If you´ve never heard of coworking, don´t worry we´ve got you covered. The main concept of coworking is a shared work space. As entrepreneurship and freelance are growing in popularity, expensive office rental prices are diminishing as an option. Instead of paying rent for a space designed for multiple people, digital nomads would hop from hipster coffee shop to coffee shop. This becomes very isolating, mundane, and unproductive. This need in the market and the overall evolution of the modern economy is how coworking was born.
With coworking you pay for what you need. Essentially you pay for your desk and the overall amenities such as free wifi, coffee, among others. Plans can be per day or per month. Every coworking is different aesthetically but the overall environment is the same. The space is designed to be a relaxing, positive environment conducive to work.
The most attractive part of coworking is the community. Shared working spaces are not just a place to work, but a place to collaborate and enjoy life. Many shared office spaces host events such as afterworks and networking events so that coworkers become more familiar with one another and become a community. Even though many coworking spaces provide these extras, it’s important to note that all who work in shared spaces are professionals so the primary objective is to work. A quiet relaxing space is the priority, don´t let the myths fool you.
With over 150 spaces in Spain, it’s safe to say the coworking scene is quite mature. Most cities in the country have a coworking scene including Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, and Seville just to name a few. However, the most notable among these is of course Barcelona. Barcelona has the highest number of coworking spaces and as you might have guessed it the most popular city to work remotely in Spain. This is not just due to its popularity as a warm mediterranean city, but industry wise Barcelona is a huge innovation and tech start up hub. In contrast to the U.S, coworking spaces in Barcelona are locally owned and the payment plans are much flexible and economical. So, whether you are looking for a change in whether, culture, or just a cheaper cost of living, Spain has a multitude of spaces to make sure you get your work done at the same time.
The best way to immerse in a culture is to live and work within a society. Full immersion will be the most rewarding decision you´ve made. However in order to maximize your time in Spain, it’s best to understand and adapt to the cultural differences.
First and foremost Spain as a whole, has many distinct cultures. So the one image you may have of a woman dancing flamenco while you’re downing a sangria, is not Spain. Someone from the northeast of Spain will have a completely different language, cuisine, and customs than somebody from the southwest. It truly is a multinational state. Spanish is not the native language of every Spaniard or the primary language in the region, for example in Barcelona Catalan is spoken. But have no fear, because of this everyone is extremely multilingual and locals are brought up to speak three or more languages including English.
The concept of time is also extremely different. Sometimes this is the hardest concept for Americans to adapt too, yet the best for us. In Spain, time is slower because the focus is enjoying life and relationship building. In the states, we are very focused on time commitments and punctuality, this is how we show our respect to others. Here, it is the opposite. What’s more important is the quality of the time spent with others. If a meeting runs a couple of minutes over, that is fine, but what is rude is to rush the meeting to make other time commitments. Here quality is much more valued over quantity.
The most important lesson you will learn in Spain is to relax and enjoy. As an American, it is ingrained within our society, to move as quickly as possible. So while you’re in Spain slow down. At most coworkings there are events where you can meet internationals and better yet, locals. Utilize these events as your way of immersing yourself in the culture. The contacts you can make at a coworking enhance your local network but can also span across the world. With shared workspaces, you become part of a community. So, your time in Spain becomes less foreign and more like home.