Virtual Coworking: How is it Beneficial for Digital Nomads? — Andy Sto

What is a coworking space?

Before we get ahead of ourselves let’s take a look at what makes a physical coworking space what it is. It’s pretty much a neutral space that has various components of a normal office, but it’s used for individuals or small teams, rather than a single organization. While coworking spaces always include things like desks, private offices, conference rooms, Wi-Fi, printers, etc. they also usually have other amenities as well. These can include a break room with coffee, tea, and snacks available, 3D printers, and even business coaches and advisors.

Why do people use coworking spaces?

For some, the biggest draw to coworking spaces are the amenities that they can provide — like the ones previously mentioned for example. However, for others, there are some other reasons and less tangible ones. This includes lower overhead costs, increased flexibility, reduced commute, work by yourself but not alone, cost efficiency, increased creativity, and increased collaboration. These are just a few reasons that people or organizations may choose to use coworking spaces. It is likely a combination of both the amenities that are offered as well as the other intangible advantages that come along with coworking spaces that can help a business succeed, whether it’s a one-person company or multi-team organization.

What is a virtual coworking space?

It’s pretty crazy that not long ago the concept of coworking spaces became mainstream — far-flung from the first shared hackerspaces in Berlin in 1995. And now the new concept is already making a shift to becoming remote itself. But if a coworking space was to address the problems of working remotely, then what is a virtual coworking space and why should someone use it?

What are the benefits of a virtual coworking space?

Since a virtual coworking space provides a modern solution to the modern problems of remote working, there are a variety of benefits of using a coworking space. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be much use for such platforms. The benefits and how impactful they are can depend on how a virtual coworking space is used and if it’s an individual, team, or an entire organization that uses it.

Reduced Costs

The costs are much lower in almost every aspect, no matter the user. For organizations and teams, it can reduce overhead costs by a significant margin as it takes away the expense of a physical office or even a physical coworking space. While traditional coworking space is already cheaper than a whole office, the prices for a month can still easily be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the location and desired amenities. A virtual coworking space can be free if you do a DIY version or use a free platform, although it will be a bare-bones version. But you can get a comprehensive plan on a platform like Sococo for as little as $25.00 per month, which is only a tiny fraction of the cost of even a physical coworking space.

Increased Flexibility

In the same vein as the previous point, it allows you to work from anywhere. You can work from a café, bar, home, library, train, or plane. Pretty much anywhere that you have access to Wi-Fi, you can work. If you already have a subscription to a normal coworking space, you can even get super meta and join a virtual coworking space from your physical one. This may actually be quite practical if you like the physical amenities of a normal coworking space, but the rest of your team is located around the world and you work in the virtual version as well. All of these are possibilities when it comes to using a virtual coworking space.

Increased Collaboration

If you are dependent upon Zoom, Skype, or MS Teams meetings for your collaborations you may be hindering yourself. While these tools are very good for meetings and to have discussions, they are limited to those that can participate and the ease with which people can come and go. When you are on a call on these platforms you generally don’t have the call open all day. If you use a virtual coworking platform each team member can work independently and then quickly call people together in the virtual conference room, or even just go sit next to them in the virtual open office and ask them a question and have a quick brainstorm. It can allow for a similar kind of interaction as you would find in a physical office.

Less Isolation

One of the primary benefits associated with an online-first coworking space is that you won’t feel as isolated as compared to working alone in a home office. This is because there are people around you in the virtual space. Just pressing a button can let you interact with others that are in the same space. You can look at the virtual map of the floorplan to see where anyone is at a given point in time.

Location Independent

Since it’s a virtual space it can help to alleviate the pressures put on decentralized teams. You can still create a sense of community and belonging by mimicking a real-life workspace. So, you can have members in Africa, Europe, and North America all working concurrently and able to quickly talk to each other despite being scattered around the world.

Why you should avoid using a virtual coworking space

Of course, since it’s a virtual realm it has its own set of limitations — particularly related to things that predicated upon a physical presence. Virtual coworking spaces or your home can’t offer the same amenities that a physical coworking space can, like fitness studios, cafés, etc. Also, while it can be good to be able to work with people around the world, perhaps time zone discrepancies make it unfeasible for even virtual coworking to be possible. And lastly, while communicating virtually has gotten close to replacing physical coworking, communication, and collaboration, it’s still not quite as good as when you are physically working with someone.

Three Virtual Coworking Communities You Can Join

If you’re interested in joining a virtual coworking community, here are three of the highest-rated platforms out there. However, there are many more to choose from.

DIY Virtual Coworking Space

While there are platforms that are either free or very reasonably priced that allow you to get the virtual coworking experience, you can also do it yourself. You can make your own virtual coworking space by having a continuous conference call on one of the video call platforms. Or conversely, you can utilize a free tool like and customize your own space. This particular tool allows you to fully customize your space into anything you want. It can include anything from a virtual dancefloor to cubicles. In the modern era, there is certainly no shortage of how you can work remotely.



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