1 July 2022
Amongst the many changes the world has faced over the last couple of years, the growth of the remote-working or hybrid-working model has to be one of the biggest – and the most welcome. If you have the appetite and the ability to call any city your office, consider Cape Town as the ideal balance of productivity, inspiration and relaxation.
Up until recently, coliving and coworking spaces existed separately in the Mother City, with loads of flexible desk-spaces, boardrooms-by-the-hour and tech facilities for rent while Air B&Bs, hostels and backpackers thrived for travellers.
The work-from-anywhere trend has brought these two offerings together, where like-minded flexi-workers can share the costs of a well-positioned rental as well as wifi, cleaning services and even food. With private spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms but shared amenities like kitchens, living rooms and outdoor areas, you’re able to connect with other digital nomads and get to your workload without missing out on the endless activities Cape Town has to offer.
The biggest pull for Cape Town as a remote working destination has to be the incredible work-life balance it offers, and here paying your bills doesn’t stand in the way of fun and freedom. Because it’s a small city, everything is relatively easy to access and you’ll see throngs of people skating, cycling and running to and from errands and appointments. The number of pristine beaches located all around Cape Town and its outlying areas mean a pre-work surf is on the cards or for those who have a meeting-free morning, working from the beach itself is not out of the question. The promenade in Sea Point, as well as the beachfront in Blouberg, make for invigorating lunchtime walks or jogs and if you find yourself lacking inspiration, the mountain and forests are on your doorstep for a hike, stroll or trail run.
No proper balance is complete without some well-deserved R&R, and Cape Town has eateries and sundowner spots in spades. From sidewalk institutions like Greenpoint’s deli/coffee shop Giovanni’s to tapas and cocktails at Hout Bay’s La Parada and vegan food spots like Wild Eatery on Harrington, you’ll be spoiled for choice when looking for a snack or a long and leisurely meal with new friends.
For all remote workers, connectivity is pretty much the only non-negotiable requirement and as Africa’s most digitally connected city you’re in safe hands in Cape Town. Boasting a wide system of fibre-optic cables, the city is packed with Wi-Fi zones making work-from-home, work-from-coffee-shop or work-from-wherever a breeze for nomads. Transport has also improved with the MyCiTi integrated rapid transit schedule – a network of buses that integrate various stops across Cape Town and surrounding areas.
You can always rely on ride-hailing services such as Uber, Bolt or Taxify and use the City Sightseeing Bus for those days you feel like indulging your inner tourist. You could also hire a car to do some travelling further afield and if you’re feeling adventurous, experience a typically Capetonian trip by hopping on a famous minibus taxi between suburbs.
Part of the attraction of destination working is how the change of scenery and energy can reinvigorate attitudes towards work and performance. Cape Town is a veritable hive of cultural and artistic stimuli and the on-going buzz is sure to provoke fresh thinking and renewed focus. Try out First Thursdays on Bree Street on the first Thursday of every month.
A self-guided walk between art galleries, restaurants and related attractions, the initiative was created to ‘inject life into urban spaces after-hours’ and combines wine-tastings with food specials and live music. The stunning scenery of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens will restore any tired mind – take a picnic blanket and meditate beneath the trees or catch a concert in summer on a Sunday afternoon.
Need to get rid of some mental cobwebs?
Start a Saturday at dawn with an icy but exhilarating dip in the Dalebrook tidal pool, which has become a pilgrimage of sorts for locals to boost the mood and the immune system. If it’s a taste of the country you’re after, you’re just 50 minutes away from some of the world’s most beautiful winelands. Stellenbosch can offer a small university town feel while serving up global-standard wines and meals at sprawling estates – just the ticket for warm afternoons when deadlines have been met or meetings have been cancelled.
Whichever way you look at it, Cape Town with its incredible nature, accessible infrastructure and melting-pot mix of inhabitants is a city almost designed for flexible work schedules, packing in as much pleasure as it does productivity.