Coworking has risen in popularity over the past decade. Driven by trends in remote work and “digital nomad” culture, the coworking movement peaked when WeWork, a coworking “start up,” reached unicorn status. Although we have heard a lot lately about the remote work trend rising, there is also an increasing demand for flexible working arrangements suitable for co-working or hybrid work.
The truth is that coworking is growing and has a slew of benefits for entrepreneurs. Coworking remains an especially popular option among freelancers who wish to work around others, small start-up companies that don’t need a huge office space, or “digital nomads,” people who fulfill their dreams of travel and adventure through remote digital work.
Even if you’re mostly working in the office these days, coworking spaces make for excellent design fodder. That’s because coworking buildings need to provide open-office areas, meeting rooms, and private workspaces—all in one—to offer options for quiet, productive, or collaborative environments that serve all its members. Here are a few of the most interesting, unique and functional coworking spots we found. And, since summer is underway, we’re also using this opportunity to take you around the world to some of the best coworking/vacation destinations. Use this list for your next digital nomad adventure or as inspiration for the next office redesign.
Canary Islands – Gato Azul
The Canary Islands are a classic vacation destination, known for beautiful sunny beaches and a quaint atmosphere. If you really want a unique coworking experience, head to Gato Azul (“Blue Cat”) in the cute town of La Orotava on the island of Tenerife.
This beautiful co-working/co-living space is located in an ancient house, with all the classic touches like wooden shutters, wood floors, and an open courtyard. It even features a gorgeous terrace for working or relaxing. Gato Azul notes that it offers “silent, mid-noise and communal working areas,” an extremely important concept when it comes to designing highly functional workspaces. After all, sometimes we need absolute silence for deep work and other times we need a bit more interaction to get those big ideas started.
Plus, if you’d like to stay a while (and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t? This is Tenerife, after all), you’re welcome to book an extended stay in one of Gato Azul’s private or shared rooms.
Thailand – The Hive
With several spaces in Bangkok, The Hive in Thailand offers a stylish interior and gorgeous sweeping views of the city. There’s even a rooftop cafe to keep you caffeinated throughout the day. Plus, the Hive’s combination of indoor and outdoor spaces to relax, converse, and work provides coworking members a nice balanced atmosphere, especially if one needs a break or a change of scenery. Also, there’s an added productivity benefit: switching up our workspace (even the smallest bit) can keep us feeling energized and creative when we’re stuck in a rut.
New York City – The Malin
The Malin’s tagline is “A space to work beautifully”—and they mean it. The coworking spot, in Manhattan (and coming soon to Brooklyn), leaves no detail to chance. According to an interview with The Malin CEO Ciaran McGuigan in Metropolis Mag, one of the space’s main goals was to create “a welcoming workspace with superior craftsmanship and tailored amenities, actually designed for work, with no distractions.” And The Malin seems to have indeed achieved that goal. The colors and materials promote a sense of calm and wellbeing, while varied areas allow you to switch up your workspace based on your needs.
There are also plenty of spaces to take a moment to relax and recharge in the beautiful atmosphere and on the plush furniture. With the New York City hustle and bustle just a step
Berlin – Edge Grand Central
Berlin has really come into its own in recent years as a technology hotspot in Europe. Along with its incredible creative and art offerings, the city’s start up scene has grown immensely. People come from all over the world to work here—whether that’s for a few weeks while experiencing the city’s great clubbing and arts scene or for a longer contract at one of the city’s exciting start ups.
Edge Grand Central is housed alongside the breathtaking central train station (hence the name Edge Grand Central), so it’s especially convenient for those just traveling through. The space offers sweeping open spaces and calm, nature-inspired design focused on wellbeing and productivity.
Cannes – Trendee
If a little bit of Instagram inspo helps you get in the mood to mix work and play, come on down to Trendee in Cannes. This slice of heaven mixes functionality with photograph-worthy design and a cozy home feel. Don’t you want to stay just a little while longer? The green hues and organic-style furniture make this place a relaxed and natural place to work—if you must while on the French Riviera. You can also reserve a meeting room if you need a bit of privacy or are bringing a host of traveling-working companions along.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this (coworking) tour around the world and perhaps even feel inspired to make a trip of your own soon. Whether you’re ready to jet-set or not, looking more deeply at coworking spaces has the potential to help us better design and organize our own workspaces.
When we start to understand how to serve the needs of a wide range of people and teams, we can better provide the varied workplaces needed to make our own offices productive, beautiful, and joyful places to work!