What should your perfect co-working/living environment have?

What are some MUST HAVES in a co-working/living environment? ** other than stable wifi and awesome people :wink:

Make your co-living facility theme based. I wouldn’t care much to live in a place with random nomads with wildly different goals from my own. Then I’d rather get my own place and go to a coworking place.

One example: I’m settled with my own clients/business and not looking into expanding into other areas or collaborating with others. So a co-living setup with focus on starting new businesses and talks about SEO would be rather uninteresting for me.

So instead make a co-living setup for people who really wants to learn Python, Photoshop, party, loose weight or ski or what-not. Just don’t make it too generic.

Lockers, standing desk (i’m not using it constantly, but half of working time i’m standing), air-conditioned room, room for calls, good chairs (not expensive, but comfortable).

@northcoffee Thanks for your comments, very valid points. In fact, we want to be able to make it as much of an intentional community as possible. One of the most important things is getting the right people that are on similar calibers as entrepreneurs and can more effectively help each other out - whether that is exchanges of services, sharing knowledge/information or building completely new businesses together. The idea is to bring together great minds that can further their current projects while being pampered and given the opportunity to explore a new culture abroad.

@skat, good chairs is a good point - then again, if we all do standing desks we wont even need them :wink:

I love standing desks, but can’t really stand more then 4 hours a day. I believe that i’m not the only person that mixes standing/normal desks.

true, I just like to switch working location every 3 hours or so - forces me to move around. I don’t think I focus as well at standing desks. Do you feel any benefits from using standing desks over sitting?

Totally agree with that. Many people tend to think this community is wildly uniform in term of expectations and goals but looks like to me it is much more fragmented than this.

@fpietot true; I think finding entrepreneurs with similar expectations is also important for the “right” kind of resonance between participants.

I’ll back up the standing desks on half-day use, if you invest in the (expensive) Ergotron sit-stand units, you can pair them with a cheap chair and have the best of both worlds—and an extra monitor you don’t need to move. If you’re on a budget a fixed bar area that people can stand at and move between desks is fine (but won’t suit people of significantly varying heights…). For communal tables, make sure to use desk height (elbow) not table height otherwise the ergonomics suck for working.

Personally I like music whilst working, which means some speakers (with airplay)! But if so there has to be a quiet area too. And a casual feet-up area is essential (i.e. sofas) for coliving. The more people, the more distinct spaces are needed. If you’re only talking a few bedrooms, everyone can muddle in :slight_smile: If there’s more people and you’re not providing every meal, you have to have communal supplies (e.g. milk, bread, coffee…) otherwise the kitchen becomes a nightmare. A big fridge is worthwhile (or two if there’s a cook). If the water quality isn’t great then a water filter. Quality sockets and power strips! Good but adjustable/combination lighting. It’s the basics that really matter. Especially for stays of a week or more. For short stays you must be reachable by public transport!

@marcob what model are you thinking of? Renting or buying, programmes/inclusive and/or ad-hoc? It’s great to see more of these kinds of spaces being proposed and established, I would happily spend all year moving amongst. I’m planning on setting up a house in Fez next year myself, and would like to establish a network of such places. However I like contact with the local professional community thus an ‘open’ coworking, although more isolated locations would nonetheless be appealing for focus/escape/activity!

@jacob I’m actually thinking of buying or building, and then having several ‘rented’ locations - I might start with the later. My thoughts are similar to yours, having a network of spaces that can be accessed world-wide, but first in locations I am already familiar with and plugged into so that I can connect residents with the local entrepreneurial communities.

What model are you thinking of using?

@marcob My model is centred on creating an overlap for the two spheres of local coworkers (in a coworking space) with visiting/itinerant professionals (in a coliving space). So yeah definitely we have a common goal—bringing these two together (ideally in the same space) really creates richer serendipitous interactions. But I like to play around adding more to the mix, and my accommodation model remains to be further experimented with. I’ve posted a bit about it over in how do we solve housing for digital nomads.

I had at one point planned building in a more remote location, but it would have lacked the dynamism of overlap between the two. I’m intrigued by using co-ownership to expand to additional locations but I hadn’t considered your approach using a mix of owned and rented, which sounds easier to grow without further investment, especially into better connected and bigger cities when demand is established.

There’s a guy who posted in the Facebook Coliving group and is planning on doing something related to thecaravanserai.co so movement is really increasing in the idea. The Copass guys are also playing with ideas to connect separately managed adhoc/independent locations into a larger network for members (but not for location operators), which I find really interesting.

An advantage of owning is that we could enable member movement across locations with security, that would otherwise be risky with only leases, at least until there’s adequate demand. But this is just an ideal to grow facilities together rather than apart.

I think it would be great to get space operators to bash out some points on how they might be willing to participate in a wider network—what could be contributed, what could be gained, and what acceptable risk levels are.

Quite apart from allowing member movement, I’d like to see ‘community managers’ be able to reciprocally rotate amongst locations (and operators) to build stronger knowledge across it… Would love to hear what you think (and any other potential operators out there!).