Coworking our way around the world
by Nader Luthera
About a month ago I started a social experiment. I decided to continue working but no longer be confined to any particular place, and I created coworktheworld.com so I could include anyone else wanting to participate and travel to work at coworking spaces all over the world.
Many new companies are now 100% remote, like Automattic, the makers of WordPress. The number of people who work from home or work remotely is now setting record highs, with Australia citing over half their population as digital workers who use the internet to either work from home or on the go. As more employers continue to lower their overhead costs and incentivize their staff with remote working opportunities, it is expected that we will only continue to see a rise in coworking spaces and remote workers.
What started out as a social experiment seems to have turned into a random act of startup-ness. coWork the World is an ambitious project involving over 20 destinations, six continents, and seven legs of the journey over a full year, kicking off May 1, 2016. Participants can apply for any or all legs of the journey. We’ll take in Europe including Eastern Europe; North America; South America; South Africa, India and South East Asia; and Australia and New Zealand. Each leg of the trip lasts for different durations, from 30 days to 80 days.
Ultimately, the idea behind coWork the World is to gather a group of like-minded people so we can travel together and work. It takes care of the isolation challenge many solo travelers and entrepreneurs face. Since inception, we’ve received dozens of applications from startup entrepreneurs, bloggers, corporate employees and other remote workers. It truly is an exciting time.
It may sound difficult and expensive, but spending a year traveling and working actually is quite feasible. The work I do, whether digital, consulting, reporting, dreaming, strategizing, thinking (yes, thinking requires a lot of work), e-commerce, startups, blogging, and social media management, can all be done remotely using my mobile and laptop. These are the most important tools I need to get things done, and as long as I have these and some decent data coverage, I can be anywhere. As for expense, in large part it depends on where you go. You wouldn’t go and set yourself up in the center of Manhattan when Tallinn, where I recently worked for a week, may be a more practical location.
Managing your budget is key to success as a digital nomad, “freedompreneur” or remote worker. Depending on where you live, the good news is that many other countries have a much better cost of living. As a result, the savings could easily be contributed toward a travel budget for flights, accommodation and transportation.
Much of the planning involved includes forecasting your travels. The most expensive components to travel are flights and accommodation. Where feasible, AirBnB can really help bring accommodation costs down, plus it’s a great way to mingle and live like a local. Going with a group like coWork the World means being able to achieve economies of scale and bring the costs down even further.
The corporate world is waking up to the fact that amongst the thousands of employees on their payroll, many could be more productive via remote operation. The effect of morale alone is enough to increase productivity: let’s not forget about how incredibly happy people would be if they were to be allowed to work from anywhere.
Applications are open so if you or anyone you know might be keen to jump on this journey, simply like, comment, tag or share this post and spread the love. To get your application started and be a part of coWork the World, take a selfie on Instagram and tag @coworktheworld / #coworktheworld, or jump onto coworktheworld.com/apply-now to apply.
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