As digital nomads, we've come across a number of different potential working modalities. Some nomads swear by the coworking space and the connections and productivity that it can bring, while others are able to reap the same benefits working from home. What are our thoughts with regards to the coworking or not coworking quandary?
Pros to coworking:
1. Avoid cabin fever!
One of the most awesome things about location-independent work is that you're no longer tied to the office. Your commute consists of the short walk to your desk, and you're no longer stuck in morning traffic. At the same time, there's no watercooler, no office lunches with your coworkers, and no one to chat to in the kitchen if you're stuck on a problem. Depending on how attached you are to these workplace fixtures, working from home might see you taking some...interesting approaches to fill that social void.
Some coworking spaces are quite a bit more social than others, so you might not be able to get your social fix everywhere. In some of the major coworking cities, though, you'll have better chances of finding a coworking space that fits what you're looking for.
2. Network, network, network.
While neither one of us has made connections that has led to additional work through a coworking space so far, we've definitely seeing the networking magic in action when we've worked out of coworking spaces. The real trick here is, again, to make sure that the coworking space is a right fit for your target community. Do you work in software development? Make sure that the space you work out of is full of other dev types! More oriented towards the business side of things? Seek out a space where you can chat business with others. We've found dev spaces that are more tech oriented (i.e. co.up in Berlin, Germany), some that are more focused on business and obtaining funding for early-stage startups (Betahaus, though it has its techies as well), and some that are more of a mix of both (co-work LatAm in Montevideo, Uruguay).
If you're a digital nomad, you're probably traveling light, though if traveling with an 8 kg laser printer filling up your only suitcase is what floats your boat, feel free to skip this section. For the rest of us, though, one of the cons of being on the road is that when you do need a paper copy of something, it can turn into quite an (expensive) adventure. For graphics-oriented folks, who need to see printed out versions of the work they're doing as they progress, this can be worth its weight in gold. All of the coworking spaces we've checked out so far have included printing within their membership fee, and we've made sure to take advantage of it.