During our remote work adventures, we will be visiting a variety of co-working spaces in Portugal, Switzerland, and Italy. Our first co-working space experience in Lisbon took place last week as we visited the 2 IDEIA coworking locations in the city.
The first, IDEIAhub - Parque das Nações, and the second, IDEIA Palácio Sotto Mayor.
The first of these two spaces is located near Oriente metro station and in a more modern/newer part of Lisbon. The space is located high in a modern office tower, definitely giving it a corporate and professional feel. Coworking spaces are often depicted as gritty and casual. IDEIA is neither of those things.
At both IDEIA locations, it's possible to pre-arrange a free-day pass. This is a great way to come, see the space, have a day's work, and get a feel for the facility. Upon arrival at this location, check-in was extremely friendly and warm. The front desk staff were welcoming, gave us the wi-fi info, and gave us a tour of the facility.
This IDEIA location is relatively small, at least for day pass and non-member visitors. There were some areas where we were allowed to set up for the day. Some high top tables near the main entrance, and a lower bench seating area around the corner which was slightly quieter. There are lots of open concept desks around, with proper office chairs, some privacy, storage, but these are not accessible to non-members. The areas available to us were very reminiscent of working in a cafe, obviously with fewer disruptions and designated charging areas which makes the experience more comfortable.
The overall energy of this co-working space was extremely welcoming and warm. The staff and even some of the visitors that passed greeted us with a smile and a hello (though I think that might just be European hospitality in general). The people who were there working were young, professional, and hustling. People were focused on their tasks, on and off calls, getting espressos and getting #$%& done. It has an energizing vibe, but not a playful one.
Again, so often depictions of co-working spaces are images of ping-pong tables, funky yet uncomfortable chairs, draught beer, and goofy millennials playing grown up. IDEIA is a place to WORK, a cool place to work, but nonetheless a space where you can be productive. It was the perfect mix of playful and serious in my opinion.
The second IDEIA location we attended is in an older part of the city. This location is also much larger than the one we visited previously. Located in a commercial area, the entrance to this space is a winding staircase, almost as if you were going underground. If you have ever entered an underground Apple store then you'll have experienced something similar.
Once again, we pre-arranged a day pass so that we could visit this co-working space. The check-in process was quick and smooth. We were not given a tour of the space but were shown where we could set up and work. The staff were extremely professional and to the point at this location. As the place was packed, I'm sure there is a steady stream of people coming in, hence the brief introduction.
This IDEIA location seemed HUGE to me, especially compared to the other. There was cafe style seating in one area, seated desks in another, stadium-style seating, small nooks for phone calls, private offices, meeting rooms, and a spacious and airy atrium that also offered seating. While there were only select areas for day pass holders, there were many more spots available, as well as more options for casual seating and conversation (i.e. sofas, and chairs in the atrium). There was definitely more breathing room at this location and even though it was full, it still felt spacious.
The energy at this location was similar to that of the other IDEIA space but on steroids. The energy and focus of the people working there was palpable and multiplied due to the sheer number of people in the space. The energy is contagious and I found the environment very welcoming and productive. The vibe was also more conversational, especially at the standing desk area where we found ourselves working. We had a couple of different conversations with the people near us, chatting about what we did etc. The style of this co-working space seemed more conducive to networking and conversation.
We really enjoyed working at both of these IDEIA locations and would definitely recommend either of them. If you find yourself in Lisbon and need somewhere to work check them out. We would recommend buying day-pass in order to gain access to more desk options and increase your productivity. To find out more about these spaces visit their website.
We are visiting quite a few more co-working spaces on our adventure. Stay tuned for more stories and pics from these unique spaces!