When it comes to the Great Work-Life Balance Debate, we at DFC fall firmly into the Live-to-Work camp. I mean, with all the neat tech out there that makes connection easier, why not use it to your advantage, to create space for more and higher quality leisure?
But for those who are team Work-to-Live, that same cornucopia makes it easier to always be “on,” allowing you eat, sleep, and breathe your career. This state of affairs is getting an interesting response from the folks at WeWork, the shared-office-space firm. Much like their subscription-based system of shared working space, they are now experimenting with shared living space — where instead of $325 USD a month for a dedicated desk and access to their app, $1375 USD a month gets you a bed, a communal laundry room/arcade, a roof-top deck, and more. Their mandate heralds “A New Way of Living”:
“WeLive is a new way of living built upon community, flexibility, and a fundamental belief that we are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. We know life is better when we are part of a community that believes in something larger than itself. From mailrooms and laundry rooms that double as bars and event spaces to communal kitchens, roof decks, and hot tubs, WeLive challenges traditional apartment living through physical spaces that foster meaningful relationships. Whether for a day, a week, a month, or a year, by joining WeLive – you’ll be psyched to be alive.”
Opinion is divided: over at Jezebel, they’re pointing out how suspiciously like a dorm the whole setup seems — with its connotations of Millennials entering the workforce and immediately refusing to grow up. Another concern is that, instead of addressing the reasons — many of them problematic — why traditional apartment rents in WeLive flagship cities New York and D.C. are “too damn high,” initiatives like WeLive could normalize the idea that over a thousand bucks in exchange for a bed physically located on Wall St is a reasonable prospect.
But in an increasingly isolated age, where those new technologies that make work easier also make it possible to see fewer actual human faces in your day-to-day, having socialization enforced by your living situation — and removing reasons to avoid it, like having an in-house cleaning team — is quite tempting. Only time will tell if WeLive will take off like WeWork has, and exactly how far we can extend the philosophical exercise that is 21st century life!