Living at THE FIZZ means living in a social environment with many people, sharing common spaces, household items and experiences. It is, in essence, the definition of coliving. However, co-living means co-growing, too. In the past couple of years, a whole branch has established around this topic. In order to develop and improve, the members are exchanging ideas and experiences in networking events and meetups.
In the last week of August, one meetup took place at THE FIZZ Berlin. It was co-hosted by Conscious Coliving, an organisation that supports the development of coliving spaces by offering a wide range of consultancy services. Alongside members of different coliving and coworking organizations (including Happy Pigeons Co-Living, rent24, Vonder, The Collective, Factory Berlin and Volt Europa), a few interested tenants joined the meetup as well. The central question to discuss was: How can Coliving foster Wellbeing?
It is, indeed, a very vague term that can be identified only indirectly by certain indicators. These were defined in detail in a large-scale European Social Survey conducted by - who would have thought it - the Well-being Institute of the University of Cambridge in collaboration with other institutions. The indicators are vitality, positive relationships and emotional stability.
The meetup participants were invited to investigate these three indicators and brainstorm strategies to support and achieve positive outcomes in each of these areas of wellbeing. We examined strategies to promote wellbeing including the challenges during implementation and solutions to overcome them. Finally, we considered how to actually measure the created wellbeing.
We, from THE FIZZ, contributed both strategies that we’ve established in our role as a student housing expert as well as valuable customer experiences by our participating FIZZies.
Surprise: We’re actually measuring wellbeing already! Namely in our annual Customer Satisfaction Survey. And we’re constantly working on improving your wellbeing as well. For this, we have a unique approach: The role of the Student Brand Manager (SBM).
By being a FIZZie themselves, the SBM closes the gap between the House Management and tenants. They build and maintain the foundation of tenant wellbeing: a big, vital community. And since every THE FIZZ location has its own characteristics, they do this for each location individually.
None of our competitors has such a strong focus on community building!
The meetup members came up with a multitude of approaches on how to enhance the three indicators leading to wellbeing. The ideas range from institutional measures, such as a thorough onboarding process or clearly defined job descriptions for the on-site staff, up to hands-on community activities focussed on wellbeing: yoga and meditation classes, town halls to discuss day-to-day problems or installing a buddy system between long-term residents and people staying only for a couple of months.
We were reminded that caring for others is a highly demanding task for the on-site staff as well. Therefore, we should not forget the wellbeing of the house and community caretakers: Only those who are themselves happy and emotionally stable can help others to be happy.
All agreed that vitality, positive relationships and emotional stability need to be integrated into the design, development and operations of coliving spaces in order to enable residents to flourish physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.
Since the discussions went much deeper and highlighted many different aspects of the topic, we highly recommend reading the very elaborated blog article by Conscious Coliving.
Photos taken by Thomas