I want to use this article clear up some misconceptions of what coliving is, specifically for Outpost Club (I can't speak on behalf of other coliving operators). Here are some things I hear people say:
"Oh, It's a dorm!"
No, it's not a dorm. Dorms usually don't have kitchens, and sometimes don't have common rooms. In most dorms, you don't get to pick your room accommodation, you're almost always sharing a room, and only sometimes do you get to choose your location. At Outpost Club, you can pick whatever style room you want (shared or private), and move around after you've arrived.
"If it's not a dorm, it's still only for college students"
Incorrect. Yes, we have members who are students, but we also have members who are professionals in their field, entrepreneurs, travelers, freelancers, and from all other walks of life.
"Oh, well then it must be a hostel!"
Still, not the case. Hostels are places for short stays. You might make some friends at a hostel, but it is lacking community. At Outpost Club the minimum stay is a month, allowing members to get to know each other and become a part of our community. We provide common areas you'd actually want to hang out in, hold events, and have a house leader at each location to facilitate this community.
"You guys share things, so it's gotta be a commune!"
Yeah... that's a large oversimplification. Sure, we share essentials (see what included in membership) but other than that we share only space. We cook our own meals (other than at potlucks) work independently, and take our own showers (you'd be surprised what some people assume about our members).
"There's no way it stays clean"
Each house has a cleaner that comes once a week. The cleaner "resets" the house by cleaning all common rooms, changing the sheets on your bed, and restocking all the essential items we provide. The cleanliness of your room, like always, is up to you.
"It must be loud all the time."
Quiet hours start at 10pm, and they are observed.
"If I lived there, I'd never get any privacy."
You can alway find a place to be alone in any of our houses. If you work from home, the only other people who will be at home will most likely also be working. If you share a room, roommates take vacations, and sometimes sleepover at friends houses. You can also communicate with roommates about privacy, it's up to you to make those accommodations.
"I've never done coliving before so I don't know what it would be like"
The thing is, you've probably done coliving before and just don't know it. Outpost Club's definition of coliving is "A shared housing model with mid-to-long-term stays" that's it. Have you ever shared a house with someone? If so, you're already halfway there.
As I mentioned at the beginning, most of the preconceived notions that people have about coliving are negative. But there is a bright side to this: almost all of these negative assumptions evaporate the moment someone holding these assumptions walk into a coliving space. My advice to anyone interested in coliving is this: go see a coliving space in person. There have been so many times where I show someone an Outpost Club space, and they say something like "Oh, it's just an apartment with people in it." I'm not sure what these people were imagining beforehand, but showing them the physical space removes all doubts they had about living in these spaces.
Thanks to Outpost Club
for making this article.