Five young people aged between 28 and 32 years now form Hamburg’s first co-living and workspace in a 180-square metre apartment in trendy Sternschanze. To these budding entrepreneurs, laptops are their mobile offices. So it makes perfect sense to put their heads together and pick each other’s brains for a bright idea or two. Multitasking is not uncommon – work is done in the kitchen while cooking dinner or in the living room after last night’s party. The sharing concept originated in San Francisco, where co-living has popped up in response to a lack of affordable work and office space.
Inspiration, trust and sense of community
Co-working is characterised by a large, but lax network in which exchange occurs but without any deeper connection, according to Prof. Dr. Ulrich Reinhardt, a Hamburg-based researcher into the future. Co-living is advancement. He added: “This is where the concepts of sharing an office and apartment merge. The emerging community benefits from living together and in work terms. Ideas can be thrashed out and progressed, especially if people know each other. The sense of community plays an important role.” The five in Hamburg are well acquainted with the sense of community. Speaking to Hamburg News, Manuel Dingemann, a producer of videos focusing on sustainable companies, said: “Our co-living space thrives on personal exchange and deep connections. We can pour out our hearts to each other when things are not going well. At the same time, we encourage and support each other’s efforts to progress with our ventures.”
Pooled know-how – one for all, all for one
On moving into the co-living flat share, Natalie Richter, said: “I chose the smallest room because I would rather put every single euro towards my company.” She is in the throes of setting up leev – an apple juice brand. All the residents pooled their know-how to get Natalie’s first project going. Everyone thinks about what they can give back to the community – on a personal or expert level. But then borders between private and professional lives vanish. Natalie added: “We love our work and what we do. In this way, we realize ourselves. That’s why we do not distinguish consciously between job and leisure.“
Sharing amounts to caring
Co-living means more than just sharing the printer, desk or meeting room. But is sharing a new form of possession? Reinhardt predicts: “Sharing is caring. A trend is emerging not only among young people that focuses on the quality of life. In future, the emphasis will be on: ‘my family, my friends, my leisure’ and not on ‘my house, my auto, my yacht.“