Do you enjoy moving around and working in new places, new settings? For some reason I love being able to visit new places, to get the laptop set up and to get to work. I thrive on variety and being around different cultures, as do many of you… Do you find movement energising, that it stimulates creativity? We all need different things in our work environment to help us thrive and this is something I understand more clearly as a result of my explorations in Japan in June/July this year. In Japan, like many things, the co-working sector is highly developed. Part of my trip was about exploring digital nomadism and I liked it… a lot! I tried a range of spaces, all nicely designed, quiet and welcoming, often with a cafe. In most cases, co-working was as simple as turning up and purchasing a casual pass for the day. At some places purchasing a cuppa scored you 2 hours of co-working time.
The challenges of digital nomadism aren’t for everyone. My take home messages are:
~ Be proactive as the digital nomad. Prepare to get up early or stay up late and help your colleagues understand how you can all work together very effectively in this new way of working. I prioritised careful communication about time zones and tried to make the workflows as easy as possible for others e.g. 6am meetings with the nRhythm team in the USA!
~ Different timezones can certainly work in everyone's favour. I can progress something that my client needs overnight if they are on the other side of the world. A colleague in Ireland used to type up my written workshop data while I slept in Australia overnight, that was a win win! I would wake up to find the data ready for report writing.
~ The tech matters! My best investment has been a portable monitor so I can set myself up well physically to avoid injury and to be as efficient as possible.
~ Co-working spaces vary greatly. Pricing, rules, the community. If you want to try co-working, keep looking and you will hopefully find a space that suits your needs. Many offer a 1-day free trial. One co-working space in Kyoto focused upon people working in tech and science... there was a 3D printer for members to use!
To keep my digital nomad explorations going since returning to Australia, I have joined Merge, a welcoming co-working space at the Geelong Arts Centre. I’ve met accountants, designers, coders, actors who are all embracing the benefits of local digital nomadism.
The photos are of:
1. Kamogawa Arts and Kitchen - Kyoto - https://masuya.kyoto/kamogawa/
2. Unknown Kyoto - https://unknown.kyoto/coworking/
3. Lamplight Books - Fukuoka - https://www.lamplightbookshotel.com/
4. Me in sunny Melbourne - work meetings and creative inspiration
For anyone interested in digital nomadism here is a great article in the Harvard Business review, thanks to Rowena Hennigan