Coliving + Coworking at the Collective London

This is our fifth month of RY and our first month in Europe. My Remote Year 2 group is staying at a new Coliving + Coworking space in Zone 2 of London: The Collective Old Oak.

I wrote a slight more in-depth post about this here if that tickles your fancy. Otherwise, let’s go on a little photo tour — scroll away, curious people of the internet!

The Collective lobby & reception area, a piano (which I *have* heard two people play already), and our RY2 group on our first night in London.

The Collective

The Collective just opened in May, so we’re among the first people moving in and living here. While we’re just staying a month and they do seem to offer weekly rentals, it seems like the aim is to get annual leases.

As you can read on their website, they’re all about well-designed individual spaces + beautiful shared spaces and facilities + a community manager + all-inclusive bills. Which, if you’re a young and/or single person, are some good perks.

Communal spaces are designed on each floor to bring people together: from quiet spaces you can work in through to open spaces to socialise in. Even the laundrette makes doing laundry a less lonely experience.


Our RY group is living all on one floor in “Twodios” — get it, like studio but two! Twodio. Adorable! (?)

We’re living in pairs and have a door (keycard entry) to a shared kitchenette space and then each person has their own bedroom (keycard entry).

Our rooms are compact, but since they’re new and clean and I’m not huge, it’s fine for me. I do wonder how some of our guys fare with fitting in the shower, and it’s hard to imagine couples comfortably sharing the bed every night. Not my problem!

The storage could be done better — more shelves, drawers, etc would be helpful, but I suppose if I were moving in for a yearlong contract, I’d buy what suited my personal storage needs.

Living in a futuristic pod! My personal bathroom + bedroom, and our shared kitchenette (the right lower door is a mini fridge).

Each floor also has a common kitchen so that if you want to make bigger meals or have a dinner party (!), there’s a comfortable option for that. The kitchenettes in our Twodios are more meant for quick meals.

The top 3 floors only have themed kitchens, as opposed to a kitchen + themed common room. For the sake of not alienating those folks from having fancy named rooms on their floors, these kitchens are called the Pub, French Bistro, and Tea Room.

They’re pretty cool, but everyone’s reaction so far has been “okay, so the pub doesn’t actually have beer?” The Pub doesn’t look very pubby to me (and I’m sure the British use that term *all* the time).

2nd floor communal kitchen, 8th floor “English Pub” themed kitchen, 9th floor “French Bistro” kitchen, and 10th floor “Tea Room” kitchen.


The Collective (yes, the more you say it, the weirder it gets… THE COLLECTIVE…) has signs all around the building, which is a good thing because it’s a bit confusing in all these utilitarian hallways to remember where you are!

Themed Common Areas

Because the building is new, the workspace and gym aren’t actually open yet. But the themed common areas on floors 3–7 do have wifi and some seating so we’ve been working there or in our rooms (or in cafes/coworking spaces in London).

3. Spa — fancy! It has a sauna room and is actually quite relaxing. I laid on one of the beds yesterday to piddle around the internet and call a friend, and it was lovely.

4. Secret Garden — I’m not sure what makes it secretive, but this room is lovely. They have yoga mats, which means I’ll probably teach a few classes and finally not have to worry about everyone hurting their knees / back.

5. Cinema Room — full of bean bags, we’ve already cuddle puddled for one episode of GoT, and the other day played a couple games of Settlers of Catan (because we are all super cool).

6. Game Room — board + video games, but a surprising lack of tables/surfaces to play on. Oh, the Collective, you’ve overlooked some critical details in your designs.

7. Library — one of my favorite rooms. The library not only has good vibes and a variety of seating options but also a fire encased in a wall! Sorcery.

Katherine is a digital nomad, working remotely while she travels — on the road since June 2014. She’s a member of Remote Year 2 Battuta, living around the world with 75 other digital nomads from February 2016 to January 2017.

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