In today’s work revolution, digital nomads are a hot topic that have taken a good chunk of the spotlight. The idea of work + travel is a dream come true for many, and with the necessary technology to make this work and lifestyle sustainable available to most, it’s no surprise that digital nomads are rising in number.
Yet, as the trend keeps rising, blog posts about the perks and downsides of digital nomadism increase in number as well. One challenge that seems to be consistent in most digital nomad accounts is the difficulty of finding a good and reliable internet connection.
While in places like Europe and the US it’s easy to find fast internet almost anywhere, truth is, many regions (my hometown included) don’t have the necessary infrastructure and bandwidth to offer fast or strong internet connectivity. This means that going to a coffee shop to work isn’t as good an idea in Manila as it is in Zurich.
Just to put it into perspective, Akamai 2015 Q3 State of the Internet Report (published Dec. 2015) shows that the average internet speed in the Philippines is 2.8 Mbps., while in Switzerland it’s 16.2 Mbps.
Why this is relevant for workspace operators
Flexible workspace operators tend to have reliable internet and wifi connection, no matter where they’re located. Granted, the speed is still going to be slower in Manila than in Zurich, but operators will probably have more internet bandwidth in their locations than coffee shops do (this, in principle, is also true in the US and Europe). If operators reach digital nomads about their centers, chances are they’re likely to check them out and use them for however long they stay in the area.
Yesterday, we published an article emphasizing the importance of operators working together to prevent big brands from monopolizing the industry. Networks like Preferred Office Network and Alliance Business Centers Network, as well as programs like the Coworking Visa* are ways in which independent operators have been collaborating together to attract clients globally.
These networks or programs can prove to be of advantage when trying to position your location to digital nomads. Take for example the Alliance Access Pass; this pass allows clients of ABCN members to use any other member location free of cost. An appealing deal that might catch the eye of digital nomads; it guarantees finding a reliable workspace location without sacrificing much time and more money.
The Coworking Visa works similarly, except that instead of offering different types of workspace locations, it offers only coworking spaces; but the end result is the same, clients are able to conduct business in various locations around the world without incurring extra costs.
Today’s work revolution along with its inclination for remote work has allowed the industry to grow. The flexible workspace market is now more broad than ever, and with digital nomads rising in numbers, operators need to start thinking about marketing to them to not lose potential clients to hotels and coffee shops that don’t necessarily offer the benefits (and reliable internet connectivity) that workspaces do.
*Both the Alliance Access Pass and the Coworking Visa have some limitations on hours and days per month that they can be used. Workspace price of ABCN member locations will vary from country to country, but some options might be suitable for digital nomads.
**Disclaimer: Officing Today’s parent company is the Alliance Business Centers Network.