The era of borderless working is in full swing. Despite a global pandemic, or maybe because of it, the surge of interest in migrating to new digitally-powered geographies is a trend that has important significance to countries in the region that strive to attract professionals with new talent, bringing new ideas and energy.
The centerpiece to the digital migrant experience is the co-working space – a physical location that provides the crucial backbone to the entire experience. The global coworking industry is expected to grow in value from US$8.14 billion in 2021 to US$13.03 billion by 2025 according to a recent Research and Markets report.
We evaluated several dozen co-working spaces, and looked at criteria including:
- Basic provisions – The space provided and quality of seating, the speed of the internet connection, food and drink on offer or nearby
- Location – From beachside the mountainside, we looked at the some of the most inspiring coworking locations in the region
- Creative environment – How the space enabled professional cooperation, knowledge-sharing and networking
A cabin at CocoVico, Panama
CocoVivo is for the adventurous. This eco resort, hidden on the southern point of the island, is some 30 minutes by speedboat from the nearest town and offers total closure from the world.
CocoVivo was founded to be off-grid and sustainable. The retreat’s electricity is powered by solar energy as is the WiFi connection, and so it is asked that you use these resources only when you need them. Internet speeds do have limitations, so this should be considered for those who use frequent video meetings.
Most cabins are built on the edge of the lagoon, and behind them is only jungle. Wildlife, including snakes and spiders, is part of the experience.
Sand & Surf offers simple but practical coworking spaces on Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Coast that offers views onto the sea from the office window. Once the working day has ended, users can take a short stroll down to the beach and hit the waves.
There’s the communal area where coffee and snacks can be had, or for those who need private spaces, single or double offices can be rented on a weekly or monthly basis.
Play House is a fun and friendly coworking and coliving space in the heart of the La Florista area of the Ecuadorian capital, Quito. The women founded space promotes inclusivity for all visitors and is LGBQT+ friendly.
Play House is a hive of start-up activity where members are encouraged to mix with local entrepreneurs and share knowledge for the benefit of the local startup scene.
The space supports a range of social and technological NGOs from the local area and that helps foster a strong community all members can dial into.
When people picture Colombia’s verdant, rolling hills, Quindio is where they’re thinking of.
Selina, a hostel chain with locations across Europe and Latin America, is a great choice for Nearshore professionals who want to network and meet other digital natives. There’s a very friendly feel to all Selina locations and Quindio is no exception.
Though Selina is at heart a hostel, it’s a far cry from a backpacker’s hostel, instead offering a more luxurious stay. There are ample co-working spaces in Quindio and the coffee bar is fuelled by beans from the hostel’s on-site plantation.
Urban Station has several offices across Santiago (not to mention other Latin American countries) but the Manuel Montt branch stands out for its prime location close to major universities and museums, close transport links with the Manuel Montt metro station and a welcoming atmosphere that users feel immediately upon entering.
Private office spaces are available for those who need them while long tables in the casual area provide generous spaces for group activity. With good security measures and parking for bicycles, it’s an ideal space to get work done while in Santiago.
Palermo Soho in the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires, is one of the city’s most vibrant areas, with cafes strewn about the streets, local artists on show and restaurants and bars aplenty.
La Maquinita has grown to eight locations across Argentina, but the Palermo Soho branch was the original and, as many argue, still the best. A real strength of the La Maquinita is its community and it’s a great place for the digital nomad to meet like-minded people. It’s a traditionally-styled co-working space; think WeWork, but even more casual.
La Maquinita features the kind of amenities you’d expect of a shared working space: meeting rooms that accommodate up to 12 people, parking spaces for bikes, coffee and drinks bars, and a refreshment kiosk run on an honesty policy.
Residencia’s slick modern look and ergonomic furniture sets a comfortable but professional atmosphere for the digital nomad in need of a hot desk.
You’ll find the usual amenities at Residencia but the location is what makes it unique. Nestled in the Cercado district of the city, it’s just a short walk from the beach where some fresh air can help clear the head after hours staring at a computer screen. With metro links close by it’s also an easy place to arrive to, and a good base to get anywhere else in Lima.
Views direct to the Volcán de Agua are not a bad backdrop for a cowering space. Antigua is a small colonial town around 90 minutes drive from Guatemala City and offers a refreshing break from the manic capital.
There are solid amenities to be used and a beautiful local area to explore. Impact Hub, a truly global chain of cowering spaces, oversees operations and runs a tight ship. Memberships are easy to access and all information clear.
Kupuri Beach Club in Punta Mita – located less than an hour away from Puerto Vallarta International Airport – provides a superb option for a short trip from the US.
The high-end club claims to “set a new standard for oceanfront enjoyment” and features private office spaces and amenities built with digital nomads – singles and those with families – in mind. Aside from the high-speed internet security, there is a pool for the toddlers and an air-conditioned clubhouse for teenagers. An assortment of activities like paddle boarding and snorkelling that are trainer-led means that the kids are looked after while you’re taking remote meetings from the beach overlooking Litigu Bay.
It’s open from 11am to 7pm local time each day, while the onsite restaurant offer food service from 11am to 5pm.
Not a bad place to forget about the commute!