- Rural coworking is expected to grow in the coming years.
- Rural coworking spaces can help boost local economies and support local entrepreneurs.
- Freelancers, digital nomads, and local community members can benefit from the remoteness of rural coworking spaces as these spaces are great for concentration and to reconnect with nature.
As of May, 2019, there were approximately over 35,000 flexible workspaces in the entire world. From now until 2022 the number of coworking spaces is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6% in the US and 13% elsewhere. You can read more coworking stats here.
Coworking is here to stay. And although the majority of the growth we’ve seen in the last few years has been in large and medium cities across the world, coworking is growing beyond the borders of cities and metropolitan areas, into remote, rural areas.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve increasingly seen how rural coworking has become a hot topic among the coworking industry. It’s been discussed in various conferences around the world, from GCUC USA, GCUC Canada, Workspaces Day, and Coworking Europe, among others.
One of the main benefits of rural coworking is how they help impulse and boost the economy of local communities. Even when in truly remote areas, rural coworking spaces become a source of employment, and more importantly, they become a space where local community members can develop and launch new companies, which can lead to new opportunities (economic and personal). Additionally, because these spaces tend to be located in remote areas, they lean on local vendors and businesses to acquire equipment for their spaces (from furniture, produce, to office supplies).
Last but not least, these spaces become a place of education and professional growth. Coworking spaces are known for hosting a variety of events, including workshops and seminars that can help professionals develop new skills. Moreover, during Coworking Europe 2019 we learned that most rural coworking spaces rely on a mixture of public and private funds to operate. Having public funds means that these space operators have access to a network of experts in various fields and investors that they could potentially connect with members.
The benefits of rural coworking abound for local communities as they do for digital nomads and coworking members.
Because of their remote nature, these spaces have less distractions, making them perfect for focused work. For international visitors, these coworking spaces can serve both a vacation and work purpose; it’s the perfect retreat for those who need to work on a project intensely but want to do it from a place where they can take a break and reconnect with nature.
4 Truly Remote Coworking Spaces around the World
Before we introduce you to these coworking spaces, it’s worth noting that three out of four share one common element (besides their being rural coworking spaces): they’re both coworking and coliving spaces at the same time. It makes sense, as remote areas are typically some ways from hotels and restaurants.
KoHub is a coworking and coliving space located in Koh Lanta, an island south west of the coast of Thailand. Getting to this island requires at least one ferry trip and a couple of hours of driving.
The space is located right next to the beach, it’s the perfect getaway for those who enjoy tropical vacations. KoHub offers a coliving and coworking package, which includes private accommodations, food twice a day, community discounts in Koh Lanta, and more.
Despite their remote location, KoHub offers fast, secure, and reliable wifi through fibre optic connections. Islands around the world are known for having regular power outages, however KoHub reports that power in Koh Lanta is stable, with power cuts happening an average of once a month. But fear not, they have two back up generators, so you should be connected and able to work 24/7.
2. Arctic Coworking Lodge
The Arctic Coworking Lodge was officially launched just a year and a half ago, on June 1st, 2018. The coworking and coliving space is located in Norway’s Lofoten Islands, which are known for the midnight sun, polar nights, deep glassy fjords, and the aurora borealis.
The Arctic Coworking Lodge claims that those visiting will not find an office with a better view. The space is equipped with fibre broadband as well as 4G connection.
To get to Lofoten Islands, you’ll need to fly to Oslo, then from Oslo to Leknes and then rent a car. The lodge is about a 20 minute drive away from the Leknes airport.
You can read more about Arctic Coworking Lodge here, and if you want to hear the founder’s take on what it takes to build a remote space in the arctic circle, click here.
Founded in 2015, Fjellflyt is a coworking space located in the Vågå municipality in rural Norway. Vågå is part of the Gudbrandsdal region, it is approximately four hours away driving from Oslo, and has around 3,720 inhabitants.
Fjellflyt was founded with the goal to help people from rural and urban areas launch and run sustainable businesses. Part of the value proposition of Fjellflyt is that it offers courses for entrepreneurs and those who would like to embark on the entrepreneur path.
You can read more about Fjellflyt and its founder Torill Bye Wilhelmsen here.
CocoVivo is a coworking and coliving space in Isla San Cristóbal, Panama, which is part of the Bocas del Toro archipelago. This is a truly remote location, as there are no roads in Isla San Cristóbal, so to get there and move around, you need a boat.
The space is environmentally friendly and it prides itself on using solar panels for electricity and rainwater as its main water source. CocoVivo offers coworking retreats for freelancers and digital nomads, as well as corporate retreats for larger teams. The space offers reliable wifi, as well as indoor and outdoor meeting and work space.