Essentially, coliving is an all-inclusive, cost effective and flexible rental option with a built-in community. Coliving is modern communal living that is characterized by large, shared community spaces with planned social events and social networking, and private living spaces made up of smaller, fully furnished, all-inclusive apartments.
Coliving spaces offer short-term lease or stay options, with everything included in one lower price, hotel-like perks, such as weekly cleaning, and turn-key amenities and utilities. Individuals rent their own apartment, shared room or even small home in coliving communities and then share common amenities such as kitchens, laundry facilities, communal and social areas, and the outdoor space.
Benefits of Coliving
Built in community and events
With coliving, the concept of communal living has been re-imagined by the millennial and Gen Z generations, who put more value on community and collaboration, yet are the most likely to report chronic loneliness (over 50%) and the least likely to interact socially with neighbors and co-workers or socialize in any form. According to a 2010 Brigham Young University study “loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity.”
Coliving offers a built-in community and social events almost every night, including group, movie night, game nights, BBQ, classes for business or self-improvement, exercise activities and even volunteer work. If the constant presence of others feels overwhelming some days, you can always retreat into your private apartment to relax and recharge. A well thought out coliving space has a balance of socialization when you want it, and the privacy of a comfy apartment when you don’t feel like being around people.
To ensure you don’t burn out from the combination of being around people all the time and living in a smaller than average apartment, it is recommended that your private apartment or room is at least 250 Square Feet (23 SM) without a kitchen, or 300 SF if your coliving apartment includes a kitchen, and preferably has a balcony or large windows that open onto green space or a nice view to make the room feel larger.
Lower price than traditional renting
When faced with ever increasing rental prices, millennials and Gen Z are usually forced to live in inhumanely small apartments at astronomical prices. Coliving addresses the financial and cost of living crisis facing younger generations by offering affordability and flexibility with more shared amenities centered around community. Not only is monthly rent lower, but it is also all-inclusive with furnished apartments and all utilities and amenities included in one price. Instead of incurring $5,000 or more to furnish an apartment with a bed, couch, table, workstation, kitchen utensils, pots and pans, TV, WIFI router, etc., coliving comes with a fully furnished layout. In addition, weekly cleaning, room maintenance, and utilities are usually included.
Many coliving buildings have a green policy and charge electricity if it goes over a base amount to discourage excessive or constant air condition usage.
Coliving can have the added financial benefit of shared resources. These shared resources can allow for nicer perks than individual residents could afford on their own. One example that highlights the benefits of shared economy is how one large commercial high-end kitchen for 40 residents to share is more efficient than having 40 kitchens in 40 small apartments, which takes up personal space, promotes waste and costs more. This sharing economy results in lower prices for residents and can be extended to many areas of living, depending on the community and their preferences.
Coliving can be especially beneficial for single people or couples without a need to have all private amenities, digital nomads (working remotely while traveling) and single professionals of any age.
Flexibility and convenience
Coliving offers flexible and short-term lease arrangements, often weekly or monthly, which make them convenient for those unable or unwilling to commit to a long-term lease. With covid and the advent of working remotely, more and more people are choosing to work remotely, or to become digital nomads. Coworking gives remote workers the ability to live in different locations – even travel and live worldwide (digital nomad). The world is becoming smaller and smaller and more and more millennials, Gen Z and even many Gen X, value travel and living in new cities and countries, learning and experiencing new things, growing and expanding their world view more than settling down and staying in one place.
Coworking is included
A major benefit of coliving is the inclusion of coworking spaces, which are communal rooms designed and dedicated for residents to work in. Like a mix between a coffee shop and library, a well thought out coliving space should include outdoor and indoor space, quiet rooms with no talking as well as a less strict rooms for light talking as well as dedicated zoom or skype rooms for calls. You can spend hundreds of dollars a month renting a desk in a coworking space or visiting coffee shops, which can be noisy and hard to work from, but most coliving spaces include coworking spaces for their residents at no charge. As many have experienced with remote working during covid, it is hard to sit inside your apartment hunched over your keyboard on your bed or couch with distractions all around. It has also been shown that being around others who are focused on work provides a positive social pressure to stop procrastinating and get work done. Not only is coworking space more productive, but a clear separation of workspace and living space is beneficial for mental health.
Modern urban living can feel like living around millions of people but not knowing anyone and being lonely and isolated. If done right, a well-planned coliving space can feel like a giant space for your use and enjoyment, with your private apartment being just part of the areas you use every day. It will be your office, your gym, your social club, your restaurant, coffee shop and more; your neighborhood where everyone lives together and knows each other.
Potential Drawbacks of Coliving
It is important to research the rules and styles of the coliving community before moving in. Due to the coliving arrangement, there may be factors such as noise levels or guest policies that are different from traditional apartments. Most coliving buildings enforce a quiet time after 10 PM on weekdays.
Coliving provides more shared common spaces and amenities in exchange for a lower price, flexibility and smaller personal space. This may not be ideal for those who want more privacy or do not wish to socialize much.
Getting along with others
Sharing common spaces with others means potential for conflict or misunderstanding. Individuals who cause problems or make others uncomfortable must be quickly identified and management’s job is to resolve and settle the issues before they grow into conflict. Communicating openly and honestly is important, as well as clearly defined rules and boundaries to address potential situations