WHAT: Co-living is a relatively new concept where visitors are offered accommodation in hotel-room-sized rooms, with or without bathrooms, and access to a shared kitchen, living room and community activities. In larger cities such as London, this has grown strongly as a result of the current housing crisis, where people have joined the global movement of digital nomadism, which encourages a flexible lifestyle. The rent is often cheaper than renting an own apartment, and there is often also access to common workspaces so that the residents can have a desk, meeting room and internet connection to be able to work remotely. The target group for co-living often has few possessions, living in an international context with the opportunity and willingness to live in many different countries.
SO WHAT: Since the outbreak of the pandemic, interest in co-living and long stay concepts has increased, especially among city dwellers who want to get away from isolation. It is widespread today in many cities and communities, ranging from capitals such as London and Stockholm, to smaller cities in the Canary Islands. In Sweden, we find it in the ski resort Åre, among other places. During the pandemic, a new phenomenon of “covid refugees” has emerged. Covid refugees are people who move to countries like Sweden, where the restrictions are easier than in their home country, or who move to warmer climates and nature to escape lock down. The trend may be temporary, but there are many indications that it may continue in the longer term, as the infrastructure is improved and the focus on the target group becomes stronger. This group often chooses to own fewer things, which opens up for other emerging sharing services, such as car- or bicycle- pools that contribute to a stronger local economy.