The world of work has changed and the movement to location-independent working is here to stay. Popularised by the working lifestyle of digital nomads, freelancers, entrepreneurs and self-employed, it’s only in light of the pandemic organisations were forced to allow people to work from home on a massive scale. Thankfully, much of that has stayed put, liberating the ways people can now work.
When you think to travel or live away, an Airbnb, hotel, guesthouse, cafe or workspace may come to mind. But there’s another rising choice among the options: coliving. Like coworking, where you share a workspace with others, coliving offers living quarters with shared facilities among coliving residents. It’s a model becoming more adopted around the world, especially in big cities where the price of accommodation is becoming prohibitively expensive.
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Finding coliving properties still heavily relies on searching websites and brands in those areas, but the best platform in development is coliving.com which has a few hundred coliving spaces around the world to choose from. The platform is well set up so that you have all the information, photos, map and video tours you need so you know what you’re signing up for ahead of time.
Contact the host with any questions, pick and choose the room and dates to approve and you’re all set. It’s that easy. Want to know more? Here are some of the best reasons why coliving should be on your radar.
Hotels, guesthouses and hostels tend to meet short-term and travel-dominated demands, with a high turnover of people checking in and out. Coliving slows that down with the shortest stay being a month, with some requiring three, six or nine-month commitments to stay at a coliving property.
This is great for residents who want a homely, living-at-home feel who can really build a connection with other cohabitants and form meaningful networks or relations with others. Bigger properties may hold events and activities where you really feel part of a community.
Coliving can be a great alternative for a long stay in your own country as it removes all the admin and pain points of renting a flat, apartment or room. All bills are included in your one monthly payment, removing the hassle to set up individual bills and commitments and length contracts you get locked into. Much like Airbnb, hotels and guesthouses, make one payment for your stay but enjoy all the extra facilities with a closer-knit community. So that’s gas, electricity, water, local housing tax… and with gas and oil prices increasing, coliving can offset the impact on finances without compromising on your lifestyle.
greater facilities without the premium
There are awesome coliving properties out there and if you search deep enough, you’ll find many to meet your lifestyle requirements and needs. It removes the need to source other facilities like workspace, gym or yoga studios, for example, providing extra value without the premium costs sometimes associated with these. Combined all in one payment, the convenience, and facilities beyond a usual Airbnb or costliness of hotels make them excellent value for money.
better pricing in excellent locations
Hotspot locations tend to drive a premium when booking in the location with quality not always guaranteed. Coliving properties benefit from economies of scale, meaning they can be in great locations at the heart of the action, removing the compromise you tend to make when renting properties or an Airbnb which can cost a fortune as an individual.
settle into a new place quickly
I’ve travelled and lived solo in different countries and recommend everyone do this at least once. Coliving offers a different experience and for fewer experienced travellers, it can be daunting to arrive in a new area with nothing familiar to you.
Staying at a coliving space helps call the place home quickly thanks to coliving residents to meet and greet. There’s a natural inclusion to how coliving brings everyone together in a shared workspace, living areas and eating dinner together or cooking in the kitchen. You can learn or join other residents to get a feel of the place.
networking and friendship
The beauty of coliving is breaking ice barriers to chat with other residents. You can find common ground quickly, because of the fact you’re staying in a coliving space. You may join someone for a morning run, afternoon yoga session or evening dinner. The concentration of skills also introduces opportunities to network and perhaps lead to collaborations on projects too. That’s hard to mimic in other accommodation options in a natural and authentic way.
Coliving caters to anyone but you’ll find a certain culture or atmosphere of remote workers, freelancers, digital nomads, professionals and entrepreneurs living on the move. When I travel or live elsewhere, being able to connect with people, share stories and do things together is what makes the experience a bigger sum than the parts.
In guesthouses, people have their own travel agendas and usually do things when they’re back, whereas in coliving, things are a lot slower since people stay at least one month, so there’s plenty more time to get to know each other and chances to do things without the rush. Coliving has a mindset of being able to work anywhere and live in a country rather than travel.
living quarters for professionals
You generally share coliving quarters with other people but you’ll have your own private space too. It’s equipped with professionals in mind so shared spaces are full of seated options, fast and reliable WiFi and a standard for bathroom, and kitchen facilities. Rooms are generally well furnished and equipped to your budget, with various room types on offer if you’re looking for further space, comforts or additional private facilities. While you can find coliving properties catered to high disposable incomes, coliving packs plenty of value as a rental option.
flexible rent schedule
They’re far more flexible than rentals and as close to – if not on parity – to how easy it is to book a hotel or Airbnb. At the most complicated, there’s a one-month deposit and fixed monthly commitment. At the most lucid, you can move into a coliving place within a day or two (if available) with the month’s rent and you’re good to go. No deposit, no lengthy contract, and no stipulated contract to sign (just read up on coliving conduct). For longer-term stays, the ease of moving around and not being locked in is a big plus.
Booking is much like booking an Airbnb. Find a place, book the dates, get approved and pay the amount before moving in. There’s still no definitive platform like say booking.com or estate agent searches so it takes some research to find coliving options in your destination place. But the next best thing that I’m sure will grow is coliving.com to search globally and with centralised protection and security.
unique / exclusive experience
There’s an increase in the diversity and quality of coliving places beyond what you may expect. Whether you’ve got a higher budget or are looking for a unique stay experience, you’ll find some amazing properties in amazing locations that are hard to replicate or find in other types of accommodation (that are still reasonably within the budget).
rise and efficacy of coliving
The increasing ability of people being footloose from work or travelling with more purpose makes coliving a real viable and forward-looking option. I call it living/travelling smarter while hitting your lifestyle, community and financial requirements. It creates an entirely different experience than what having your own place or being tied down to one location offers, with substantial benefits.
Again, digital nomads or long-term travellers have been doing this for a while, but if any of the above hits more of the kind of lifestyle you’re looking for – whether that’s in your hometown or another country – coliving should seriously be an accommodation option to consider around the world.