When it comes to places we’d rather be working from right now, Ubud is high on the list. Who doesn’t want to wake up to picturesque rice paddies? Or stroll the morning markets in flip-flops? Or feast on sensational Balinese cuisine? And don’t even get us started on the plunge pools.
In 2016, when professional freedom means powering up your laptop wherever there’s WiFi, it’s no wonder Ubud lures us back. And we’re not the only ones eyeing a longer stay. From highrise offices in megacities over the world, a stream of digital nomads is trickling down and pooling in this jungled oasis on the Island of the Gods.
The extended workcation, also known as “packing it in to live the dream for a few months,” has found a welcoming home in Ubud. Here you can hash out that business plan, finally get some work done on that website, or just go about your regular day job from a bamboo desk above a sea of greenery.
Along with other movers, shakers and change-makers, you’ll swap long commutes for scooter rides on potholed roads, boardroom meetings for bean-bag discussions, and work for… well, nothing changes about work, you still need to get that done. However by all Instagram accounts, it’s a sweet deal.
HotelQuickly Tip: If you need a place to land for a few nights, use the HotelQuickly app to score the best last-minute deals on handpicked hotels in and around Ubud.
But exactly how productive can one be, when so many enticing possibilities await outside the open-air office? David Abraham, co-founder of Outpost Creative Space, a new two-story coworking and private office space in Ubud, has already given this some thought.
“Think of what Google would offer its employees if they had an office in Bali…”
“We focus on providing a productive space for professionals who need to get stuff done,” says Abraham. “Think of what Google would offer its employees if they had an office in Bali — that’s the productive environment we are striving for.”
“We have comfy chairs, big tables, two pools, a sunset terrace, a riverside café, river swimming, a shower, an air-conditioned as well as a natural ventilated coworking space, individual offices and a seminar space.”
In case this still sounds too humdrum for your tastes, Abraham also notes Outpost Creative Space members get coconuts delivered to their desks, on-site massages, plus access to the entire suite of amenties at a partner resort. Before you ask, membership fees range from USD 14/day to USD 270/month.
How about the digital nomad’s lifeblood, the all-important internet connection? “While internet speeds in Bali don’t compare to Singapore or Lithuania, the speeds that our multiple providers offer are the highest on the island,” Abraham says. In other words: You have no excuses not to show up for work.
“Members get coconuts delivered to their desks, on-site massages, plus access to the entire suite of amenities at a partner resort.”
And if you need a little extra motivation to reach your goals in paradise, Ubud offers that too. Lisa Wulf is tribe leader at Tribewanted Bali, a service that hosts communities of digital nomads in off-the-grid locations, so – according to the Tribewanted website — they can “inspire each other, hold each other accountable, share knowledge and skills, explore beautiful Bali and connect with local community projects.”
Tribewanted’s Bali package focuses on supporting members in achieving their goals, with daily check-in meetings, weekly goal mapping and skill-share sessions. More practical concerns such as airport transfers and unlimited access to the Hubud coworking space are also included.
HotelQuickly Tip: Make sure to carry cash with you in Ubud, and try using Uber or Blue Bird taxis on longer rides to avoid overpaying.
“Of course, you work barefoot most of the time.”
Wulf lists delicious food, healthy lifestyle and an easy ‘commute’ as some of the advantages digital nomads can look forward to in Ubud. “Ubud makes you appreciate the little things in life,” she says. “You don’t need the latest outfits — you can rock up to work in your tank top, shorts and flip flops — and of course you work barefoot most of the time.”
Whenever you’re not working, there’s a raft of activites to keep you occupied. From Ubud’s wealth of natural, culinary, artistic and spiritual treasures, you can fill your spare time with everything from volcano-trekking to volunteering, ‘ecstatic dance’ to eggshell art.
HotelQuickly Tip: Want a freebie? Check out LoveSpace for yoga and art sessions, and Namaste and Black Beach Restaurant for free mid-week movie screenings.
The best thing about working remotely in Ubud? The people you’ll meet.
“The thing I’m most proud of is seeing the warm relationships that quickly develop between our community members,” says Abraham. “You’ll make connections here that will last a lifetime.”
HotelQuickly’s Quick Guide to Ubud:
Try to avoid June to August, or plan your days to miss the busloads of tourists that visit during this time. Apply for a 60-day visa on arrival if there’s a chance you want to extend your stay. Walking will take you most places in Ubud. Only rent a scooter if you’re an experienced rider.
Cafes with great WiFi: Seniman, Clear Cafe, Pomegranate Cafe
Coworking spaces: Outpost Creative Space, Hubud, The Onion Co.
Recommended hotels: Bali Spirit Hotel, Ubud Village Resort, Nandini Bali Jungle Resort
Best restaurants: Mama’s Warung, KAFE, Warung Sopa, Hujan Locale
Best spa experience: Splurge: Bali Botanica, save: Jaen’s Spa
Best crispy duck: Bebek Tapi Sawah
Best souvenir: Recycled stationery from Saraswati Papers’ Kado Boutique
Events to note: TEDxUbud, BaliSpirit, Ubud Readers and Writers Festival