Coworcation: The most productive holiday you can take.
So, what if you’re self-employed and summer vacation is more along the lines of looking at endless piles of paperwork, daily trips in your hot car on the way to work, and the only exotic destination you’re going is to the depths of your email account. Those deadlines are not going to meet themselves, and it seems that maybe taking a holiday will have to wait until next year…or maybe not.
Deskmag recently posted an article about coworking on islands that focused on coworking spaces that offer a professional paradise for those living in places like Bali or Hawaii. From the enthusiastic response we got from coworkers worldwide, it seems the majority of coworkers would just love to have the opportunity to pack up and take their business to the beach, even if it’s just for a few weeks. Luckily, you don’t need to turn your whole life upside down to enjoy the good life while still getting things done, because The Surf Office and Sunny Office are here to offer you a little piece of pop-up paradise.
Michal Kostal, co-founder of The Surf Office, is taking a major step when combining holidays and coworking. “We would like to achieve a balance for people who are coming from a coworking environment, and also for those employees who are simply feeling burnt-out, ” Kostal told Deskmag.
For Katja Andes, the mind behind Sunny Office, having the ability to freely work where you want is one of the best parts of coworking. After quitting her job last November, she decided to take advantage of her newfound freedom, skip the harsh German winter, and book a flight to the South of Spain. “Once I was there I started to meet cool people, but I knew I was missing some coworkers. I realized that I didn’t want to be alone with nobody to discuss my projects with,” Andes told Deskmag.
Andes took matters into her own hands, and began to scout out locations that would suited for coworkers, focusing on a strong internet connection and a space with private and public areas. Kostel also stressed the importance of having a strong Wifi connection, to fuel a proper productive environment, while reaping the benefits of having the beach only a 5-minute walk away.
Found along the coast of Gran Canaria, this coworking paradise, if you haven’t already gathered from the name, involves a lot of surfing, but also the opportunity to get work done. The Surf Office came out of a passion for the sport but also the practical realization that we all need funds to pursue our passions in life. “Our project is perfect for individual freelancers or startup groups who are looking to work on a project for a certain period of time,” explained Kostal. And what better way to gain inspiration then is combining the philosophy of coworking with a unique environment.
When it came to building a network, Kostal tapped into a network that was familiar. He has been running surf camps in France and Spain for a while now, and the surfing enthusiast is also the co-founder of the Slovak Surfing Association, which brings the joy of riding waves to Slovakia. In combination with a friend, who is a veteran coworker, the two combined their respective passions and set up shop in Gran Canaria, based on the near perfect weather conditions.
For Andes her original network was found within “Idea Camp”, a company that she founded herself, comprised of entrepreneurs exchanging ideas developing their projects. After taking a few months to get a feel of how people would respond to the idea of coworking abroad, Andes took the plunge. “I found a cool house to establish Sunny Office and people who wanted to join. So after this initial proof of concept, I then started looking for good places for teams. Right now I am starting to plan for this autumn, where I would like to start for doing a program around 2 weeks, to get people together, especially in Spain and in Portugal,” said Andes.
If you are strapped for cash, prices remain fair, and include workspace and accommodation. Both Kostal and Andes value the local feel of the locations as well, by choosing places where there aren’t so many tourists, so you can enjoy the benefits of an island vacation with a touch of peace and quiet.
It’s not too late to book a flight and take a coworcation, especially with The Surf Office officially open since the beginning of the month and The Sunny Office preparing for the coming winter. Even seasoned coworkers could enjoy this fresh approach to coworking.
“I think one of the points that defines us, is that we are not a classic coworking space that is building local community. We want to focus mostly on people who want to move for a period of time and then go back home, so it’s not so much local, but more a temporary pop-up community,” explained Kostal.
For Andes, the ability to come and go is also in the cards, and she told Deskmag that her dream is to have between 2 to 3 fixed locations where people can go and work throughout the winter.
"I think for people who have a hard time detaching from their computer or don’t have the time to take proper vacation, it’s a perfect option. During the last Sunny Office, we had 2 very productive weeks, but everybody was completely relaxed by the end," said Andes.