo Bali Coworking – Canggu, Indonesia.
If you’re in the process of trying to locate a coworking space in your area, check out Coworker.com to find a good one in your price range near you!
Do you work in a coworking space? If so how do you stay productive – especially if you’re in a distraction rich location?
If you have some experience coworking, what do you think makes a good or bad shared workspace?
Join the conversation in the comments below to share your experience!
Matt's a geologist turned online marketer and digital nomad. He's a Modern Manimal on a mission to cultivate a high-tech, hunter-gatherer lifestyle within our exceedingly domesticated world. When away from his tech, you can find him studying complex human movement through random play or practices like Aikido, AcroYoga and Barefoot Running.
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