“Outpost defines coliving as a community living concept that encourages like-minded people to live, be productive, and engage with each other and their surroundings.”

What is Coliving?

When you relocate to a new town, city, or country, what are the biggest challenges? For most, the hardest parts of moving to an unfamiliar environment are finding a place to live and meeting new people. Coliving solves both of these problems. 

Although there isn’t a single definition of “coliving,” most interpretations focus on the concept’s community, convenience, cost, and collaborative aspects.

Architecturally speaking, coliving is a communal living model in which residents rent a private room in a fully-furnished building with shared spaces and facilities. Generally, all utilities are included in the rental cost, with the shared components greatly contributing to affordability. If they aren’t purpose-built, coliving buildings are often redesigned to incorporate shared spaces that facilitate social interaction. Put simply, coliving is living communally with others and sharing social spaces and work spaces, all while fostering community. 

Why is coliving on the rise?

Among the myriad reasons driving coliving’s rise in popularity, three stand out: its affordability, flexibility and convenience, and sense of community. 

Particularly for those in urban environments with rapidly rising property prices, coliving allows access to housing in prime locations that most likely they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Across Asia’s major cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Bangkok, Bangalore, Manila, Jakarta, and Tokyo — locals and newcomers are increasingly drawn to the concept. With its higher density metropolises and younger demographics, people in Asia are most likely to engage in the sharing economy, according to Statistica

Consider for a moment all the logistics involved with living in traditional fixed-term rental housing: browsing available properties and inspecting them; negotiating with agents and landlords; managing the relocation process and ongoing rental requirements. Then, when it’s time to move on, managing lease-break or end of lease contracts and dealing with utility companies.

Coliving eliminates the often headache-inducing inefficiencies of the traditional rental model by enabling residents to communicate directly with one company for all related aspects, from lease agreements to laundry. 

The desire to connect with others is at the core of coliving. Whether in Bangkok or Bali, as more and more professionals choose to work remotely, the concept enables direct access to potential friends and collaborators. Students, digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and travelers are drawn towards the model. Every coliving building is a community-centered environment, where social interaction — whether for work or recreation, spontaneous or scheduled — is a fundamental part of daily life.

Is coliving for you? 

Do you prefer to spend time with others more than spending time alone? This is the most important question to ask yourself if you’re considering coliving. 

Although it’s perfectly natural (and recommended) to spend some time alone, coliving means you’ll cross paths with your fellow residents at any time of the day: setting off for a morning walk, surf, or yoga session; tucking into breakfast; settling in for a few hours’ solid work; getting creative in the kitchen; or kicking back in the evening.

Coliving doesn’t just entail sharing spaces but sharing moments, so mutual consideration for the needs and comfort of others is key. It’s important to be adaptable, as it’s possible you might end up living with someone you don’t necessarily “click” with immediately. Being open is also crucial, and communicating your needs clearly and politely will help to avoid any altercations.

If you thrive off social interaction, are respectful of others, and regard making new friends as one of life’s greatest gifts, you’re pretty much guaranteed to flourish in a coliving environment.

What makes a good coliving space?

A good coliving space provides every facility and service that residents need to live comfortably, from high-speed internet and dedicated workspaces, to a fully-equipped kitchen, to clean and welcoming living areas that feel like home. 

Event facilitation and information about the location are also seen as necessities, especially for newcomers to a destination. To ease communication among residents, a coliving space might have a WhatsApp group, a dedicated app, or an old-fashioned noticeboard. 

Engagement with local communities, groups, and businesses is another element of the coliving experience that is increasingly prioritized by residents. Whether it’s access to professional networks, cultural workshops, volunteering opportunities, or member perks and discounts, a good coliving space will provide residents with pathways to deeper involvement with the destination.

How has Covid-19 impacted coliving?

Prior to the pandemic, the coliving sector was experiencing a boom around the world. Leveraging off the exponential growth of coworking, coliving communities were burgeoning. When Covid-19 escalated into a global health crisis, coliving operators had to rapidly respond to ensure the health and safety of residents. 

In the short-term, this entailed closing communal spaces and introducing social distancing guidelines, just as public facilities were closed around the world. For vital spaces such as kitchens, capacity limits were enforced. Strict health protocols were implemented and hygiene facilities introduced, such as hand washing and sanitizing stations throughout buildings.

Some observers claimed that Covid-19 would spell the end of the coliving model, but they couldn’t have been further from the truth. The pandemic cemented the remote work era; with offices closed, millions around the world discovered the benefits of working from anywhere. This pushed countless companies — including Facebook and Twitter — to offer remote work in some capacity not just for the duration of the pandemic, but permanently. 

With the unwavering rise of remote work, more and more people across various professions are exploring slow travel and the nomadic lifestyle — for which coliving is the ideal housing solution. Once vaccination rates improve, borders reopen, and social distancing restrictions ease, industry analysts are expecting sustained demand across Asia’s biggest cities, while occupancy rates in Singapore are already at 90%.  

“Once vaccination rates improve, borders reopen, and social distancing restrictions ease, industry analysts are expecting sustained demand across Asia’s biggest cities, while occupancy rates in Singapore are already at 90%.”

Coliving at Outpost 

At both our coliving and coworking spaces, community is at the heart of Outpost. Whether by the pool, while strolling through the gardens, setting up at the work lounge, over a meal in a dining area or at a nearby cafe, or during a yoga session, you’ll find countless chances to cross paths with fellow coliving residents. 

In the tranquil village of Nyuh Kuning, Outpost Ubud Coliving Suites are a short walk or ride from our coworking space. The spacious, air-conditioned bungalows with seating area and private balcony are nestled amongst expansive gardens. 

Nyuh Kuning (which in Balinese means “young yellow coconut”) is probably the most walkable in all of Ubud, with well-maintained sidewalks and speed bumps deterring fast drivers. It’s home to dozens of cafes and eateries, including Sage, one of Ubud’s most renowned vegan restaurants, and Warung Rama, which serves one of the best nasi campur in town. 

Outpost Ubud Penestanan is the newest addition to our Bali destinations. Just a five-minute ride to central Ubud, Penestanan has long drawn travelers, digital nomads, and remote workers with its rice fields, tranquil back streets, and wide array of cafes.

With a sparkling lap pool at the center and vines cascading down the building’s facade, the rooms with ensuite bathrooms are cool and inviting with earthy tones and natural elements. Meet fellow residents while whipping something up in the communal kitchen, or while soaking up a sunset on the rooftop deck. 

For those eager to explore a completely different side to Bali, Canggu has grown into perhaps the island’s most vibrant hub for anywhere workers and entrepreneurs. Just a short distance from our coworking space, Outpost Canggu’s coliving is conveniently in the heart of it all. The air-conditioned rooms are equipped with bathrooms and a TV, while the shared kitchen, dining area, and rooftop deck are where residents relax after a solid day’s work or surf session.

From shoestring budget backpackers to some of the world’s top-rated resorts, there are thousands of accommodation options in Bali, but the selection narrows when it comes to those that encourage productivity, creativity, and connection. 

Written by Julia Winterflood