Co-living: the Future of Housing for Digital Nomads?

Co-living roommates!
Residents at Cohabs’ Paris co-living house.

Co-living Around the World: Interesting Options

By Sarah Arksey
Associate Writer

Co-living may be a good option for digital nomads looking to combine the stability of a long-term rental with the flexibility of a hotel.

A digital nomad working in nature (Image by StockSnap from Pixabay)
A digital nomad working in nature (Image by StockSnap from Pixabay)

One such company, Cohabs, requires a minimum six-month lease, but you can move rooms or houses at any time– even to one of their locations in a different country!

For a limited time, Cohabs is offering three-month contracts to new members.

Q & A with Cohabs

GoNOMAD spoke to Perry Betts, a rep for Cohabs, to get a clearer picture of what the rise of co-living spaces could mean for travelers.

Cohabs has co-living spaces in New York City, Brussels, Luxembourg, Paris, Madrid, and London. Soon, the company will expand to include locations in Milan, Marseille, and Washington, D.C..

The pilot location was Brussels, after which they expanded to the United States– “The founders thought that If they could make it in New York City, they could make it anywhere”, explained Betts.

Each building has between 3 and 24 private rooms, which fall under three priced tiers, depending on if they have private bathrooms and/or showers.

With an average resident age of 28, Cohabs is a desirable option for young social people who want to skip awkward small talk on Bumble BFF and develop in-person connections immediately. Folks who are older shouldn’t be deterred– Cohabs has housed residents well into their late 40s.

Cooking Contests at Cohabs

Cohabs organizes a range of events for residents– “We’ve had some cooking contests, happy hours together, yoga classes, runs in the park, hikes, epic Halloween parties, summer barbecues,” says Betts, adding that there are plenty of opportunities to meet the residents of other Cohabs houses as well.

There’s even an annual retreat for members, which takes place regionally— bringing Cohabs members from different cities together for a weekend of fun activities such as hiking, art, and cocktail making. Betts describes these retreats as a chance “to experience what Cohabs is about, in a beautiful setting”— making new friends and happy memories.

Even if you generally prefer living alone, staying at Cohabs can serve as a networking boot camp. People from all walks of life end up at Cohabs, resulting in a dynamic mix of working professionals– pilots, bartenders, content creators, analysts, etc– and students.

“Let’s not forget about the informal mentorship that naturally occurs in a co-living environment”, says Cohabs NYC member Catherine. “Maybe you seek career advice from a housemate who’s already established in your field, or you receive guidance on personal challenges from someone who’s been there before.”

Many people have made lifelong connections at Cohabs. “We had two members get married in one of our houses,” remarked Betts. “Many housemates travel on vacations together— some have even gotten matching tattoos!”

Consulting with local guides can help you make new friends with people from your destination.
Consulting with local guides can help you make new friends with people from your destination.

More co-living options

Another popular co-living option is Outsite, which may suit those looking for shorter stays— some locations require as few as two nights. Outsite offers locations in 30 cities across five continents, some of which are bookable instantly, others requiring a membership—priced at $149 for a year or $399 for lifetime access.

Outsite emphasizes the connection between travelers and the local community, working with local non-profits and community initiatives whenever possible. The company’s Porto and Lisbon locations also house Cowork Cafes, which are coworking spaces open to both residents the public through the purchase of a daily, weekly, or monthly access pass. 

Selina, a company well-known for their upscale hostels, has launched Selina CoLive to offer monthly rentals geared at remote workers. This program could be a good option for those seeking a condensed version of the freedom of movement offered by Cohabs members must commit to 30 nights with Selina but can stay in up to three different locations within specific regions (such as South America, Northern Europe, and the United States) within this timeframe.

In return for this commitment, residents are given 40% off the nightly rate, added perks like access to Selina’s CoWork program and one complimentary wellness class per day- such as yoga, meditation or fitness classes.

Perhaps the most utilized platform— with over 90,000 monthly visitors and 80,000 members— is Coliving.com. This website allows independent homeowners and landlords to list their coliving spaces on its “marketplace.”

The website has a unique feature that allows you to sort by community type— options include Artists and Creatives, Students, and Entrepreneurs. A similar site, Colivevalues.com, offers users the option to filter co-living units by eclectic categories like Open-mindedness, Surfing, and Crypto, imploring interested nomads to “meet like-minded people, stay in inspiring places, and work remotely from wherever is next on your bucket list”.

The co-living curious also have the option to simply seek out independent co-living spaces in their region of interest— just search up your dream destination + ‘co-living’. This option may be especially attractive for those who desire a more intimate, mom-and-pop experience. Gery, the owner of one such independent space, Waves & Wifi in Popoyo, Nicaragua, says the building was initially intended as a gathering place for his friends— “Then the idea came to mind— why not just open it for everyone?”

Waves & Wifi was bookable exclusively through the house’s website until last week, when they expanded to Airbnb. Gery says that his favorite part of the process thus far has been the opening party, which punctuated the house’s growth from personal to public space. “At some point I went to the rooftop, and looked down [at] over 100 people dancing, drinking, [and] having a good time in this beautiful space I created.”

Why Choose Co-living?

When asked why he chose to stay with Selina CoLive, resident Felipe said that the promise of top-notch wifi access initially drew him in. “My favorite thing was being able to work remotely with great internet connection in different locations”, says Felipe, who was able to use CoLive to split a monthly rental contract across multiple locations across Brazil and Colombia.

Felipe also points to the community aspect as one of his favorite parts of co-living “One of the moments that I cherished the most was being able to share [New Year’s Eve] with different groups, when I thought I was going to be alone,” he reminisces. “It was special because everybody made me feel [like] part of the celebration, and included me in all of [their] plans.”

The results of the survey conducted by One Shared House 2030 which aimed to fill the relative gap in co-living research- found that users ranked the two biggest pros of co-living as “having more ways to socialize and splitting costs and getting more bang for your buck”.

Some studies have found that the high levels of communication and social mobilization found in co-living environments could improve “residents’ self-rated health status, especially in elderly persons” and can also fight against “developing functional decline and mental health problems”.

In addition, research has suggested that living arrangements that emphasize community have “also been positively related to a range of health outcomes and indicators of wellbeing, including life satisfaction and loneliness, happiness, and quality of life.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Sarah Arksey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top
Skip to content