It doesn’t matter if you are a slow traveller or someone who prefers to move around quicker: Three essential struggles of being a digital nomad are, that you constantly have to find new places to live, new places to work from and also have to make new friends. That is usually not that much of a problem. But there are also times when it is a bit harder. The concept of co-living spaces for digital nomads is a great and easy way to solve these issues.
Since they are getting more and more popular, let’s see what this is about and find out, if that would be a potential alternative for you.
What Makes Co-Living Spaces For Digital Nomads So Special?
The idea of shared living has been around since hundreds of years. People, who are not necessarily in the same family, live in the same house or apartment, share the same amenities and parts of their life.
With the rise of the digital nomad lifestyle the original shared living concept needs to add a new important aspect: coworking.
All types of location-independent professionals come together to live and work in the same space. They usually share similar priorities, goals, values and work attitudes.
For that reason, co-living spaces for digital nomads are specifically designed for the needs of remote workers. There are proper working spaces with desks, printer, maybe some additional screens or headphones and most important: fast and reliable internet.
Despite all that, co-living spaces don’t have the typical office atmosphere. They are very unique with their own creative designs and charms. Often these shared living spaces are in a separate house or even a villa with amenities like a chill-out area, bar, hammocks, pool tables or even a pool or gym facilities.
You can usually choose between private rooms and dormitories. Many places offer multiple lease options, so you can pay per night, per week or per months.
Advantages of Co-Living Spaces
You don’t have to get up early in the morning, run to catch your bus and spend your precious time stuck in the traffic jam. Being able to work where you live saves you a whole lot of time and money, which you would otherwise invest in public transport (or your own transport).
Of course, you can rent a place to live, pay for a coworking space and the daily commute there. Or you simply pay once for a co-living space. Some seem to be expensive at a first glance. But paying for it separately might add up to even more.
No opening hours.
Only very, very few shared offices open 24 hours a day. But what if you get super creative at 11.30 pm? No problem in a co-living space where you can work at any time of the day.
You can work when you feel most productive or whenever creativity kicks in. No need to go somewhere first or consider opening hours. You also meet a lot of like-minded people, which can create synergies and you can help each other out.
Having all you need under the same roof makes things so much easier. It’s a hassle-free way to organize all the important aspects of your location-independent lifestyle.
Living in the same place forces you (in a positive way) to connect with others, share your stories and spend time together. It all comes naturally, which is especially great for introverts. Making new friends can’t possibly be any easier.
Co-living spaces for digital nomads bring together the same type of people. You all share the same lifestyle and have similar goals. Living together creates a strong feeling of community.
Disadvantages of Co-Living Spaces
Work and private life become one.
When you live and work at the same place, your flatmates are also your co-worker. You can work 24 hours a day from the same place. Your business and private life becomes one. It’s hard to keep both of them separate. I personally don’t mind it, quite the opposite. But I know many people who wouldn’t be happy with that lifestyle and need to keep borders.
Not everyone is a fan of sharing private spaces, such as a kitchen or lounge area with others. If you prefer having your own apartment/house, then a co-living space is, of course, not the right thing for you.
Sure, the creative environment, no restricted working hours and like-minded people can enhance your productivity a lot. But at the same time the non-office like and relaxed atmosphere can result in the opposite. Or maybe you have so much in common with your housemates, that you keep chatting all day and don’t get much done. It takes a bit of discipline to keep your level of productivity up.
Is it Just a Short Trend That Will Fade Away Soon?
You might be wondering if co-living spaces for digital nomads are just a thing of a couple of years. Maybe in ten years from now no one wants to use them anymore? But statistics and estimations tell a different story.
One point to consider is the fact that we slowly move away from traditional family constructs. Whereas in 1960, 72% of all adults in the USA were married, it was only 50% in year 2014. According to the Pew Research Center, this number will go down to 40% in 2035. Of course, you can also be in a partnership without being married. But it indicates that more and more people will be single and hence, might look for alternative ways of living.
Another important point is that by 2020, about 40% of all workforce will be based on freelancing and remote jobs. That also reflects the facts that 90% of all millennial employees strive for more flexibility in their job.
People become less interested in secure 9-5 jobs, with a steady income and a safe working environment. They don’t aim to stay in one company their entire life, but rather want to make many different experiences. People today have different values. Their personal freedom and flexibly are more important than a guaranteed job.
This results in the estimation, that there will be more than 1 billion digital nomads in this world by 2035.
Given these facts about the change of values and lifestyles, it is clear to see that there is a lot of potential for co-living spaces for digital nomads. That’s why I believe that in the future we will see a rise in places like that.
