Companies, hotels facilitating remote work with reliable internet, coworking spaces
The digital nomad lifestyle is exhausting.
There, I said it. Not what you want to hear, having dreamed of lifting anchor and working anywhere you can find a decent internet connection. With many companies expanding the ability to work remotely, it’s now easier than ever – in some ways – to work while traveling the world. But figuring out where to live and how long to stay, and how to make sure you’ll have decent Wi-Fi, are daunting enough topics to require you to unpack your bag (or pack whatever you have and head home). .
Sure, you can stay in Airbnbs, hostels, and monthly rentals, but there’s a catch: you need to plan your stay in advance. You need arrival and departure dates. And what if you want to leave early and move on? Luckily, plenty of companies have popped up to solve these headaches (albeit at an additional cost). They try to provide comfortable and reliable accommodation for people on the move. I’ve tried a few over the past year – and I’m still on the lookout for more. Here is my take on these good, albeit imperfect, solutions.
First there is Landing, which is an extensive network of furnished rentals in cities and suburbs across the United States. The principle is simple: a lease gives you access to the entire network and, with a few exceptions, all you need is 30 days’ notice to move into a new unit. . Once you’re there, you can stay up to seven days free at the piers available elsewhere in the country each year.
I moved into a Landing unit in Denver in March 2021 with only two days notice and it was by far the best apartment I have ever lived in. The furniture was nice and comfortable, and the company really had a knack for the finer details — it was stocked with dish soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, snacks, candles, all brand new.
Overall the experience was extremely positive, although I did notice some business growth issues during my stay. Landing works with apartment building managers across the country. He announces units and then provides them when someone bites. It’s not a perfect system: When I booked a new stay in a unit in a more walkable part of Denver, the building management company had already rented it. Luckily Landing had another unit, but my moving dates were shifted at the last second. The company sent me a gift card for food delivery as an apology, and I even considered us. Later, when I asked to stay at a Landing in New York to test my travel allowance, there were no units available. Again, Landing sent a gift card to compensate.
I had to call the company rental agents more than a dozen times in the three months I lived in the Landing units, and each time I came away feeling like I was winning, even when I had been inconvenienced. On top of all that, Landing offers monthly freebies for members (I got a bottle of jalapeño grapefruit liquor and a houseplant). I enjoyed the experience very much.
Also, while living in Denver, I gave pass a lap. Much like an Airbnb for office spaces, Deskpass is a subscription service that grants you a set number of valid days on a nationwide network of coworking spaces. It also operates in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. You are looking for a space on the Deskpass application, book and introduce yourself. There is no need to manage daily rates or multiple short-term subscriptions. A well-designed coworking space can provide a blissful moment during an otherwise chaotic trip, and in my experience, it’s well worth the investment to separate work and pleasure, especially when you live on the road.
I also tried blue background, which is a more global competitor to Landing. Blueground has units in several US cities, including Denver, New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles, as well as London, Paris, Athens, Istanbul, Berlin, Madrid, Dubai, and other locations around the world. The concept is similar: sign a lease and you can move from one unit to another in the world.
I spent around three months in a Blueground flat in London last summer (full disclosure: I received a reduced media rate) while looking for a solution to a tricky problem: I thought I’d be staying in London for a while , but I couldn’t easily get a lease for an apartment as a foreigner on a tourist visa. Blueground eliminates this bureaucracy. Booking an apartment is more complicated than booking a hotel room or Airbnb, as it involves a lease. By using Blueground, you don’t have to provide referrals and pay months in advance, as is often the case. In London, many landlords ask you to pay for your entire stay up front if you are not working full time for a UK company. So while it’s expensive, using a company like Blueground is a valid option for long-term stays.
Like Landing, Blueground is experiencing growing pains. For example, in Europe the company usually works with individual landlords rather than building managers, and when my AC unit started leaking, Blueground had a hard time getting in touch with the landlord. It took a few days to fix the problem. Blueground is expanding its network, so tenants who want to try out cities around the world would do well to explore its options.
Whichever way you choose to hop on the digital nomad train – or even if you just want to try an extended stay somewhere new – you can be sure you’ll get hiccups along the way. (Sometimes ask me, over a drink, to tell you about the saga of a four-day blackout in an apartment rented from a private individual!). But these and other companies will make life on the road a little easier if you’re willing and able to pay a little more for someone else to take care of the logistics.
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