Coliving is a modern residential model wherein most of the facilities are shared. Besides your room and personal essentials, there could be any number of shared fully-furnished spaces for residents, including but not limited to lounges, coworking spaces, bars, gyms, and other features that are not only convenient but also foster social activity.
These communal spaces can encourage networking and a sense of community for freelancers, or even new entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and remote workers. Coliving spaces for freelancers allow for more creativity and inspiration from individuals in the same boat – even those from other industries.
You will likewise get to save money, especially if you are just starting out. In the U.S., San Francisco and Los Angeles are leading the charge in developing these new spaces geared toward attracting new clientele and the freelancing demographic. And while coliving may not be for everyone, it does have particular benefits for freelancers in today’s economy.
Addressing financial constraints
For many, rising rent and living expenses, coupled with student loan repayments and other forms of debt, have extinguished any hopes of moving out of their parent’s homes. This is especially true for freelancers, whose income can vary from month to month and for whom budgeting can be a challenge. Marcus’ guide to monthly budgeting points out that essentials like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and groceries should make up no more than half of your expenses — but rent alone, particularly in key US cities where freelancers can find the most work opportunities, can quickly go beyond the mark. Thankfully, coliving arrangements are beginning to address the problem.
The CNBC notes that coliving provides new opportunities for young professionals to live independently and reduce their living expenses. Not only are coliving rates drastically less expensive than regular rent, but they also include key perks like housekeeping services, trendy furniture, high-speed Wi-Fi, and supplies. This can help freelancers cut down on their expenses even further while keeping them close to work opportunities, allowing them to channel their finances towards other costs and long-term savings.
Making the world their oyster
Aside from key cities here in the US, coliving spaces have also begun sprouting up in different areas of the world, providing freelancers an opportunity to experience the same benefits in beautiful destinations like Bali, Indonesia, and Koh Lanta, Thailand. This can be a popular option for freelancers looking to become digital nomads, and the arrangement is particularly beneficial for those in the creative industries.
Source: Cospace | Coliving.com
“Creatives like to stay with other creatives all year round,” explains David Abraham of Outpost in a Nikkei Asian Review report on coliving spaces. Freelancers can enjoy coworking spaces, a pool, a kitchen restaurant, and even a yoga deck for fitness and relaxation. Not to mention, freelancers can also take in the surrounding scenery and travel to different areas of these tourist destinations — and again, for a fraction of the price.
Beyond the financial benefits and travel opportunities, coliving also provides the benefit of being with like-minded people. For some, this can result in a real feeling of belonging – even the opportunity to be genuinely part of creating and developing a living community. “I was looking for flexibility rather than being sucked into the cycle of letting agents” said 37-year-old finance professional Benjamin Webb. “The Collective (a co-living space) gave me that flexibility, but what kept me there – and I’ve extended my original contract – is the community and all the other things that come with it.” After living for 8 months at the Collective, Webb has become a community ambassador, putting him in charge of certain social responsibilities.
There is a real value to knowing how well you fit into a community. Being surrounded by and building a productive workplace culture with fellow freelancers and digital nomads can help you in many ways while also feeding the human need for regular social contact. A Forbes overview of the modern coliving model explains that the chance to live alongside people with similar mindsets and experiences is one of the main benefits of coliving and coworking. Sociologically speaking, coliving is a Millennial invention, which accounts for how it prioritizes flexibility and convenience — a sense of community without commitment.
Greater productivity at home
In coliving spaces, the shared responsibility and access to dedicated working areas are aimed at increasing work productivity from home. One of the main reasons people sometimes prefer coworking spaces or coffee shops instead of working alone at home is to be around people while they work simply – even the most introverted freelancers and remote workers can tell you that doing this from time to time can increase your productivity. In some coliving spaces with their dedicated coworking areas, the need to seek out outside flexible workspaces is eliminated. In the case of lifestyle blogger Misti Schindele, having the option of working alone in her bedroom and going downstairs to a large table to congregate with people while she works has afforded her a sense of balance. Her coliving space is called Common, and it’s shared between 15 people who use the remote working software Slack to either message each other to plan hangs or not get in each other’s way.
If you’re curious about how to live like a digital nomad, Coliving.com can help you find a home or host others looking for coliving spaces.
Article contributed by Anna Vazquez
Freelance writer and graphic artist Anna Vazquez has been a world traveler for years, not just surviving but thriving as a digital nomad in a number of locations in Southeast Asia, Europe, and South America. As the coliving model goes mainstream, Anna believes that the growth of remote working will be more rapid in the coming years, fueled by increased digitization and the increasing number of coworking spaces worldwide.