Daily Bulletin


The Conversation

  • Written by Tim Mahlberg, PhD Candidate, University of Sydney
image

In the past two weeks I’ve met two people who introduced themselves as global nomads. By “nomads” they mean someone who moves from place to place with no fixed address, other than their email address. They consult wherever they go, and are enabled through technology to live and work from anywhere.

This new thinking about what and where work is performed is starting to influence thinking on where we live, offering an entirely new take on work-life balance.

Earlier generations had a job for life and lived close to the factory or office; work and life supported each other symbiotically. Today, while many people still co-locate near their primary employer, for others the “office” is anywhere with a reliable internet connection.

Working differently allows us to live differently. This thinking is what’s behind the “co-living” trend. Combined work and residential space is aimed at the flexible worker, the itinerant entrepreneur, the tech-fuelled millennial.

How it works

The idea is simple enough. A network of residential offerings provides semi-independent living across multiple locations; be it in one country or across many. Members pay a subscription and register in advance to secure a place, usually for at least a month at a time. In the early days, many operators are also allowing more short-term access of a few days at a time.

BASE, operating in Melbourne, Australia, aims to bring together young creatives in a co-living experiment. It incorporates a co-working space and regular events.

There are plenty of other co-living examples across the US in particular. Many appear to be driven by millennials eager to find new ways of bringing their work and life together. There is a theme of purpose-driven living that most if not all share.

While the majority of these offerings are centred on bringing together smaller communities, the emerging larger operators in this space include roam.co (previously Caravanserai). It has offerings in the US, Spain and Bali, with the UK and Argentina imminent. Nomadhouse.io boasts 18 locations across Europe, Morocco, Southeast Asia, the US and Colombia.

A new way of living

Recently, the world’s largest co-working space operator, WeWork (last year valued at US$10 billion), launched a new co-living spinoff, WeLive. It has two spaces in New York and Washington DC co-located above existing WeWork sites.

WeLive operates on a monthly subscription basis. It provides everything that you would expect from an Airbnb, with a dose of community that co-working members come to expect from WeWork, including its famous “unlimited beer and coffee”.

WeWork is betting big that its co-living model will be a hit. Leaked financials late last year reveal WeWork was expecting demand for WeLive to coincide with increasing co-working membership demand. In fact, WeWork expects income from WeLive memberships to increase to more than US$600 million in 2018, representing 21% of the company’s total revenue.

WeWork is opening its doors in two locations in Sydney shortly, but we don’t yet know if it has plans for WeLive in Australia. In an increasingly saturated local co-working market, the first challenge will be for it to gain traction in co-working.

Working alone together

Australia has seen rapid growth in co-working spaces, with more than 160 now operating. These cater to growing numbers of entrepreneurs, small business owners and, increasingly, corporate commuters looking for a change from the standard office environment.

Increasingly, too, these spaces are being recognised for their innovative potential by corporations interested in and working with emerging startups, such as Fin-tech hub Stone & Chalk in Sydney, or in building deeper relationships with customers, like The Village by NAB in Melbourne.

Seeking a tribe? Enquire within

Living in share communities is nothing new. We’ve been co-living in various forms for a long time.

Many of the communes of the 1960s and 70s are still with us, albeit segregated from mainstream society. Kibbutzim have formed an important part of modern Jewish history. Share houses, dorms and fraternities have been rites of passage for many through university and early professional life. And the final co-living destination for many is the retirement village.

Are recent co-living “experiments” only for millennials who want to live an Airbnb lifestyle, or is this the start of a bigger shift in the way we live and work, and the continued blurring of any remaining line between them?

If recent research on the impact of co-working spaces is anything to go by, being part of a co-living community appears to have clear benefits. One recent global co-working survey found 70% of co-workers felt they had become physically healthier as a result of their membership; 70% strongly felt a sense of belonging and 74% experienced greater productivity in their work life.

It is this last statistic that may reveal the dark side of co-living projects such as WeLive, warning that the line between life and work may be all but gone for younger generations who pursue “efficiency in life” at all costs.

In a world where life and work continue to dance around each other, our need for purpose and belonging remains. Co-living ventures like WeLive may inspire us to rethink our relationship with work, and refocus on becoming a part of our local community. Or, perhaps, the gloss of the startup and entrepreneur life will start to fade, and we’ll realise there really is no place like home.

Authors: Tim Mahlberg, PhD Candidate, University of Sydney

Read more http://theconversation.com/co-living-is-demolishing-the-line-between-work-and-life-60614

Writers Wanted

Major reform of surveillance laws proposed by review

arrow_forward

Thank you to everyone who helped The Conversation survive (and thrive) in 2020

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Business News

How to Find the Best SEO Services Company That Offers Guaranteed Results

As a business owner, you have to be strategic about how you’ll be able to reach your target market. That is why entrepreneurs implement various marketing tactics to reach their goals. With today...

News Co - avatar News Co

Top Reasons Why Your Business Needs SEO

SEO is crucial for the ranking of a website. You may think that SEO offers greater searchability while it can do more than this. The most cost-effective tool for the survival of smalls businesse...

News Co - avatar News Co

Nisbets’ Collab with The Lobby is Showing the Sexy Side of Hospitality Supply

Hospitality supply services might not immediately make you think ‘sexy’. But when a barkeep in a moodily lit bar holds up the perfectly formed juniper gin balloon or catches the light in the edg...

The Atticism - avatar The Atticism



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion