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Challenges of Maintaining Privacy in a Co-Living Space

Posted by Anita Zeba Bakhtiar on February 7, 2024

For many young people starting out in cities like Dhaka with their first job, affording an apartment to rent all on their own might not be feasible. This is where a co-living space could prove to be very helpful. Not only is it a budget-friendly idea of having your own living space, it is also a way in which you could learn to live communally, reaping all of the benefits that you would as part of a community. 

A major challenge of co-living is the fact that it might be difficult to get some privacy when you need it. However, if you practise the following when interacting with others in your co-living space; you might be able to create a positive environment where everyone exists in harmony. Here are some tips and tricks you can follow in order to ensure your privacy (and the privacy of others’) is maintained in your co-living space:

Find out who your neighbours are:

In a co-living space, it pays to know who exactly you are sharing living arrangements with. If your co-living space has mixers or parties, you should try to mingle with others if and when possible. Knowing your neighbours and developing a relationship of mutual trust, respect and understanding can go a long way in terms of establishing a harmonious coexistence among all individuals sharing the space.

Establish clear boundaries:

Since most of the areas in a shared living space are commonly used by others, getting privacy at any time of day might become a little difficult. Talk to the other individuals who share the space with you and come up with a schedule for using the common spaces. You can even change up the schedule every week if that is something everybody is comfortable with. Maintain clear boundaries in using personal items as well as areas specifically used by you. Be polite but firm in having your own personal space, it is healthy to have a little space amongst individuals sharing a co-living space. 

Open and Effective Communication:

When you start sharing a living space with anybody outside of your family, you will soon come to realize that not everybody is the same as you, whether it is in terms of personality, behaviour, or how they tackle issues. The best way to deal with any privacy concerns that you or anybody else might face is to politely discuss it, leaving all communication channels open and honest. This will allow you all to ensure your co-living experience is one of understanding and empathy. 

Maintain basic safety protocols:

Since this might be your very first experience of living on your own, you need to be aware of your own safety and security. For example, keep valuables in a bank locker, personal safe or cupboard, making sure to lock them away properly. Keep perishables labelled in the common fridge or freezer, while pots, pans and other kitchen utensils can also be labelled with your name to avoid confusion or losing important items right before you need them. If possible, talk to other individuals sharing the space about installing CCTV cameras and/ or smart locks to ensure that your home is protected 24X7. 

While initially you might go through some issues when adjusting to your new co-living arrangement, remember that open communication will go a long way in helping you figure out how best to maintain your privacy in your co-living space, as well as help others maintain theirs.

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