Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, seven million people across the United States were already working remotely. Now, over 40% of the country’s labor force works remotely full-time, and the same trend can be seen on a global scale.
The thing is, remote working is nothing new. So-called digital nomads have been doing it for years. These location-independent workers use online tools and communications technologies to get their jobs done from just about anywhere, but these days, shared office spaces have become the new offices of digital nomads.
The Evolution of Remote and Flexible Work
The rise of coworking spaces didn’t come out of anywhere. It grew out of a demand for flexible work arrangements, which, in turn, was pushed by many digital workers making the switch to freelance or fully remote full-time work. Millennials and Gen Z have been pushing the trend to its limits by causing companies to rethink corporate culture in a way that offers greater remote working opportunities and a healthier work-life balance.
In today’s competitive markets, the ability to offer flexible workplace options can contribute to a company’s success in finding qualified talent. It can also help to increase collaboration across different geographical areas and, best of all, it allows workers far more flexibility when it comes to choosing lifestyles that work for them.
Meeting the Challenge of Digital Nomads
Digital nomads are internet-savvy, entrepreneurial-minded individuals who love the freedom of being able to travel and work from anywhere. Although the ability to travel constantly is the largest benefit of adopting this lifestyle, it can also pose certain challenges.
To work effectively, digital nomads need access to reliable WiFi and comfortable work environments that allow them to focus on getting their jobs done. They also need to find new ways to combat loneliness, which is a common problem among both domestic and international travelers. Shared office spaces provide a perfect environment for digital nomads by offering a quiet, comfortable workplace with all the amenities and plenty of opportunities for socializing and networking without any of the restrictions placed by choosing a permanent office.
What to Look for in a Shared Office
Not all shared office spaces are created equal. Digital nomads need to do their research before they choose where to sign up for a membership. They should look for:
Networked printers, scanners, and copiers
Access to business development services
Consistent building access
Comfortable furniture and height-adjustable desks
Amenities like free tea and coffee
Access to private conference rooms
Areas for socializing
High-quality shared office organizations provide different membership levels. Most offer hourly and daily rentals and access to desks and equipment in either private offices or shared spaces. If digital nomads plan to stay in one place for a while, they’re usually better off finding shared offices that offer monthly passes at discounted rates.
The Bottom Line
Not all business models are conducive to living as a digital nomad, but more companies than ever are making the switch to flexible working arrangements to attract new talent. Those who are new to remote work often find that being able to head into a shared office helps them stay on track and maintain a focused schedule. Even experienced digital nomads can benefit substantially from having access to consistent Wi-Fi and quiet, comfortable places to work. Anyone who has been relying on coffee shops to get online should seriously consider purchasing a membership at a shared office space.