Beyond Office Walls: The Best Work Environment for Digital Nomads

guy using his phone and laptopTechnology made it possible to collaborate and fulfill work over the internet, which gave way to work-from-home arrangements and flextime schedules. But having the freedom to work in any location also poses a problem for digital nomads since not all available spaces have environments that are conducive for working. With the increasing number of freelancers and remote workers, the search for the best work environment is a constant challenge.

Some of the popular choices of digital nomads are coworking spaces, coffee shops, and private office spaces for rent. But which one is the best one?

Coworking space

Coworking spaces are a trend now among entrepreneurs and freelancers. These offer reserved or first-come-first-served desks and communal facilities and services, such as internet access, printing privileges, coffee and snacks, and electrical outlets. If you’re planning to set up shop in a coworking space permanently, you can sign up as a member and pay a monthly fee, which can be cheaper than the per-day rate in the long run.

Coworking spaces are also a good venue to network and build connections. Since most of the occupants are mostly like-minded entrepreneurs and remote workers, there’s a lot of opportunities to arrange collaborations and business activities.

Studies also show that working in a coworking space can make you 74 percent more productive because according to the social facilitation theory, being around people who are also engaged in their tasks boosts productivity.

But shared office spaces also have disadvantages. These locations tend to get noisy, especially with all the socializing happening. People move around a lot and take phone calls, which can distract you from your tasks.

Renting a coworking space can easily be a waste of money as well. For instance, you may have already paid a month’s worth of membership but eventually find that the atmosphere of the coworking space doesn’t fit your work habits.

Coffee shops

woman working in coffee shopCoffee shops are a favorite among independent workers, mostly because of its convenience and accessibility. It’s easy to scout for a nearby cafe with a stable internet connection, reasonably priced food and beverage, and access to electrical outlets.

Studies also show that working in coffee shops boost creativity. The typical noise level of a busy cafe, which is about 70 decibels, enhances performance better than the relative quiet of 50 decibels. This ambient noise level is enough to stimulate the mind and help you dive deeper into your activities.

But the atmosphere in cafes isn’t predictable. It may be too crowded or loud for you to concentrate on your tasks. Coffee shops also aren’t typically open 24/7, which can be a problem for night owls or those who prefer working in the wee hours of the morning.

Lastly, working in coffee shops eight hours a day, five days a week can be expensive since you have to keep buying food and drinks to reserve a spot in the cafe.

Office space rentals

Similar to coworking spaces, private office rentals also give you access to a professional space without being in the corporate workplace. But instead of shared desks, office rentals offer the use of traditional office suites, which is ideal if you prefer privacy over the open nature of coworking spaces. These also have higher-level amenities, such as mail services and secretarial phone support.

But renting a private office space has downsides as well. If you have budget constraints, it may be more expensive to pay regular rent fees, as opposed to, for example, work in a cafe twice a week. You also have no control over the interpersonal dynamics among the occupants. Office space rentals function like a real office workplace, so there is a need to interact.

The shift in work attitudes and workplace model is allowing the freelance and work-from-home population to thrive. Whether you choose a lively cafe or seek the collaborative environment of a coworking space, the important thing is you get your work done.