Co-Living: Is this the Next Wave of Workspace?
The idea is simple: take the basic premise of co-working and add in a residential element. But will co-living be the next generation of workspace?
Dubbed a ΓÇ£co-living spaceΓÇ¥ for entrepreneurs, ThinkHouse in Raleigh, North Carolina is ΓÇ£a six-month action-learning residential AcceleratorΓÇ¥. Sounds intense.
According to their website, the ethos behind the incubator space is to enable young entrepreneurs to make the most of their time. Those accepted onto the programme will live together in a seven-bedroom house for six months, where they will share business ideas, work out plans and even have access to expert mentors to help them launch a fully-fledged venture.
There are even house rules. The entrepreneurs must attend leadership retreats, group meetings, and keep a weekly written or video diary of their experience. They must also work on their venture full time and use the house as their primary residence throughout the project. The website even describes it as a bootcamp.
One thing is for certain; this is really living your brand. But is it a good idea?
An intense working environment
WeΓÇÖve all watched Big Brother and the Apprentice, and weΓÇÖve all seen what an insular environment can do to ramp up the pressure. Fortunately, the residents of this incubator wonΓÇÖt have to deal with their every move being televised, although they are obligated to take part in publicity surrounding the scheme.
But enough of the negative. At its best, who knows what this co-living workspace could create? After all, how many of us have dreamed of launching a new project ΓÇô if only we had the time and space to work on it? ThinkHouse gives entrepreneurs the space to do just that; to really focus on their project away from the distractions of home.
WhatΓÇÖs more, the ThinkHouse entrepreneurs get to do this in a state-of-the-art working environment which is kitted out with 3D printers and an elaborate whiteboard system which allows them to brainstorm ideas anywhere in the house.
Will co-living be the new co-working?
So will we see a whole new generation of live-in workspace incubators spring up around the globe?
The team behind ThinkHouse are confident that co-living will catch on. They already have plans to roll out their model to forty-nine cities across the United States. If that sounds wildly optimistic, itΓÇÖs worth bearing in mind that the ThinkHouse team has some impressive entrepreneurial credentials; not to mention experience of running a co-working space specifically for entrepreneurs.
As ThinkHouse Co-Founder Christopher Gergen says; ΓÇ£WeΓÇÖre seasoned entrepreneurs ourselves; we wish we had this when we were just beginning our entrepreneurial ventures.ΓÇ¥
For highly driven entrepreneurs who share GergenΓÇÖs outlook, co-living workspace may be a way to supercharge their startup in its very early stages.
But not all entrepreneurs are from the same mould. For those who want to maintain more of a work-life balance, the intensity of a live-in business incubator may be just too much. After all, co-working space offers the same kind of collaborative, buzzing business environment ΓÇô without having to deal with your co-workersΓÇÖ┬á bad habits right around the clock.
And letΓÇÖs not forget that many entrepreneurs choose this route because they want more freedom and control over when and where they work, as well as what they work on.
So it may not be time for co-working to move over just yet; but weΓÇÖll definitely be watching to see how this co-living workspace develops.
Is co-living workspace the next wave of workspace? Would you use it to kick-start your business?