Digital nomads head to co-working spaces like Naked Hub, LExC or WeWork to get the job done while travelling for work.
By Lee Mylne
Not every business traveller has access to a company office while interstate or overseas. For many, working on the road used to mean being stuck in an uninspiring hotel room or business centre, or hunting for a cafe with power points and wi-fi. Now, however, a boom in co-working spaces is changing the menu.
Whether you want an office or meeting space for a catch-up with clients, or a desk where you can work for a day, a week or a month, co-working spaces offer the facilities business travellers need. Many are part of membership-based networks that let you access co-working spaces around the world as part of the package.
You can use websites such as Coworker and Kowrk to track down co-working spaces in your destination, complete with pricing, user ratings and reviews. Alternatively, kickstart your search with some of these networks.
If you’re headed to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore or Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), check out The Hive's co-working spaces.
The Hive Thonglor in Bangkok spans six floors in the busy Sukhumvit district. It has hot desks, offices and meeting rooms, as well as a large sunny garden terrace with sofas and lounge chairs. Additionally, in true Thai style, it has massages at The Hive Spa on its first floor – a brilliant way to chase away the stresses of the day. (Hive membership gives a 50 per cent discount on massages.)
The Hive group also boasts six locations in Hong Kong, making it the largest co-working enterprise in the city. The well-located Wan Chai branch is about four minutes’ walk from the MTR station.
Naked Hub Hunan Lu, in the leafy, former French Concession area of Shanghai, is one of 20 Naked Hub spaces in China, Hong Kong and Vietnam. It is close to the Shanghai Library Metro stop and surrounded by cafes, restaurants and parks.
The price includes all the essentials: fast wi-fi, meeting rooms, lockers and showers. There are also extras such as a large-format printer and an event space for up to 150 people. It’s China, so there’s a ping-pong room, too.
In July 2017, Naked Hub announced plans to merge with JustCo, the largest co-working space operator in Singapore, to create a footprint of 41 locations in six countries, including Malaysia and Indonesia.
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LExC: League of Extraordinary Co-working Spaces
LExC (pronounced lek-see) has spaces in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide), New Zealand (Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch), Bali, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Gdansk, Paris, London and Manchester, across the US, and in Buenos Aires and Brazil’s Florianopolis.
Spaces offer amenities such as kitchens, lockers, showers, meeting spaces and bike racks. Book online before you arrive.
Sydney start-up TwoSpace turns areas in restaurants and bars that would normally be closed during the day into funky, comfortable co-working spaces. Vibe Hotels is the first hotel group in Australia to partner with TwoSpace, offering sections of its relaxed dining and bar area at Vibe Rushcutters Bay in Sydney to TwoSpace subscribers to use as a co-working space.
TwoSpace co-founder Tashi Dorjee says the hotel is a great place for like-minded people to work together, with plenty of natural lighting and great views.
“It is also great value-add for any hotel guests wanting to tap into the Sydney start-up community,” Dorjee says.
There is a growing number of TwoSpace locations in Sydney and Melbourne, with plans to open next in Singapore.
Work Club Global
Founded by Danish-born entrepreneur Soren Trampedach, with workspaces in Sydney and Melbourne, Work Club now provides members with access to spaces across 10 countries.
Its growing network includes affiliate spaces around the globe in Auckland, Shanghai, Dubai, Bahrain, London, Copenhagen, Munich, Lagos and Nairobi.
Five types of Work Club Global membership are available, from a Visiting Membership that admits you for four days a month (Sydney and Melbourne only) through to Premium Membership for 24/7 access to clubs across the network.
The world’s largest name in co-working spaces is WeWork, launched six years ago, and currently boasting more than 100,000 members. After establishing itself in the US and Europe, WeWork now has more than 200 spaces in 50 cities including those in Hong Kong, China, South Korea, India, the UK and Australia, with Japan and Singapore on the horizon.
In the US, there are 23 cities to choose from, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Washington.
The network also operates in Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Israel.
Membership fees start at US$45 per month, depending on your location and access requirements.
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