Coliving - So Much More than Sharing a House
So what is coliving really?
Coliving spaces like Nine Coliving are not a new concept, but it’s definitely one that is gaining more and more popularity in recent years since more people have the opportunity to work remotely on their laptops regardless of their location.
And while coliving exists in many different forms, in this article we will be focusing exactly on the type of colivings for the community of digital nomads, location independent professionals, entrepreneurs, remote workers and expats, as well as people who have a permanent home base that don’t usually work remotely, but only do it for a few weeks per year.
What exactly is Coliving?
Let’s start with the most common misconceptions:
Coliving is not (only) a coworking space. Yes, most colivings have their own designated coworking area or office space. It makes sense since the guests have to work and most of them have very serious and demanding jobs. The coworking space however is just a small (although important) part of the coliving house and is by no means the main purpose of it.
Coliving is not a hostel. Many of the people staying at colivings are travellers and passionate about travels, but the purpose of coliving places is not budget traveling, neither are they places to just crash for the night. Just like any other lodging options you can find both luxurious and budget coliving places depending on the location and facilities that they provide. Unlike hostels or even hotels for that matter, the guests of coliving spaces typically stay for 2-3 weeks or longer as their purpose usually is to really experience the new location and to build some lasting relationships with like-minded people.
Coliving is not sharing a house with roommates with nostalgia to your student years. If you think that coliving is just an excuse for adults to re-live their early 20s or a place where unsuccessful entrepreneurs live together to share costs as a last step before moving back to their parents’ basement - you couldn’t be more wrong!
The new success of work life
We know for a long long time now that you don’t have to wear a suit and spend 12 to 16 hours a day in a corner office of a big city to be considered successful. Because really... who wants this nowadays?! Working in your flip flops from a sunny location and being able to island hop, surf and hike at anytime during the week, is the new successful. It’s the dream of every generation since the existence of the internet and it is undoubtedly the future and the path to better work-life balance and happier more-productive people.
But no matter if you run your own business or work for a company, traveling, living and working by yourself inevitably gets lonely after a while.
Well, this is exactly where colivings come into the picture to make things so much better and easier.
The basics of a coliving space
Colving places are usually a big house or property, where people can rent a bedroom mid to long term, while sharing common spaces such as office, kitchen, living room, garden etc with like- minded individuals. The idea of coliving is based on building communities and valuable relationships as well as promoting sustainability in the context of a shared economy.
The range of clients of coliving spaces is quite wide and constantly expanding - from people with full time remote/semi-remote jobs, freelancers or entrepreneurs and business owners to people with permanent home-bases, aspiring digital nomads, who are willing to try out the lifestyle and even sometimes retirees with passion for discovering new places and cultures.
What are the main benefits of staying at a coliving?
Oh well, where do we start!
From a purely practical perspective - when going to a new country, you most probably don’t speak the local language, so by booking a coliving you don’t have to deal with landlords, short term rental contracts, airbnb’s with crappy internet, figuring out how the public transport works or where to do your laundry.
But that’s not even that important, of course, you will eventually figure it out even if it takes some precious time.
The main purpose and benefit of the coliving is the COMMUNITY. Being in a place where working remotely and traveling is totally normal, everyone is doing it and everyone is facing the same opportunities and the same challenges, is just priceless. You don’t have to work alone in your bedroom all day (well, you can if you wish) or to stay for hours in a local coffee place where you can’t leave you laptop to go to the bathroom. With most colivings you also get an office space with fast internet, printer and most importantly with great and inspiring human beings, with whom you can discuss your work, brainstorm and exchange ideas. Sometimes this office can be a spacious room with a great view or a garden with birds and flowers or even a rooftop overlooking the ocean.
Another wonderful advantage of coliving houses is the balance between privacy and social life. You have your own space and you can do your own thing at anytime, but you also have the option to never be alone if you don’t want to. No matter if is to go to a local event or to the beach or hiking, or just not to have dinner by yourself - there’s always someone in the house who would be happy to join you. Many colivings organise shared activities such as BBQs, cooking and dining together, trips, game nights - and you are free to join ...or not. There’s no universal rule, but people who live this way tend to be quite open-minded and non-judgemental. Whether you want to have a quiet evening with a book or dance your heart out at a local nightclub - your community would understand and be respectful to your choices!
One of the main reasons which leads to that is that when at colivings, people don’t just share a house. They share values and interests, they share a similar lifestyle and often similar professions or at least jobs facing similar challenges, even if they are in different fields of business.
That’s why they can be very helpful to one another by sharing work and life experiences, but also very tolerant to each other’s differences.
Sustainability is another reason why colivings work so well. Millennials and travellers in general are more and more concerned about sustainability and let’s face it, travelling responsibly is not always so easy. As mentioned before, the main idea behind coliving spaces is sharing. Most importantly sharing emotional values, common visions and quality time with like-minded people, but also sharing practical stuff, which leads to less waste, less energy, water and fuel consumption and generally more sustainable living.
In addition to everything else coliving spaces also provide a great opportunity for business networking and skill sharing. People who share a house tend to get closer much faster than those who attend a business networking cocktail for an hour and this helps them exchange work related knowledge, find new clients, ideas and even jobs within this new network of people similar to them.
With all that said we are convinced that the concept of coliving is here to stay and will evolve with time as the clientele is becoming more and more diverse. Let’s see where that goes!
So if you haven’t tried it yet maybe you should consider this new experience or if you did, please share with us which are your favourite coliving places and why?