Living with roommates used to be relegated to college and for those that could not afford to live alone. But things are changing. Remote working continues to surge in popularity. Digital nomads have begun spreading across the globe. With this, there is a growing desire for community. Modern jobs are creating a demand for not only coworking spaces but also co-living environments. There is plenty of evidence to show why this should be welcomed by communities all over the world.
What is Co-living?
Co-living is basically what you did in university – except it’s done at a time in your life when you have money and actually want to live with others for the communal benefit rather than convenience. Of course, there is quite a bit of convenience built into co-living, but it is not the focus.
It’s less common to meet new people later in life. But that’s exactly what co-living does. It not only introduces people to each other in the co-living space, it facilitates meetups, skillshares, and organic networking that leads to new friends and meaningful connections.
Co-living situations can be set up long-term, short-term, full-time, part-time, and everything in-between. It can be facilitated by a group like WiFi Tribe, or it can be coordinated online with friends. It can also happen organically, which is a much rarer occurrence, though it would surely be amazing.
Co-living spaces are popping up all over the world, from established places like Bali and Medellin to emerging places such as Oman and Kenya. Remote workers and digital nomads are taking advantage of the ease of access and making co-living more commonly known to the average person.
Is Co-living and Coworking too much together?
Like most good things in life, too much can be a bad thing. The key to coworking and coliving in harmony is to find the right balance, much like you would if you worked with roommates or spent a lot of out of work time with colleagues from the office.
Finding that good work-life balance
It’s important to have a balanced approach to working and living remotely. You also need to find a balance with the amount of time you spend with those that you co-live with. Especially while coworking with those same people.
There are many points along the spectrum of introversion and extroversion. Some people able to be around people 24/7 while others need alone time so much you might wonder why they joined a coliving program at all.
Whichever side you tend to lean towards, it’s safe to assume that you’ll have times where you want to see people and other times when you need some introversion space. Setting aside time for yourself will help keep the balance. There will always be plenty of time for socializing in coworking and co-living environments. That’s part of what makes them so good! Other than that, opting for a private room is a good way to carve out a bit of personal space that will always be available. And the most important thing of all: make sure you actually work! Assuring you spend the allotted time needed to work on your projects is key. It will ensure that you look forward to spending time with your location independent colleagues, rather than needing a break from them.
Finding a schedule that works
Coliving doesn’t have to be a full-time thing. Many people opt to work from the office for long stretches of time while joining coliving programs for a month or two at a time. Coworking is similar. Some people prefer to work from home most of the time, choosing to utilize coworking spaces as a socialized break from solitary working. It’s all about finding a schedule that works for the individual. Much like there are introverts and extroverts, at every point along the spectrum, there are those who work better in social environments and others who work better alone. And, just like the intro- versus extro-tendencies of people, working preferences can change based on mood, situation, deadlines, or anything else that affects somebody’s workload.
Finding a vibe that works.
Again, as with so many other things in life, the people and the setting both play a major role in how much you enjoy where you are. When you set up shop in a location you chose for yourself instead of one that was assigned to you, it’s usually a good start. When you’re surrounded by like-minded people in such a place, it makes it even better. That’s one of the main reasons why work and travel programs are great options for remote professionals. You can’t necessarily choose the group of people you are with, but by joining something like WiFi Tribe you’lll be sharing a space with people who have similar work schedules and usually great people down to their core. WIth so many fun things like bbq’s, movie nights, and trampoline park outings, it’s hard not to enjoy being around your coliving crew.
It’s also important to find your ideal working environment to maximize productivity, which will help ensure that all the other aspects of remote working run smoothly.
Where are some of the best places to find great co-living environments?
Besides WiFi Tribe, there are many coliving programs available around the world. Some are locally operated while others have a more global focus, and they all offer slightly different things. Remote Year offers longer-term experiences for up to an entire year at a time. Outsite and Roam offer different coliving options as well. And Coliving Hub is a global association of coliving and coworking spaces. Everybody differs in preference and it takes some research to decide which is best for each individual. Fortunately, there is a lot of content out there to base your decision on.
Established Co-living Locations
The most popular destinations in the world for digital nomads or remote professionals are Bali, Chiang Mai, and Medellin. All these locations offer similar things: inexpensive accommodations, loads of coworking spaces, abundant wifi, a strong digital and remote community, and great weather. There are other emerging places, but these ones take the cake for the moment, and there’s no sign of them slowing down in the foreseeable future.
Up-and-coming Co-living Locations
There are plenty of locations that are drawing in independent workers to fast become the next go-to hotspots. All that’s really needed is a reliable high-speed internet connection and an environment conducive to camaraderie.
There are so many amazing locales that fit this description.
First off, there are places like Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico City. They have Selina coworking spaces and ease of access for Americans (from both continents) and Europeans. There is already a growing remote work community in each of these areas; it wouldn’t be surprising if they started growing quicker. They could become almost as well-known as Medellin as a desired coliving destination.
Secondly, there are places like Barcelona, Florence, and San Diego. These are a bit on the expensive side, but full of adventure, reliable internet, and community. They lack the affordability of the more traditional coworking and coliving hubs, though that isn’t a huge issue. It hasn’t deterred people that think it’s worth it to save a little more to experience their incredible charms.
Lastly, there are places like Nairobi, Kenya and Cape Town, South Africa. A little less accessible for the majority of remote workers but well worth the logistical effort. Both locations have good WiFi and a growing digital nomad presence, with all the authenticity and welcoming nature of somewhere that hasn’t been overrun with tourists.
No matter what you’re looking for in a co-living community, you’ll find the perfect fit somewhere in the world.
You just need to know where to look.
Interested in co-living with a great crew of people? Check out WiFi Tribe’s next locations in 2021. Try coliving with other cool people in one of over 25 locations on 5 continents around the world.