Imagine waking up on a beach in and spending the day taking meetings from a bungalow. Or perhaps, working remotely from a space in the Swiss Alps so you can hop on the ski lift after your last call.
This dream isn’t too good to be true. There are coworking spaces located in some of the most beautiful places in the world, inspired by the nature that surrounds them and rich in meaning and connection.
In this article, we’re going to explore the trend of coworking in nature with the help of Optix client, Bad Company. With two locations in New Zealand, they aim to be a collaborative, supportive, focused environment where people can come to both be and do.
Their coworking spaces are in inspiring areas of the world, including near Mount Wanaka, and they capture what it means to have a community connected to each other and the world around them.
We’ll break down coworking spaces in nature including how you can begin to create your own beautiful coworking space inspired by mother nature herself.
What is a nature-inspired coworking space?
Coworking in nature, also known as nature-inspired coworking spaces or destination coworking, is an unofficial term that covers all coworking spaces located in beautiful areas of the world.
Often, the natural environment strongly influences the space itself, inspiring sustainable practices, and a deep appreciation of the beauty of the natural world.
These spaces are likely to have a larger number of day-pass users and transient folks, especially if located in a more remote or touristy area. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t still have a strong community, as we see from Bad Company.
“Bad Company is all heart. A big belief we have - The happier and safer you feel, the smoother our neurological pathways can freely flow. To work for us not against us! Our coworking spaces are curated to nourish productivity, collaboration and community while getting down to your daily hustle.”
How do coworking spaces in nature benefit owners and members?
When it comes to coworking, it’s all about location. Having a coworking space located someplace beautiful is another perk you can offer to your members, and a great acquisition tool to use in your coworking marketing efforts.
Benefits to owners
There are several benefits to having a coworking space immersed in nature for owners and operators including:
- Creates a unique selling point you can use in your marketing materials
- Serves as a point of differentiation from other spaces
- Can help inform your entire business plan and strategy
- Can serve as the foundation of your community building
As we’ve discussed before, your coworking location is likely to have a significant impact on every aspect of your business strategy, including the kind of people you attract and the type of community you cultivate.
“Bad Company spaces are modern sanctuaries for remote workers, digital nomads and independent hustlers who value work-life balance, friendly banter and expansive connections. Inhabited by a colourful mix of humans working in almost every industry you could need a desk for, from independent contractors to whole teams, permanent faces to casual drop-ins.”
Benefits to members
Working in nature can be greatly beneficial for members as well. According to the American Psychological Association, exposure to nature can lower stress, increase positive mood, and improve cognitive function.
This may be why more and more remote workers are opting for workcations, or working while travelling. Employees who choose to indulge in a workcation see benefits like increased productivity, higher job satisfaction, and better quality of life.
Bad Company sees the greatest benefit to their members being the exceptional service they provide. In the words of Tori, “I would never want Bad Company to feel like a glorified internet café, it’s so much more than that.”
“We always have a host present to greet casual users, troubleshoot any practical issues and foster a consistent sense of community. We make a real effort to ensure our members feel supported by the space and connected to the identity we’ve created.”
Use these benefits to build a brand identity and craft messaging that will resonate with the clientele you’re trying to attract.
Services offered when coworking in nature
The services and amenities offered at nature-inspired coworking spaces are largely dictated by where in the world it is located. Here are a few examples of what these spaces offer around the world.
- Discounts on ski lift tickets
- Nature-inspired community events such as mountain biking or surfing
- Bungalows on the beach equipped with high-speed WiFi to work in
Bad Company offers a variety of seating arrangements, video conferencing tools, and a viewing deck to take in the awe inspiring views of the world around them.
Business model of coworking spaces located in nature
The business model of a nature-inspired coworking space is more or less the same as any other coworking space. The primary revenue driver is still selling space in the form of hot desks, dedicated desks, and private offices.
Here are a few things when it comes to making money with this sort of niche:
- Your space is likely to attract travellers and digital nomads, so be sure to have one-time pass options available
- There may be an opportunity to team up with local tourism agencies to acquire customers through partnerships
- If you’re looking to drive revenue with events, consider expanding to include a large event space that could be used for retreats, wedding receptions, and more
As always, consider how your offerings will attract and retain your ideal customer profile.
Key considerations for operators
Be intentional with the location you choose
When it comes to coworking spaces, it’s all about location. Think about how the location you choose will influence every aspect of your business, from the people who walk through your doors to the amenities that you offer.
Consider ways that you can tailor your offerings to fit the needs of your unique clientele. If you’re located by a major ski mountain, can you create member benefits and partnerships to offer discounts on ski lift tickets?
If you’re located by a mountain, can you consider holding group events that hike in the area and help tourisms see a different part of the area?
While you’ll always have locals in your space, it’s important to consider the unique needs of the people who are just passing through.
Keep your mission top-of-mind
Why do you want to open a coworking space in the location that you chose? What is your mission and what is guiding you towards choosing this path?
These are important questions to consider when starting a space. Develop a collective mission that your community can rally around when building your business plan. Let it serve as your north star as you move forward.
“Stay true to what makes you tick and let that trickle down. Holding space for people is an honour and a great responsibility. Keep aligned with your personal integrity and service your community with intention and respect.”
Saying goodbye may be the hardest part
Having a transient community doesn’t mean you won’t have the opportunity to forge deep and meaningful connections. At Bad Company, the community is everything that makes them special, and they’re quick to note the hardest part is saying goodbye.
“Every person that walks through our doors shapes the collaboration, conversations and its collective curiosity. The nature of a revolving door has been a lesson so precious to learn. With coworking being a space for stretching the mind, ideas and progression…there is always the natural step of wishing them well on their next chapter ahead.”
Coworking in nature
Coworking spaces in beautiful areas of the world are primed to support the modern remote worker looking for a change of scenery.
Like we’ve seen from the team at Bad Company, the community and the space you create are likely to be just as special as the area you’re in.
“We see graphic designers sharing tips with lawyers and blockchain builders getting advice from astrologers. Not only does this keep things interesting, it also generates raw creative collaboration that then forms unpredicted solutions. Therefore, chousing expansive humans with leading innovation and problem-solving capabilities. It’s simple folks - We are better together.”
Having a coworking space immersed in the beauty of the natural world creates an opportunity for differentiation and a way to support the community in your space.
Thank you to Bad Company for your contributions to this piece!