I've been working in the coliving industry for about half a year, and though this is a relatively short period of time, it's been a whirlwind. Outpost Club has expanded to five houses and continues to grow in members, staff, alumni, and locations month-over-month. But in my short time here, I've noticed something when speaking with people who know nothing about coliving: they have a lot of preconceived notions, and they are usually always negative. I want to use this article clear up some misconceptions of what coliving is, specifically for Outpost Club (I can't speak on behalf of other coliving operators). Here are some things I hear people say:
"Oh, It's a dorm!"
No, it's not a dorm. Dorms usually don't have kitchens, and sometimes don't have common rooms. In most dorms, you don't get to pick your room accommodation, you're almost always sharing a room, and only sometimes do you get to choose your location. At Outpost Club, you can pick whatever style room you want (shared or private), and move around after you've arrived.
"If it's not a dorm, it's still only for college students"
Incorrect. Yes, we have members who are students, but we also have members who are professionals in their field, entrepreneurs, travelers, freelancers, and from all other walks of life.
"Oh, well then it must be a hostel!"
Still, not the case. Hostels are places for short stays. You might make some friends at a hostel, but it is lacking community. At Outpost Club the minimum stay is a month, allowing members to get to know each other and become a part of our community. We provide common areas you'd actually want to hang out in, hold events, and have a house leader at each location to facilitate this community.
You guys share things, so it's gotta be a commune!
Yeah... that's a large oversimplification. Sure, we share essentials (see what included in membership) but other than that we share only space. We cook our own meals (other than at potlucks) work independently, and take our own showers (you'd be surprised what some people assume about our members).
"There's no way it stays clean"
Each house has a cleaner that comes once a week. The cleaner "resets" the house by cleaning all common rooms, changing the sheets on your bed, and restocking all the essential items we provide. The cleanliness of your room, like always, is up to you.
"It must be loud all the time."
Quiet hours start at 10pm, and they are observed.
"If I lived there, I'd never get any privacy."
You can alway find a place to be alone in any of our houses. If you work from home, the only other people who will be at home will most likely also be working. If you share a room, roommates take vacations, and sometimes sleepover at friends houses. You can also communicate with roommates about privacy, it's up to you to make those accommodations.
"I've never done coliving before so I don't know what it would be like"
The thing is, you've probably done coliving before and just don't know it. Outpost Club's definition of coliving is "A shared housing model with mid-to-long-term stays" that's it. Have you ever shared a house with someone? If so, you're already halfway there.
As I mentioned at the beginning, most of the preconceived notions that people have about coliving are negative. But there is a bright side to this: almost all of these negative assumptions evaporate the moment someone holding these assumptions walk into a coliving space. My advice to anyone interested in coliving is this: go see a coliving space in person. There have been so many times where I show someone an Outpost Club space, and they say something like "Oh, it's just an apartment with people in it." I'm not sure what these people were imagining beforehand, but showing them the physical space removes all doubts they had about living in these spaces.
Instead of leaving you with all the things coliving is not, here is what coliving with Outpost Club looks like:
WHO WE ARE
Outpost Club is a network of coliving locations throughout New York. Our goal is to make it super easy to move to New York, and to provide interesting and convenient places for affordable prices. But at Outpost Club, you receive more than just a place to live and work. The Outpost Club platform creates a coliving community that offers both general and professional networking, which personally benefits all members.
WHAT WE DO
Outpost Club provides end-to-end co-living services to tech startups, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, freelancers, remote workers, professionals, students, and anyone looking to move to a new city and meet new people. Coliving is a shared housing model. Members share kitchens, living rooms, and other common spaces with all members, and have a private or shared bedrooms of your choice. Everything is included in our flat fee: utilities, wifi, furniture, appliances, kitchen supplies, and anything else you would need upon moving into a new place. All you need to bring is your suitcase. Fill in the application, have a brief interview, grab your suitcase and move in! You’ll meet new people who will become your friends for life.
WHY WE DO IT
Even though New York houses millions of people, many of us feel lonely due to their housing arrangement and the individualistic nature of urban American culture. Despite this, at Outpost Club’s co-living locations, you’ll never come home to an empty house, and you will never feel alone.