How To Find Co-Living Places
While there are hundreds of websites out there to find shared living spaces in general, it is not that easy with co-living spaces for digital nomads. Luckily, there are already a few great directories out there, to find the perfect space for you:
are two directories to find co-living spaces all around the world. Type in your preferred location, category, max. price and off you go. Read details about the place itself, the location and check out other users’ reviews.
If these two websites don’t list a space in a city you are looking, simply go with Google. The city plus “Co-living space” should list you the places (if there are any with an online presence).
Examples of Popular Places
As already mentioned, every co-living space for digital nomads is unique and has its own style, charm and community. There are some places, that have been around for quite a while and are very popular amongst location-independent professionals. The following list gives you some of the most famous spaces out there, which are well worth a stay.
Coconat opened its doors in April 2017 and is located just outside of Berlin. Placed in the middle of nature it is a great spot for everyone who’s into outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming, or biking. Perfect for all nature lovers looking for a quiet place to reboot.
If you want to enjoy the island life, KoHUB on Koh Lanta is the place to be. It attracts countless of entrepreneurs from all over the world, who want to enjoy the vivid island and creative co-living atmosphere. You can book the all-inclusive package and get 2 meals a day and leisure activities included.
Livit is located in Batubulan in Southeastern Bali. The facilities spread across 9 villas and are mainly for the Livit team members. But whenever they have availability they welcome other passionate entrepreneurs to work on their projects in the co-living space. Their motto: Get shit done and have fun!
Sun Desk, Morocco
Sun Desk is located 5 minutes from the beach, in the sunny surf village of Taghazout. Everyone is welcome, may it be the remote working student, ambitious entrepreneur or professional digital nomad. It’s the perfect gateway to combine work and relaxation. is located 5 minutes from the beach, in the sunny surf village of Taghazout. Everyone is welcome, may it be the remote working student, ambitious entrepreneur or professional digital nomad. It’s the perfect gateway to combine work and relaxation.
The Collective Old Oak, UK
The Collective Old Oak is a great place to stay while explore London. It is also the world’s largest co-living space, with rooms spread across 10 floors. There is a gym, spa, a terrace, restaurant and many other facilities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
The Surf Office, Spain
Located in multiple places (Lisbon, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Madeira & Barcelona) The Surf Office is specialized in off-site team buildings. Employer can send their team there to escape the routine and boost the team spirit. Perfect places for company retreats.
Based in New York City, Hawaii, Venice Beach and San Diego Outsite offers entrepreneurs, developers, artists, designer and all other types of location-independent professionals a beautiful temporary home. They screen every guest to ensure a curated community of interesting, laid back and friendly people.
The very popular coworking space WeWork has expanded and now created some great co-living spaces, too, under the name WeLive. At the moment they have one place in New York City and one in Washington, DC, both with flexible options. But knowing these guys it’s probably only a matter of time until the build more co-living spaces around the world.
What Are My Alternatives?
In case you’ve decided that co-living spaces for digital nomads are not the right thing for you, but you still want easy ways to get to know like-minded people and work at the same time, check out you following options:
1. Digital Nomad Retreats / Camps
This is not a vacation, but a workcation. You travel the world with a group of fellow location-independent professionals. Often you move to one new place every month. During the mornings and early afternoon hours everyone is busy doing their own work. In the evenings you explore the area and socialize.
Click here to find out more about digital nomad retreats and to see 12 other famous options.
2. Coworking Spaces
If you don’t like the idea of shared living but still want to work together with other digital nomads, then coworking spaces might be the right thing for you. It’s a shared office space you can rent on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and get to enjoy a fully equipped working place.
If you are thinking of becoming a member in a shared office space, make sure to read this background information before you sign up for any coworking space.
3. Offline or Online Communities
Another great way to meet like-minded people are certain communities for remote workers. You could, for example, join like-minded people during local social events. The website Meetup offers hundreds of different groups for digital nomads, that organize events all over the world.
If you want to find out more about these and many other communities for digital nomads, check out the linked article.
The Future of Working and Living
After reading about the great benefits and looking at the statistics about changes in lifestyles, it is safe to say that co-living spaces for digital nomads have much potential. I’m convinced that we are going to see more shared living and working spaces in the future and an increasing number of remote workers who want to profit from this concept.
In case you don’t want to share housing with others, but prefer more private space, you have still many alternatives to choose from. Coworking spaces are a great way to get an office feeling while moving from one place to another and offline and online communities are an easy option to meet like-minded nomads.
What do you think? Would you want to move into a co-living space for digital nomads for a while? Or have you lived in one already and want to share your experiences?