You must know the feeling.
You’re desperate for a vacation, but either out of PTO days or just too slammed to be able to get away without worrying that your whole project, or team, or company, will go to hell.
OK, fine, don't take time off. But maybe you can still “take off,” as in get out, find a change of scenery and feel like you’re fleeing, even if you’re still packing your laptop.
That was my goal when I booked a room with Outsite, a network of shared-living homes specifically tailored for traveling professionals.
This summer, I couldn’t take vacation, but I needed a reset badly. I was looking for a place where I could do work without the distractions of my office, but where I could also spend my off hours adventuring and restoring (while remaining driving distance from a Wi-Fi connection).
Outsite’s aim is to “enhance [the] shared living experience and adapt it to professionals.” Their nine (and counting) locations are spread across North America (from New York to Santa Cruz to Costa Rica) and, soon, the globe. (You can find me at Outsite Bali next year.)
The properties are all owned and operated by Outsite and are designed with the remote worker in mind, with strong Wi-Fi signals and individual (and communal) workspaces throughout the homes.
Each house has options to accommodate solo travelers as well as those in groups, with varying levels of privacy: Hunker down in a private room with private bathroom, or save cash with shared room and shared bathroom options.
And there’s no checking in, as a mobile-phone app lets you in and out of the houses.
But you’re not totally on your own: Each house has a local “community manager” available to you by phone and email for any questions or needs you might have.
Communal areas are set up both for working and for socializing, with comfortable lounging areas, large televisions and kitchens that can accommodate group meals.
I chose Outsite's brand-new Hawaii location on the North Shore of Oahu. It’s a renovated two-story, five-bedroom house with a wraparound balcony where you can enjoy views of the expansive property, set against a serene river, and it’s only a 10-minute walk from the beach.
I stayed in a private room/private bathroom and enjoyed mountain views from my bay window.
There were two other working travelers staying at Outsite. One was a freelance developer; the other was a programmer for Amazon.
The freelancer had a passion for scuba diving and spent the daytime diving various spots, then posted up in the kitchen each evening to do his work. Whenever we were both home, we chatted about our projects and shared photos from our daytime adventures, but respected each other’s working time too.
Our other roommate mostly worked in his room, and we didn’t see too much of him. In the mornings, we shared info about local hiking trails over coffee, and then went off to do our own thing.
And that’s the beauty of Outsite: No one would be there if they weren’t looking to have fun, but everyone also understands that work is a priority.
Speaking of fun, I spent my off hours surfing, going to yoga and hiking. Outsite believes that “People are more productive in a serene environment. Whether in cities, coastal towns or high in the mountains, our spaces are located in places where you'll find a balance between work and play.”
Amen to that. Happy to have easy access to the activities I love the most, I was more productive when I hunkered down with my computer.
At Outsite Hawaii, there were bikes and surfboards at our disposal (available at all of their coastal locations). Outsite Costa Rica features a lovely pool on the property, Outsite Tahoe is nestled next to hiking trails and a short drive from the slopes and Outsite Venice situates you in the middle of West LA’s vibrant nightlife and eclectic beach scene.
In today’s age, we’re more connected than ever, and sometimes that makes us feel like we have to work harder than ever. But the silver lining around that connectivity is that it also allows us work from the far corners of the world. Outsite makes it convenient to take advantage of work-from-home, and even lets you work-from-paradise.
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