Coliving, Community, and the Future of Work

My father has all the marks of a common man, except for one. He always quit a job when he felt restless. He never waited for problems to be solved, money to be amassed or any other stone to be dislodged. If he got bored, he’d quit the work he was doing!

This was back in the day, when freelancing was not really the way for a bread-winner and contract jobs meant an unsteady environment at home. One year he’d work in Dubai, another year he was part of a project in a town in Western India. Many of our friends and family considered this trait of his fickle (Why would someone not fight it out? What happens to security? You have two young daughters still in school!). But to me, in my impressionable age, this was a glorious way to work.

It taught me the most important lesson I’d ever learn – work only if you like it. Work where you like to.

I discovered Roam recently – a startup that endorsed the idea of ‘the future of work’ by providing gorgeous coliving and coworking spaces around the world. Here was a company that was bringing a community under one roof, fostering the best kind of work environment and enabling people to travel without hassles.

I was smitten and had a nagging urge to be a part of this movement. Their concept resonated within me – the idea of helping people seek out independence in their life and break from society’s conditioned idea of how work should be. Somehow, the cosmos conspired, opened an avenue and helped me clinch a job at Roam.

Working at Roam as the social media manager made me realise that people were increasingly seeking location independence and envisaging the future of work. These were people like me, who were looking for freedom – of space, work and life. They were all seeking to roam free and continue to do the work they were passionate about. They were not “all freelancers” as my family and friends first assumed. In fact, most of the Roamers were entrepreneurs or held regular jobs that they worked on remotely. They were all living an alternate reality crafted from choice within the realm of our familiar world.


A photo of Pieter working at the sun deck
Pieter working at the sun deck

The surprising truth is that this parallel existence is well within the reach of each one of us. All it takes to live it, is choice. The world has never been more supportive to an untethered existence as it is now. Every industry – from technology to hospitality – is urging people to seize their dreams, no matter where it takes them. Evolution has extended its courtesy to replace conservative methods with revolutionary futuristic ways to work. To get the best talent, companies throw their hiring nets across the five oceans and create ‘distributed teams’. Four day work weeks are a growing reality and ‘workation‘ is a cool new word fighting for space in the dictionaries.

These transformations in the world we live and work in, are enough inspiration for us to take the plunge. But skepticism is rampant. ‘Do people really get work done in coliving and coworking spaces’ is an oft-heard question. Somewhere amongst the dozen Instagram-filtered fancy beach-front #nomadlife photographs, the true concept of coworking and coliving has blurred. People connect the idea of location independence to fun and frolic. Remote working is loosely translated to ‘not-working-at-all’. However, this could not be farther from the truth.

People come to Roam with the idea of getting work done while experiencing a new space, without having to worry about setting up a home. (We ARE their home. And just like any home, we are cosy, warm and evoke that fuzzy feeling of belonging.) There are a bunch of people akin to them making them connect like family (or Roamily, as we call it). Add to this some great wifi and ample coworking space, and in a nutshell, this becomes a blend of comfort and inspiration – to live and work as a community.


A photo of Michelle Faye at the Coworking Space at Roam Ubud.
Work Together in a coworking space: The Future of Work


A photo of the Roamily playing at Sunday Social
Play together
A photo of the Roamily at a bbq dinner
Eat together
Exploring Bali
Explore Together

This concept of coliving is not alien. Native tribes in every country continue to practice it till date, working together and raising families as one enmeshed unit. We may have forgotten how we built great things together as communities. Through stories from our own backyards of people who came to Roam, got great work done, met like-minded folks and made soulful connections, we are trying to reintroduce the concept. We are trying to lend a new meaning to the idea of home; of transforming it from a rigid space rooted to one peg in the map to being a more embracing word that speckles the map with dots. Like a constellation, we want to connect these dots with rich experiences.

We have hosted and learnt from food journalists searching for Sambal sauce to residential technology startup accelerator programs working out of our space! Whether Roam is a brief comma in your quest for new frontiers or simply a change of backdrop for your everyday work life is immaterial. We are simply here to provide an empowered way of living your life untethered. And we hope this simpler life will be more fulfilling.


A photo of Roamies at sunset
Roamies at sunset

The future – of work and life – is here. We were born nomads and somewhere within, we are all breaking the walls we built upon that primitive spirit. The restlessness we experience everyday when we pack office bags or the sinking feeling we encounter as we shut our suitcases to return from a wonderful holiday – THAT surely speaks to us? Listen to it closely – it is telling us that the freedom we search for is possible. We too, can roam free.

Make this life a wonderful adventure.

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