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Working from anywhere with Outsite

An interview with Emmanuel Guisset, founder of Outsite

During our last trip to California, we had the chance to stay at Outsite and their beautiful Leucadia’s house. I had a blast, to say the least. Of course, how could you not when the house you’re staying at is a 5-minute walk to the beach and when the upstairs balcony gives you one of the best sunsets you’ve ever seen? Even if our trip in this coastal town was only a quick one and we had to departure onto new adventures, we still managed to send a few questions to Emmanuel Guisset, the founder of Outside, about his housings and the concept behind his company.

Emmanuel, can you start by telling us where you are from?

I am from Belgium and I have been in the Bay area for the last 5 years. I still go to Belgium once a year to visit family and friends, but the weather and the outdoors are unbeatable here!

As the term “co-working space” is kind of new, can you explain what it entails exactly?

Co-working is not really new in the Bay, but it’s still definitely growing. Co-working spaces are spaces where independent location workers can work with other like-minded people. Usually, you get 3 types of people in the co-working spaces: Freelancers, entrepreneurs and remote employees. The new trend now is to have co-working spaces in smaller cities/towns and some co-working spaces are now popping up in exotic locations like remote islands. Another new trend in the co-working world is combining a co-working space with accommodation and activities.

Interesting, thank you. You currently have two really cool locations for Outsite and you are planning to open two others. Why did you pick these cities?

Our goal is to be in amazing locations outside of the big cities. Both Santa Cruz being close to SF and Encinitas being a short drive from LA/San Diego are ideal destinations.

Photo by Julien Bacal

Outsite can mean a lot of things—what does it mean to you?

To me, Outsite simply means “work outside”. I truly believe one can be more productive by getting away from the city and work in a different environment, whether it’s the beach, mountains or even the desert. 

Staying in a house next to the beach is definitely a dream for anyone, but don’t you think that being in such a dreamy location may affect your productivity at “work?”  

Ah ah, I get that a lot. Some people don’t believe it’s possible. I have been doing that for a long time and I know quite a few successful people that have that lifestyle. For example, one of the founders of Netflix lives in Santa Cruz. There are also more and more startups out of Santa Monica in LA. I believe that a morning run on the beach is a perfect way to start a day of work. The same can be said for a sunset surf session after work. The idea is not to replace the work by fun, but to work in a better environment.

Why do you think going somewhere else to work on your projects can be helpful?

Creatives get new sources of inspiration. Writers for example, have been on retreat for years. For tech professionals, they mostly have to look at their computer all day so being in an office in the city or being in a co-working space at the beach doesn’t make a difference workwise. The difference is the after-work! No bus/drive to go back home, but a short walk to go surfing. We also get more and more teams that come on a work retreat or to do team building activities they can’t do in cities.

Photo by Julien Bacal

What’s one of the best memories you’ve had at Outsite so far?

There has been so many! I remember one unplanned communal dinner where everyone had so much fun. It’s truly the people we host that make the experience unique.

You also did a getaway weekend in Big Sur with creatives that wanted to have a different type of adventure. How was the experience? Are you planning to do something similar again?

That was truly amazing. The camping spot above the clouds was really special. We also got lucky with the weather and the surf. I want to thank our sponsors Patagonia and Get Outfitted for their support. It was such a success that we organize others “unplug” weekends again. Maybe one in Baja… You can check the story and photos here: The Blog.

And finally, as we now know everything about Outsite, what’s next for the company?

Ah well, we definitely want to expand to other locations, but first we need to improve the experience at our existing locations. There is a lot to do still! 

Want to learn more about Outsite? Right here! 

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ale+romo+photography
Ale Romo, surf photographer and co-owner of Donosti Chill.