Nathan Sykes

March 31, 2021

Striking The Balance Between Remote & Not

I like changing up my workspace every week or two. I shift between loving the remote life, working out of a co-working space, working on the road while I'm traveling, to working in-person with a few of my colleagues here at Howdy Interactive (though I'm doing less and less of that now. COVID-19 and all). There are pros and cons to each lifestyle, and I love the flexibility to switch around as I please. It really helps us maintain flexibility.

We used to maintain a physical space before COVID-19 hit, but most of our company was remote anyway (at the time, we were in marketing, and the freelancers/contractors that allowed us to provide our service worked remotely from any of our locations). The pandemic shuttered our physical space, and we all shifted toward remote. It turns out, it was so great that we decided to let the lease expire! Everyone who works at Howdy still works remotely and enjoys a life of asynchronous communication.

I've since fallen in love with WeWork, which has replaced my need for a physical office that we own/lease ourselves. It combines a physical workspace, fast wifi, and people to talk to for like $300/mo/employee. It's the first solution I've really seen that's a scaleable solution. Every WeWork I walk into is exactly the same - same furniture, same drinks, same wifi network, and you get 24/7 access. You can pretend like you have offices in every major market without owning a penny of real estate. It's super awesome. I'm writing this from the rooftop terrace of a WeWork in Austin, a block away from the Texas Capitol.


I was in Austin to meet with Zach, our technical director for my film festival. We worked out of a WeWork, actually switching locations every day we met so we wouldn't get tired of the view. Talk about first world problems. My point is that with a scaleable office solution in every major market in the US, and most countries around the world, companies like ours are allowed to experiment with the next generation of global work. On the first level, you've got hiring folks from different states or countries, and all working remotely. But now we have a new level - instead of testing gear for our film festival over Whereby or Zoom, I can walk into Austin knowing that I'll have the same office experience that I'll have in Boston, or New York, or San Fransisco.

Global work isn't the same as remote work, at least I don't think. Remote implies you're doing it virtually, and that's totally fair! That will still comprise 95% of our work at Howdy, just because it doesn't make economic sense for us to constantly be on the road. What this does allow, however, is our staff to work at offices if they choose to, regardless of what major market they happen to be close to. And if they're like me, and they like to travel, they can head to any major market and just pick up where they left off. They'll be logged into the same wifi, be able to get their favorite cold brew/tea/kombucha/what have you, and their keycard will work.

Depending on where I commit to for college, we'll probably still rent a private office at a local WeWork, but it'll mostly be for storage and private matters. WeWork offers 650 locations, so our staff can have the best of both worlds. They can work from home, they can work in a common space at an office, they can grab a conference room, or they can work in a private office. Whatever they want to do.

Heads up - I'm not affiliated with WeWork, but if you're interested in doing something like this, WeWork is offering one month free access to their All Access program for up to ten of your employees. It gets you into all locations WeWork offers, most of them 24/7. It's $299/mo/employee afterward. Compared to the cost of rent or coworking at just one location, I think it's a steal. Let me know what you think!