Co-living, a budding mode of shared housing, is beginning to change the way people — especially the current generation of young professionals — live out their daily routines. Co-living spaces are usually located near the tenants’ workplaces, giving them an alternative to commuting to work. As the problem of traffic burdens commuters and the cost of rent continues to rise, considering to reside in co-living spaces provide many benefits.

Local real estate marketplace Lamudi, in a recent post on its Web site, pointed out that traffic has gone “so bad that it has also become a major consideration for the working class. And with jobs heavily concentrated in Metro Manila, this problem is just one you don’t simply tiptoe around.”

“True enough, it can be a lose-lose situation: you either spend more on a place that is close to your work, or live in a more affordable area with some distance from work, requiring you to spend more on transportation,” it added.

Co-living spaces in the Metro primarily address this problem, giving a convenient solution to young professionals who are getting tired of commuting. Instead of beating the traffic for long hours just to get to work on time, they can just walk from their homes to offices with ease.

Affordability is another thing to note in co-living, since the rent is split to its tenants. “In this economy, it is simply too expensive to live on your own,” Lamudi wrote. “A large chunk of the expenses goes to lodging — and there are not many affordable options near business districts.”

Thankfully, co-living comes in time with the advantage of dividing the typical cost for one unit into 2-4 persons. Since the person is sharing the bill with either friends, officemates, or new people, he can “get the benefits of living in a condo, with a fraction of the cost.”

Likewise, co-living is more cost-worthy as it spares one from the cost of transportation that piles up every commute.

A survey conducted by Philippine co-living and dormitories brand MyTown found out that “a huge amount of young professionals’ income goes to transportation. On top of the costs, they spend between three to nine full days per month on their daily commute, simply to get to work and earn an income.”

With this reality among young professionals, co-living does not only remove the burden of tiresome commutes, but it also cuts off the big cost taken by it.

Also a very important benefit of co-living is the community it creates. As American co-living startup OpenDoor defines it, “co-living is a modern form of housing where residents share living space and a set of interests, values, and/or intentions.” Community is in the essence of co-living.

Allowing residents to cross paths and eventually build connections, co-living closely knits residents together in very profound ways.

On co-living with other residents, OpenDoor co-founder Jay Standish noted in an interview with Business Insider: “We don’t just ignore each other and go about our day when we’re stressed out… I’ll actually drop in and be, like, ‘What’s going on in your life?… It’s a way to start the day that’s actually honoring my humanity.”

In another interview by the Web site, Arram Sabeti, a CEO who shares a house in San Francisco with nine roomates, said “that creating this communal living space has cured his loneliness — and that it was one of the best decisions he ever made.”

Co-living spaces do not merely put people of different backgrounds to share rooms, but they also get them engaged through programs, activities, and workshops.

Among all these benefits, the best advantage of co-living accommodations is the work-life balance they bring. With the convenience it provides and the community it forms, co-living enables professionals to strike a balance between their careers and personal lives. Through co-living, residents live beyond their 9 to 5 work routine and get the chance to make the most out of their schedules.

Co-living spaces “are more likely to positively influence life by helping you achieve a balance between your time for recreation, rest, and work,” Lamudi noted.

“It would actually allow you to rest on your days off, and you would be able to accomplish more on your work-from-home days,” it added. “By drastically reducing your commute time, your expenditures, and your stress, co-living spaces could actually be the solution to the anxieties that come with adulting.”

Co-living, for all its benefits, helps one to work to live instead of living to work, as the saying goes. — Adrian Paul B. Conoza