As more and more freelancers move into a nomadic lifestyle the need for coworking spaces increases. Luckily there are innovative creators answering the call and setting up their own cowork hotspots across the globe. CoWorkSurf was founded by Nick Mattia and Joe Sharp in Portugal with the mission to unite the coworking lifestyle with the joys of surfing. Coworker caught up with the guys to find out what led them to start their own coworking space and why CoWorkSurf should be on every nomad’s hit list.
How did you get introduced to Coworking?
Joe: I discovered coworking when I went freelance. In a really weird coincidence, I lived above Maple Works in London but I wasn’t sure what it was. I went in and it turned out to be really nice and I met some really good people.
Nick: Basically, Joe introduced me to the concept.
What inspired you to create a CoWorking space of your own?
Nick: We noticed a lot of our friends in Sagres were freelancers and we thought it would be great to get everyone together and also bring in other talented people to the area.
Aside from great surf, how do you choose your locations for CoworkSurf?
Nick: Aside from great surf?
Joe: Erm… No that’s pretty much it.
What makes CoWorkSurf unique?
Nick: I think we’re more than coworking because we’re coliving as well. We have community values and an ethos that make us different to just a coworking space. You don’t just come and work and leave.
Joe: I agree and having group activities like surfing and other outdoor activities bring people together.
What has been the most fun?
Nick: Going surfing with the guests. It’s taking them surfing, having fun and then coming back and getting together to get things done.
And the most challenging?
Joe: Not being able to switch off; we’re on 24/7.
Nick: We’re doing the basic management tasks of running the space whilst trying to think forward to the bigger picture and long-term goals. So mixing the day to day tasks with future thoughts of “what are we going to be doing in a year’s time”.
How do you create a community?
Nick: It just happens!
Joe: I think that’s it. There are scheduled things you can do to create a solid base point or suggest some recommended activities, but people generally form communities. It does just tend to happen!
What are 3 items you can’t travel/work without?
Joe: Telephone, flip flops and…
Nick: A passport?
Joe: Yep, my passport.
Nick: A Credit Card! If you haven’t got one get one, they’re dead useful especially when you’re abroad. Also a guitar. It’s a pain to travel with but when I get somewhere it is one of the first things I go looking for.
Nick: We’re making a network of locations where people can just move around the world working and surfing freely with a subscription. We’re also running our first CoWorkSurf boat charter in Lombok, Indonesia. Coming soon!
Find out more about CoWorkSurf and their locations on Coworker here.
Interview by Terri Witherden.