Coworking at The Surf Office – Founder Interview
Located in Las Palmas beach in Gran Canaria, the Surf Office offers a unique coworking and coliving space where entrepreneurs, freelancers, startup teams and remote employees meet other like-minded people, working in a productive environment and at the same time enjoy a relaxing time at the beach, surfing and other outdoors activities like Yoga or hiking. There are no rules at the office, flexibility, inspiration and the ocean is what the community looks for at the Surf Office.
Now with offices in Portugal, Canary Island and California, we went to ask some questions to Peter Fabor, the founder of the Surf Office to share with us more about the concept behind.
Q: How did you come up with the idea of the Surf Office and what was the motivation behind?
I’m a web designer and the only thing I need to get my stuff done is my Macbook and a good Internet connection. I can work from anywhere but I realized there is a shortage of reliable places that offer everything at one place – accommodation, office facilities and where you can also meet like-minded people. So I decided to create one.
Q: What makes Surf Office Gran Canaria special and differentiate from its competitors?
I guess that the market is quite small now and to be honest, I don’t see real competitors. There is a bunch of projects which organize events, but not many physical places that you can visit anytime. We focus on flexibility, simplicity and good experience. So you can visit Surf Office anytime (upon availability), you know that you will have perfect conditions for your productive stay, you don’t have to think about anything and you will meet other interesting people.
Q: Are you noticing any new trends amongst freelancers and entrepreneurs and the way they travel?
Definitely. There are fewer and fewer people who can disconnect even for a week and turn off the “internets”. We live in an age when we’re nonstop online. And if you are a freelancer or entrepreneur, your clients don’t expect that you can be offline. You have to be available ASAP. That’s why digital nomadism and the combination of work and travel has been so popular recently. People just can’t afford to be offline.
Q: What is the greatest benefit of co-working in your opinion?
Flexibility. If you want to meet other people and be inspired, you go to a co-working space. If you want a quiet place, you stay and work from home. You can make this decision every single day. If you’re on a low budget, you just don’t pay for coworking for a while and work from home or a coffee shop. You don’t have to pay an office space every month, even if you’re a small company. WeWork shows how to dominate the co-working industry and their growth is based on renting workspace to startups and small companies.
Q: What do you think members enjoy the most about the Surf Office?
Community. As we organize activities after work or during weekends, it’s much easier to network with other people, create meaningful connections and have fun.
Q: Surf Office Lisbon is launching this summer, what’s your opinion about Lisbon as a potential startup and coworking hub?
Craftsmanship has a long history in Portugal and Portuguese people are naturally very creative. The quality of life in Lisbon is amazing, the city has so many things to offer and yet it’s very cheap comparing with most Western countries. It attracts many young foreign entrepreneurs who relocate to Lisbon for a while. Plus there are many successful startup initiatives like Startup Lisboa, LX factory or Lisbon Challenge. I believe the future is bright for Lisbon and that’s why we wanted to be there.
Q: What do you think are the main challenges of opening a coworking location?
Find the right property.
Q: What is the Surf Office Motto?
Kill the routine!
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