Workspace Review: Sinergia Cowork

Welcome to Sinergia Cowork in bright and sunny Montevideo, Uruguay! One major component to being a participant on Remote Year is having access to a highly functional coworking space. Personally as a senior developer my number one concern while being on this trip is having near 100% uptime when it comes to high speed internet access. Our first stop on our Remote Year journey has proven itself to be quite delightful. The bar has been set really high in my opinion, hopefully the coworking spaces we visit in the future will be able to match what Sinergia Cowork has offered to the people who work in this space and the greater remote community at large. Considering there are future Remote Year trips bearing down on this space, as well as travelers looking for a place to work in Montevideo, I thought I would take a minute to review this outstanding coworking space. While researching the first Remote Year group, I did not see a lot of information about where we would be working. Having a knowledge dump like this would have calmed the fears of myself, employer and clients about coming on this trip. How ever you end up in Montevideo, hopefully this information helps you on your trip.

Disclaimer: Remote Year and Sinergia Cowork did not ask me to write this. I just wanted to help other remotes and travelers looking for a place to work. Additionally, I want to write a reminder for why I need to come back here. Everything written here is my opinion and you’ll have to show up to form your own. Hopefully this helps.

¡Vamos!

Overview

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Sinergia Cowork is located at Gonzalo Ramírez 1676. CP: 11200 Montevideo, Uruguay, additionally they have sister location(s) around the city as well. Hours are 9am to 9pm and once you are setup with access you are able to have access nearly 24/7. I haven’t had to come in late at night yet, but it shouldn’t be a problem. The staff are super friendly and will help you get setup on the network so you can get to work asap. I was pretty much online within the first five minutes of arriving. The ease of transitioning into this space was perfect and provided immediate relief about concerns over web access once I arrived. Additionally, they have a Slack channel for communications where you can ask questions or find out what is happening around the space throughout the day. You can learn more about them on their website.

Workspace Overview

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If you are just coming in for a period of time to work for a bit, you’ll find the facilities quite adequate. The common area easily accommodates 80 people between the first and second levels, not including the conference rooms, the basement area, outdoor roof top area and additional places you could potentially set up for the day. Need some privacy or have a team meeting? There are several conference rooms you can reserve through a reservation website they have here as well.

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The Upstairs Meeting Room

The tables are pretty straight forward with a powerbar running down the middle that will power your devices. The temperature in the building can get a bit warm in the summer time but all of the tables have oscillating fans to help you keep cool. Personally I do not like air conditioning so for me this was an ideal work environment in regards to comfort. It can be a bit noisy at times especially around lunch time, make sure you have some noise cancelling headphones if you get distracted easily.

My only complaint is over the years I became accustom to working at a standing desk, or minimally having the option to stand while working. That really is not an option here, however you can improvise a standing desk in a few corners around the space.

Internet Review

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When I arrived in Montevideo it was a Monday, by the time I made it to Sinergia it was almost 2:30pm. I had been awake for close to 32hrs straight not being able to sleep on the plane. The workspace was humming with 60-70 remotes, not including all of the additional businesses that work here. From what I hear (I may be incorrect), this was the most people Sinergia Cowork had ever put on the network at one time since opening. That being said, the first few days was a bit rocky during peak hours. The network was stable till about 11:30/12pm and would start to flutter as more and more remotes arrived to do work. The network team along with the Remote Year staff began dialing everything in and by about midweek everything was stable. I’m connected over VPN to a client in the midwest and have not had any issues now that the network here has been optimized, additional routers added, etc. Things have been great, don’t worry about the internet here.

There are some rules for the remotes here we have been abiding to like keeping unnecessary devices off the network and limiting streaming/large downloads to a minimum since your actions impact everyone. Most people are listening to offline music or streaming from their phone since the sim plans we have here came with 11GB of data (Woo!). If you have a phone that can have a hot spot, it’s not a bad idea to have the hotspot settings setup and ready to go incase the network goes down. We haven’t had any issues now that things have been ironed out. If I was working on a streaming video project though, I don’t know if this place is the best place for that level of work given the bandwidth requirements. However, this are companies here that do Motion Capture and Gaming, talking to them might be a good idea if you are in that line of work.

