Digital Nomad Co-Working Sounds Great: But, Here’s What I Learned as Former Full-time Blogger

The Washington Post article…

Digital Nomads Choose Their Tribes

…paints an idyllic picture of working outside of the usual office/cubicle environment: Pool-side, coffee shops and other public places. But, having worked as a full-time blogger up until this past spring, I can tell you that while having non-traditional workplace options can be a lot of fun, there are challenges too.

The co-working aspect that the Post article focuses on solves one big problem of working in public places: Someone to watch your stuff when you need to take a bio-break or just get up to buy another cup of coffee, juice or soda. On the other hand, having a nomad co-worker actually exacerbates a frequent problem for nomad workers: Arriving at your planned public working place to find that there it is so crowded that you can’t find any place to sit and work.

I never tried co-working during my full-time blogging stint. But, I think if I did, one possible issue with co-working is that your co-worker may not be available for any number of good reasons: In-person meetings, vacation, illness, business travel, etc. That might throw some of your routines off quite a bit (like having someone to watch your stuff when you take a bio-break).

One person quoted in the Post article co-works only once a week. That, to me, seems more manageable than doing so everyday. I would probably do that or, perhaps, a twice a week (Mondays to get some idea stimulation and Fridays to debrief discuss the course of pursing those ideas over the week).

There is the problem that some work and people really don’t need much in=person discussion. Having spent much of my working life as a software developer and technology writer, I’ve found that once I’m in the “zone” (whether coding software or writing words), I dislike being interrupted. And, if I am interrupted, it might take 10 to 20 minutes (or more) to get back in the “zone”.