“It’s the beginning of a new era”, said Marcelo Vieira, while recounting the history of work since the industrial revolution and it is interesting to note how the world of services is adapting right now.
Marcelo Vieira is the owner of a cowork space in the heart of Lagos – city of discoveries. Surrounded by restaurants, monuments and an incredible view of a city steeped in history, we find an environment to work with all those who - with all safety and hygiene standards being met - share a common goal of working with high levels of productivity while potentially creating synergies between each other.
“If we don’t take advantage of this moment to change the work paradigm, then we are missing a great opportunity”, explains Marcelo Vieira. “Nowadays in big cities people lose two hours (or even more) per day in commuting”, this creates in the long term an unmotivated state of spirit, because they have less free time after work.
Now a lot of people are able to work from home and enjoy a quality of life and flexibility that influences their well-being and productivity. However, Ana Martins, clinical psychologist and university professor in ISMAT, said to The Portugal News: “Usually people are not used to working in their home space. The home space has other duties such as leisure, rest, fun and not always work”.
The sofa in the living room, the fridge and other attributes can be distracting when we want to be productive. According to the psychologist “the advantage of cowork is, above all, concentration. It is difficult to explain to a child that their parent is there but is working. When people find it difficult to separate personal life from professional life, then they need find a space where they can make this work without being interrupted”.
Also when people are on holiday they often need to work, a cowork space can be a solution. “The hotel, or the family house where we stay for holidays, is not always an easy place to find high levels of concentration,” she said.
The Green Building in the centre of Loulé is open seven days per week, 24 hours a day, to receive people who need to work during different timetables. “People who are on holiday, but who prefer to be in a more relaxed environment to be productive can come here”, explained Paula Lopes, part of the Green Building team, who emphasises the importance of having a space which is always open so people can choose the best time to work. For those on holiday, sometimes the best time is when relatives are resting, she said.
According to Paula Lopes, in the Green Building, rooms have great internet speeds, space for meetings, or even for interviews, almost everything needed for the business world. Also people who are starting a company can use the fiscal address, if they need, and receive post, “for an accessible service”, she explained.
Live in Portugal, work in the UK
The current Covid-19 situation has brought new opportunities for those who used to live abroad. “We have a Portuguese man who worked in the United Kingdom, but hated the weather and preferred to be here in Portugal. Now he lives here, works remotely from the Green Building and has a much cheaper cost of living than when he was living in England”, Bev Loxton, a member of the Green Building team told The Portugal News.
With these opportunities in mind, Marcelo Vieira has developed a new concept at Sollagos - Coliving. In these tourist apartments, Marcelo Vieria already has six apartments occupied by international workers, that have all conditions to work in the place where they stay, great internet and all the commodities, sometimes “they are working while they are taking in the sunshine”, said Marcelo Vieira.
These people have three motivations, according to Marcelo Vieira, the first one is the price, as living in Portugal is cheaper than in other countries. But also pleasure is a large factor, with proximity to the beach, surfing, and good weather, making this an easy choice.
Finally, the last motivation is due to the fact that the Algarve has low levels of coronavirus cases, which is a sign of security for many.
Whether nomads (occasional co-workers) or residents (those who are already part of the house), these workers are a growing population that needs an intellectual and creatively stimulating place to develop their work and with the right conditions. And they find it here in the Algarve.