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Communal life comes of age




Modern kibbutzes MyTown Auckland (left) and MyTown Sydney (right) proivide an alternative shelter near the Makati central business district. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF INSEAD

Living in a commune used to be associated with the 60’s flower era of the hippies and the socialist movement but now with the pandemic sweeping the globe, a new lifestyle called co-living is becoming a trend.

Co-living has become an essential, safe and a unique form of dignified affordable accommodation as it involves community living in which residents get a private bedroom in a furnished home with common areas.

A study was conducted by global business school INSEAD on co-living during the coronavirus crisis. MyTown, the co-living brand under Philippines Urban Living Solutions (PULS), PeoplePods, which builds dormitory for migrant workers and industry experts also participated in the study.

The findings are available in an e-book entitled Co-Living Safety and Sanitation Handbook and discusses best practices in safety and sanitation for co-living operators during the COVID-19 pandemic which is available on the websites of MyTown ( and PeoplePods.

“I’m very happy to support this project, which gathered best practices and leveraged research insights to improve the well-being and safety of precarious workers and the wider working population,” INSEAD Assistant Professor Alexandra Roulet said. The authors consulted with experts from the University of Oxford, the Singapore Ministry of Manpower, a non-government organization for Singapore migrant workers, the World Health Organization and local authorities.

“As one of the key players in Southeast Asian co-living, we believe we have a responsibility to collaborate with content experts and implement best practices not just in our own community, but also share these with the wider co-living sector,” Jelmer Ikink, group director at PULS, added.