Confessions Of A Digital Nomad: Coworking Passes, Yay Or Nay?

 

As I was travelling through North America exploring coworking spaces, I heard some buzz about subscription services that allow people to work from various coworking or shared workspaces with just one membership.

I was intrigued, it sounded like something that would be right up my alley, especially as I intended to keep travelling to and working from various coworking spaces in different cities and states.

These passes and their technologies are currently available, for the most part, in large cities: Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Boston, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Austin. As coworking and flexible workspace demand continues to grow, these companies will need to extend an arm to smaller markets, and even find ways to make their offerings global.

Part of this will be driven by demand, the other be survival instinct…or so I believe.

Recently, I heard for the first time about Regus Businessworld Membership; which gives Regus clients access to over 3,000+ workspaces on a global scale. And yes, this includes access to Regus’ coworking brand: Spaces.

The industry is likely to see a big wave of consolidation in the near future, and this means larger brands will be able to provide their members with access to space and community in different cities and, even, countries–sort of like what Regus and WeWork currently offer.

Local and independent operators will need to find a way to stay competitive, and these subscription passes might just be the answer. But, as a digital nomad, I can’t help but wonder: will I ever truly be part of the community if I rarely visit the same workspace?

Which leads me to the point of this article, how can individuals use these coworking pass subscriptions and still feel that they’re part of a bigger community?

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As I mentioned in a previous article, I am a big believer in working from the same coworking space for at least a week. I’ve found that anything less has made it challenging to connect to the community.

Connections and relationships, even at the most basic level, take time.

These services typically have a maximum number of days per month that you can work from their spaces. However, the Regus Coworking model is a bit different because they operate all of their own spaces and don’t appear to limit the number of days in a particular location.

For other services that are built as platforms for all coworking spaces, the maximum number of days you can work out of a single space is often set at five days per month. For me, this setup worked, as I do tend to take breaks during the weekend.

My piece of advice for digital nomads or remote workers searching for a new space to work: use all five days in a row at a single space. Trust me, one day is not enough if what you wish is to connect with other users of the space.

If, however, you’re not a digital nomad or a remote worker that moves around a lot, these passes can still be quite useful to you. If you’re looking for a more ‘permanent’ workplace solution, but don’t know which one to choose (let’s be honest, some cities have a plethora of options that make it hard to decide) then a coworking pass can help you find the right fit.

A subscription for multiple spaces gives you an opportunity to sample the coworking environment and make a more informed decision about your long-term workplace.