Food Options

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Beer Fridge!

All that hard work burning the morning fog off your sleepy brain is bound to make you hungry at some point in time. When you feel the grumbles in your tummy and nourishment becomes a necessity, it’s time to find some grub. Didn’t bring your lunch? Don’t feel like being a bad coworker by stealing someone else’s lunch from the fridge? Good, don’t do that. Fortunately there are some nice options nearby.

To the delight to everyone on Remote Year, as it turns out, Sinergia Cowork has a chef on premises during lunch hours. Every day has has one or two specials, along with a standard menu. The specials are all outstanding and range between 120 – 180 pesos ($4-$7 USD). The man can cook, usually slinging a daily home made pesto and toasted nuts onto whatever you order, on request.

If you want to stretch your legs and leave the coworking space. Nearby is El Horno de Carlitos known for it’s pretty stellar pizza. The pizza comes out of a wood oven and the crust is fantastic. I think he cooks the crust ahead of time, then when you order he throws it in for a little bit for the cheese to melt and ingredients heat up. As a Chicago pizza lover, this pizza is a contender with some of the best I’ve ever had. They have other food options as well but I can not speak to them.

Lastly across the street and over a little bit is an little shop with green paint on the outside that sells empanadas, pasta and other goods as well. I had a few of the empanadas running 44 pesos a piece ($1.50 USD), two of them was plenty to fill me up and get me to dinner.

There are additional places nearby within walking distance (Pizzas Branca and others), I haven’t had a chance to try them yet as the Sinergia chef is fantastic, relatively healthy, fresh food and super convenient at a fair price.

Stress Relief

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Downstairs Game Room, Kitchen and Indoor Dining Room.

Need to burn off some steam? Client pissing you off and you want to print out their photo and throw darts at it? No problem. This facility comes packed with options.

  • Basement Lounge
  • Elliptical Machine
  • Dueling Massage Chairs
  • Ping Pong
  • Foosball
  • Dart Board
  • Board & Card Games
  • The Beach & Soccer Fields Nearby

Additional Perks

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Roof Top Deck, Lunch/Nap Spot And Fire Pit

I am not going to go through all of these, but this place offers a lot of perks to the people who work here. A short list I am thinking of off the top of my head are as follows:

  • A great community of businesses work here
  • Printers
  • Kitchen
  • Refrigerator to keep lunch cold
  • Conference Rooms
  • On Site Chef
  • Natural Light
  • Free Water
  • Beer Fridge & Soda (100 pesos for a 1L)
  • Rooftop Deck w/Firepit
  • Coffee Club
  • Mate Club
  • Bathrooms with a Shower
  • Secure Lockers

 

After Hours Events

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Don’t Have Enough To Do? Stick Around For One Of The Many Events!

Final Thoughts

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Natural Light Flooding In From Above.

Within just a few days of working at Sinergia Cowork, I know I want to return here in the future. In casual conversation I’ve caught myself saying I could work here every day. Obviously it would be quite different without my fellow remotes, none the less, this is a great space and it almost feels like home at times. Once you get settled and use to the daily routine around here, it feels like similar coworking spaces I’ve visited over the years. If I ever learn enough Spanish to hold a conversation, interacting with the warm people here will be even better. Thanks to Remote Year for finding a great workspace for us to operate out of this month.

Thanks for taking the time to read. If you enjoyed this facilities overview and would like me to do more in the future, let me know! If you have any additional questions or want more information about something I didn’t touch on, just drop them in the comments section.

Thanks!

Ben Schmidtke
Senior Developer at Digital Primates
Remote Year: Battuta

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