Living the Balinese Life

Bali — the island of gorgeous paradise beaches, encircled by the vibrant and vivid display of coral ridges, with its rich cultural heritage and majestic volcanic mountains— who wouldn’t want to work in a place like that? But for the unconvinced, hopefully this will give a better picture of what coworking life is like on the resort island.

Meet coworker at Dojo Bali: Ionut Danifeld, adventurer and entrepreneur. He recently completed 10,000 km ride on his trusty motorcycle and is the co-founder of his web & app development and inbound & digital marketing agency, Devmark. Like many, he left corporate life to build something of his own in his own time; and like many, the bittersweet journey of entrepreneurship is what he feels is the most rewarding.

First time meeting over Skype

As a seasoned coworker, he commented that Bali is— and I quote — “the best place to start coworking in Asia”. Initially with plans to travel Asia, it has since been 2 years in Bali and there are still a lot left for him to see and explore. For Ionut, he takes the “life” part in work-life balance seriously; weekends are strictly reserved for travelling to appreciate the beautiful seaside, gushing waterfalls and enthralling Balinese dances. Weekdays are more run-of-the-mill: mostly working with his three meals slotted in between, except he gets to end his day with an unobstructed coastal view of the sunset, a bottle of beer in his hand. Jealous yet?

When asked to state the best thing about Dojo Bali, Ionut replies with “oh, the community”, without skipping a beat. He then goes on to elaborate on his interactions with other coworkers at Dojo Bali who have fascinated him with their backstories. Digital nomads, solo entrepreneurs, start-ups, locals and expats — meeting all these new people has also helped grow his business. For those looking to co-work in Bali, or even in Dojo Bali, Ionut shares his words of wisdom: be open-minded, generous with sharing your skills to develop the community around you and passionate about your work.

Snapshots of coworking in Dojo Bali

We also spoke to Kintan Ayunda Wisnu, previously a digital nomad working from Hubud and now communications manager there. She describes her 2.5 years in Bali as relaxing and less stressful, slower pace of life, with warm and friendly people, like-minded individuals and a strong entrepreneurial community. In the small town of Ubud, everywhere is easily accessible, a stark contrast to her hometown in Jakarta where traffic is a nightmare. Kintan had a hard time deciding on the most attractive thing about life in Bali, but finally decided on the nature and scenic surroundings that the island could offer, describing it as “refreshing” and “inspiring”.

Hi Kintan!

Her decision to join the management team at Hubud was partly due to the community there. And this is evident in what she enjoys most about her work: as the communications manager, her responsibilities lie in promoting Hubud’s products and programs, but Kintan adores having the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds, with different hobbies, in different occupations. Another motivation for Kintan is her hope to see more people accepting the unconventional way of working; with more autonomy over their job description and having more freedom in structuring their work schedule. Such a transition away from cubicle life would increase productivity and is likely to become the future of work.

Committed to their values of co-learning, co-giving and co-working, Hubud seems to spare no effort in creating their community. The perpetual list of events (430 a year, to be exact) ranges from weekly social events, to launchpad programs for women, to “f*** up” nights that celebrate failure, and are all in a bid to strengthen the community. As such, Hubud boasts an impressive 5300-member strong alumni base. With mostly entrepreneurs and some coworkers from remote companies, expect the place to get a little crowded in the last few months of the year, when many flock to escape the cold winters in their home countries and attain that sun-kissed (and hopefully not sunburned) skin.

The building itself is also an attraction, uniquely made from bamboo. While it may give off a beach resort kind of vibe, Kintan says to expect to be productive, even at a vacation styled workplace, in addition to the warm community and the monkeys from the forest next door.

Check out the indoor -
- and outdoor areas

Co-founder at Outpost, David Abraham also weighs in with his perspectives on what life in Bali is like. He echoes Kintan’s sentiments on the slower speed of life, friendliness of the locals and the accessibility of Ubud. After realizing there is a generation of people who could travel and work simultaneously, he started Outpost, a co-living and coworking space in April 2016 to promote such enriching lifestyles. He believes that more people are seeking an idyllic way of life, and sees Outpost as a space that offers more than its physical location. Outpost provides the means to connect and engage individuals, promote productivity and create a community with deep roots.

Bird’s eyeview of Outpost coworking space

Outpost has the largest coworking space in Bali, which makes David’s job, to ensure that services and amenities run smoothly, no easy feat. Power outages may occur at any time due to tropical storms and flooding. And when he is not busy doing those, David is running another space in Cambodia or helping people to adjust to the way of life in Bali. To fulfill the purpose he envisioned Outpost to have, finding a good balance between social and quiet atmospheres is crucial for building relationship and for focused work. After all, despite the pools, free massages, parkour and salsa sessions, Outpost is still a coworking space.

Pools to cool off in from the tropical heat

It seems that the resort island isn’t just for vacations and beach holidays. For those who are looking to get away from city life but can’t completely isolate yourself from work, check out some of the coworking spaces in Bali, and remember that all work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy!

Check out some of the other coworking spaces on Coworkies here!