While some of us may be confined to a cubicle, the working world is developing a more lax attitude about where people conduct their day to day business. A 2015 Gallup poll found that the average worker now telecommutes at least two days per month (though 80-90% of the workforce has expressed a desire for the privilege multiple times a week). And while that trend flourishes, so too does the power of the magnet that pulls Millennials, the largest segment of our workforce, away from “standard holidays” and towards immersive excursions lasting more than two months. Right at the intersection of these two trends and the co-working space boom, Roam has been born.
The company, which was dreamed up in 2015, has been turning heads since raising $3.4 million in seed funding earlier this year. Roam defines itself as a co-living provider – an international network of communal living spaces – with locations around the world. Instead of paying rent for a single apartment or condo, Roamers have the opportunity to pay to live not just anywhere nice, but eventually everywhere beautiful. “Sign one lease, live around the world,” as they put it.
Have you ever wanted to polish up a PowerPoint from the rooftop of a contemporary refuge in Bali?
Or have a cup of coffee and a morning meeting from the oldest boarding house in Little Havana, Miami?
Or perhaps edit a spreadsheet from a small palace in Madrid?
Then you may want to consider swapping that rent check for a Roam subscription.
How To Roam And How Much It Costs
As it goes with any rentable space, Roam asks you to submit an application if you’re interested in becoming a “tenant.” In the application, you’re asked to select one of two options: “Give It a Try” or “Start Roaming.”
“Give It a Try” costs $500 a week. You’re allowed to live in one of Roam’s spaces on a weekly basis, depending on your needs. “Start Roaming,” which costs $1800 per month, gives you the option to select a Roam space to claim as your own for an extended period of time.
With either option, your Roam home will come with “battle-tested Wi-Fi,” all utilities, a fully furnished private room and bathroom, and co-working space. You’ll also find unlimited access to communal spaces, such as a kitchen and laundry facilities – some also offer pools, media rooms and event space.
As far as destinations go, Roam is in Ubud, Bali and Miami and will soon be extending its network to London and Buenos Aires.
The Fine Print
Once your application has been accepted by Roam, you can book a room at one of its locations, hotel style. While Roam doesn’t have a required number of days or months you must stay, the startup recommends sticking around for a while, as it helps build a stronger community.
Pets and children may be brought, depending on the location, but Roam asks that applicants mention it up front. Up to two people are allowed to share a room, and all prices are according to room (rather than by person). The startup notes that each Roam space is “much bigger than a house.” This means that even if you aren’t keen on the idea of communal living, Roam works hard to ensure that a large, diverse community can thrive in its locations.
They are currently running a program, available for up to 20 people, the includes a six week or three month “Explorer” experience; access to all locations, in any order desired, supported by Roam staff with assistance in logistics, renting existing residences while away, and navigating any necessary visa processes.
For those who don’t yet have a Roam-adaptable job, the startup recommends signing up for its newsletter for tips on finding the perfect “location-independent job.” As for everyone else, the shift toward a more telecommute-friendly future is already happening; since 1995, the telecommuting rate has increased four-fold. If the trend continues, Roam is seemingly poised for success, and you for a much more tolerable landlord.
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Will there be child-free options? I wouldn’t want to be working from “home” and having the noise of other people’s children and pets running around.
Jonathan Kelso says
I see that the options are limited so far, but I can see the draw if there are more, even more exotic locations.
Alan Wilson says
It seems to me that Roam would have a TON of paperwork to accomplish for this program to work. It sounds nice to get out in the world with your job, but I am afraid the fine print would be what freaks me out.
Eric Brooks says
It sure does seem like more jobs are going this way. I just think about the class that I graduated with and how many of them become parents and all of a sudden, they can do their job from home. Its a great thing.
Terri Thomas says
That has something to do with my question. Are you moving my whole family to Miami?