Raw flax seed pizza delivered to your hammock in Bali. Sun pouring onto your day bed in south west Morocco. And a fireplace that’s sparked in the mountains of Spain.
Nope, these are not the manifestations of an idyllic round-the-world holiday. These are the scenes of co-working spaces that are sprouting up all over the world quicker than we can say digital nomad. Gone are the days of stale conversations by a water cooler and tantrums over a malfunctioning scanner, in the modern day co-working space you enter a place of positivity and productivity, completely unimpeded by rigid hours, sensible clothing and instant coffee. If you’re location independent, we hereby spoil you for choice:
Nowhere Studios, US
In Brooklyn, New York, it’s simply not enough to offer a co-working space with exposed brick walls and a sprouting herb garden on a rooftop terrace. Not even being in screaming distance of an artisanal bakery and coffee shop will win you much applause – you need to do something quite extraordinary to stand out in this crowd. Like craft a line of hip-flasks and passport books bound in Italian leather. Or produce a travel magazine with musings from the Inca Trail and memoirs from 1960’s New York. Just like the absurdly perfect Nowhere Studios co-working space on Albany has done. Now here’s a Brooklyn co-working space that has our attention.
It almost feels inaccurate to associate Sende with office spaces, no matter how pretty and progressive the others may be. But this collection of Galician homes found in the tiny Spanish village of Senderiz speaks of a new branch in co-working, one that offers rural co-working and co-living and takes the notion of freelance freedom to fierce new heights. Here in the mountains that border northern Portugal, sitting within old stonewalls that spill with orange gazania flowers, you could find yourself partaking in a life drawing festival, attending a session on nonviolent communication, or contributing to weekend long workshops on solving the current refugee crisis. These folks know that things like client meetings and career growth don’t need to be restricted to cement playgrounds.
Sundesk Taghazout, Morocco
In a typical workweek you have five lunch breaks to fill. How do you fill them at Sundesk, Taghazout? Monday could see you swimming in the gorges of Paradise Valley in the High Atlas Mountains. Tuesday might mean a hammam bath. Wednesday will call for a stroll in the souk, hunting for authentic rugs. On Thursday, you’ll probably want to hit the right-hand surf break of Hash Point and on Friday you can dabble in a spot of yoga. And you can do it all without a hint of guilt. With open-air ocean views and an array of healthy lunch and snacks on hand, the time at your desk will see a brand new level of productivity. It sort of makes the whole weekend concept a bit redundant when your workdays are this good.
Ah, Russia. In a seemingly effortless manner this country is the embodiment of cool, with all its moody hues and unassuming beauty. And how perfectly that’s captured in the co-working space of Ziferblat. Though we spotlight Ziferburg in St. Petersburg, you could take to any one of the Ziferblat institutions across the world and you’d find their trademark of antiques and creative types and inspiring events and perfectly curated lighting. What we wouldn’t give to spend a year hoping around their other European haunts (fancy a working trip to Slovenia, the UK or Ukraine?)
For anyone fooled into believing that not much happens in Ubud beyond Kundalini classes and colonics, Hubud stands perched as a proud rebuttal. Here in Bali’s inner jungle co-working zone you will find rooms full of people going about their business with complete zest. Techies and creatives and small business owners cruise through their days over green juices and meals whipped up by the onsite ‘living food lab’. As it turns out, harem pants and hammocks don’t interfere with one’s ability to kick career goals.
With 98 buzzing and beautiful spaces in 28 cities across the world, WeWork is a bit of a big deal in the co-working scene. But there’s something particularly special about setting up shop in one of their Tel Aviv locations. It’s not just the romantic notions of weekending in a kibbutz and enjoying a piece of baklava or three over morning coffee. Israel is overflowing with entrepreneurialism, even said to be producing more start-up companies than any place in the world sans San Francisco. And where do start-ups hang out? Co-working spaces. If this isn’t a recipe for inspiration we don’t know what is.
Hive, Khar West, India
The world is still being exposed to a fairly one-dimensional view of India; women harvesting cotton in a field, desert safaris, palace-like ashrams. There’s not a lot of air time going to all the hip happenings being roused to life by this billion strong population. Take the Hive co-working space in Mumbai, for example. Opening up your laptop here isn’t just about using WiFi without getting frustrated glares from a cafe barista. You’ll be welcomed into a world of improv nights, community fairs, live music, and seminars, all livened by a wonderfully diverse group of members and topped off with an organic canteen. Not a powder coloured elephant in sight.