The Art of the Working Vacation: Where to Find Short-Term Co-Working Spaces

Route 66 Remote Work

Ndevr has joined a number of other companies in allowing employees to take longer vacations if they are able to work some of the time while they are on the road. Just about every major population center now has a variety of co-working spaces, but finding one that offers short-term rentals by the day or the hour is a little trickier.

In this post we’d like to highlight some of the locations we’ve found to be best for such working vacations, and how to find a workspace on the go without having to hope the nearby Starbucks isn’t full up.

Using Shared Workspace Services In Major Cities

Major cities around the world, particularly centers of business, are well-served by a number of different apps and web-based marketplaces that connect working nomads with places to temporarily park that rent space by the hour or by the day. Some of the most prominent of these apps and sites are ShareDesk, DesksNearMe and WorkSnug.

For those specifically looking at a vacation in New York, London or Berlin, you can add Deskcamping to that list. If you’re going to Asia, Africa or Europe, also check out Share Your Office and Seats2Meet.

Cities With Good Public Universities

Generally speaking, city or county libraries are not a reliable choice for remote work unless you’ve been able to personally scout them beforehand. They frequently have issues with limited seating, limited power outlet availability, no WiFi for those who don’t hold library cards (which usually require an ID from that state to obtain), spotty and overloaded WiFi, and disruptions due to serving as a de facto daytime homeless shelter.

University libraries are a completely different story. If it’s a public school, generally the library will be open to the general public as well. These libraries are larger, offer more seating and outlets, and very often have WiFi for guests. They also usually have large “quiet areas” and are open for longer hours and more days of the week than city libraries are.

The only time they may be problematic to use is in the week or so prior to midterms and finals, when they tend to be jam-packed all day. Also keep in mind that though many are open 24 hours during the school semester, they nearly always have a cut-off time at night after which only students who have valid school IDs are allowed in.

In addition to major universities and colleges, don’t overlook cities that have community or junior colleges — these campuses often have library facilities that are just as nice as the larger schools.

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Free Co-Working Spaces

Completely free spaces for workers are a bit more spotty to find, but they are out there.

New York and San Francisco are two of the best places to find them. For example, Wix hosts lounges in both cities usable by anyone who has a site with them, even their free sites. The only catch is you’ll need to apply in advance for a four-month membership at each location, but it is at no cost to you.

San Francisco also has several “hacker spaces” that are free to all comers and are first-come first-served. These are generally supported by either voluntary donations or a private sponsorship of some sort.

It is also possible to find co-working businesses that will let you use their space for a week or more if you volunteer a couple of hours working at their reception desk. In addition to SF and NY, some other cities that have arrangements like this include Oakland, Austin and Chicago.

Work At The Beach

With enough battery power, a WiFi hotspot and a good solar charger, you could potentially work from any sunny vacation area indefinitely. Just be sure to keep sand out of your devices!

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