Two years ago, my husband and I left our home in Austin, TX and traded in our desk jobs for the opportunity of a lifetime; working and traveling throughout Europe and Asia-Pac in pursuit of adventure, the great outdoors and above all, WiFi. During that year, I had the opportunity to visit PGi’s 25+ global offices as a Digital Nomad. Most days, I worked alongside my global colleagues, but occasionally I took up residence in coffee shops, libraries, buses, trains, and McDonald’s aplenty. My time outside of the office, gave me a taste of what it takes to work “in the wild,” without the comforts of a permanent office.
I learned many things on the road, but most of all, I learned that a permanent office is important! While teleworking and extreme remote working can be valuable to the employee and employer, a permanent office space provides stability, control and above all a sense of community that is often lost when you work remotely.
Today, I am fortunate to have a permanent office space in PGi’s Austin office, but the memories of working on the road are still fresh. Earlier this month, I took a few days to explore what it is like to work in a co-working facility. Co-working is a style of work that involves a shared working environment. Unlike in a typical office environment, co-workers are usually not employed by the same company. Just a few blocks away from the PGi offices in downtown Austin, I found just the right place for me, the GoLab. At the GoLab in Austin, TX, co-workers can connect in person at monthly happy hours, lunch-in-learns or virtually, in their personal online community, powered by Jive.
Straight from my experience, here are the top 5 reasons you or a teleworker you know should work in a coworking facility:
- Reliability – Creating an office from scratch every morning takes time. Ensuring a strong internet connection, in a quiet location where you feel welcomed (or at least, expected!) is a challenge. Access to other office necessities such as printers, meeting rooms, etc. are also perks you can expect when officing with other workers.
- Community – Depending on the working environment, coworking facilities offer the chance to mingle with your new office mates, either around the water cooler or at social events. At the GoLab in Austin, TX, co-workers can connect in person at monthly happy hours, lunch-in-learns or virtually, in their personal online community, powered by Jive.
- Creativity – A shared work community is the perfect environment to ignite new ideas. Working in close quarters with a variety of roles, from across multiple industries will encourage you to look at a problem from a different perspective.
- Motivation – While every teleworker is different, simply being in the presence of other eager workers can give most a spring in their step and the energy they need to finish a presentation or solve that difficult problem.
- Networking – Networking is made easy when you work in a “think tank” of creative professionals. New clients, referrals and business opportunities are just a desktop away and in many coworking facilities, working together on business ventures is encouraged.
Be sure to check out PGi’s latest edition of the Global Telework Survey to learn more about telecommuting trends around the world.