We get the allure of a Starbucks latte or a McDonald’s chicken sandwich: it’s the same wherever you go, and you know what to expect. And sometimes you need or want that.

And the same goes for WeWork or Regus or other corporate business centers with ‘coworking spaces.’ The problem is when you are in a smaller town or even in another country, sometimes they aren’t available or less affordable than they should be.

Or simply, you want to have a local experience. Because let’s face it, the local cafe probably makes a better latte than Starbucks (and the person taking your order can also probably tell you some useful local info or add a local delicacy to your order).

The Coworking Visa Network is of comparable size to the bigger guys.

One of the misconceptions about owning an independent workspace is the lack of a network. But the Coworking Visa Program solves that problem… and not only that, but it is comparable in size to other options:

If you want to have fun, think of some cool rural place you spend a lot of time in. Then, try looking up WeWork’s website and Regus’ website. Next, Google ‘coworking space TOWNNAME’ and we bet the independently owned option that pops up in Google is available more often than not. They may or may not be in the Coworking Visa Network, but once you find them, you can check (more on that a bit lower on this page).

Enjoy local flare.

What we love about visiting coworking spaces in other places owned locally is the insider info. It’s not uncommon to make friends, find the best local taco spot (at the back counter of a convenience store, and we would have never found it otherwise), and get other invaluable experiences and information from members and/or staff.

A great option for the sometimes traveler.

Most spaces in the Coworking Visa program offer 1-3 free workdays to members of other spaces. This means if you travel sometimes, this can be much more economical than the jet-setting options the larger coworking conglomerates provide. We did the math once and realized you could go to Paris for three weeks and work a free day at 21 different coworking spaces with your Anchorspace membership. How is the for travel on the cheap?

So how does it work?

Most of our spaces are small, which means we don’t have fancy booking apps or anything… but what we do when we know one of our members is traveling is email the coworking space in the area where they are traveling and copy our member.

” Hi, I’m a fellow coworking space owner (Anchorspace) and one of our members NAME (copied here) is traveling to TOWN in September. I see you’re also in the Coworking Visa program, can they do a workday with you? Let us know and thanks!”

Nicole Ouellette, Owner of Anchrospace

It is that simple! Kind of low tech but it works.

But you don’t have day rates at Anchorspace…

During the pandemic, we majorly downsized our spaces, meaning we can’t take day rate members regularly. That said, we are more than happy to welcome a Coworking Visa person at our locations. It’s happened several times, and because these people are coworking space members at other independent spaces, we have found the people lovely. We value this benefit enough to give it so we can get it if you’re a member in another location reading this, come on over to Anchorspace!

How do I find out who is in the Coworking Visa Program?

This website is an entirely volunteer-run project so while the search is not fantastic; I find it easiest to go to this link and zoom in on the area of the map where you need to work: https://coworking.com/visa

When you see a listing, you click on the name of it, and it will tell you the ‘terms’ of using it. It might say ‘one free workday’ or ‘up to three free workdays in succession,’ but because each space is independently-owned, it can vary so click and check.

When you see a place you want to use, let your coworking space manager know so they can contact the other space (like we did in my sample email above).

In short, the Coworking Visa program is the best-kept secret, which is why we finally wrote this blog about it. Check it out and realize that it’s just one more benefit of joining your local coworking space.