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Could the Return of Workplace Employees Breathe New Life into Co-living Spaces?

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Co-living spaces are more than just a housing solution, and their attraction to tenants is based on a shift in people’s lifestyle choices. During the pandemic, the world has shifted even more firmly towards co-living apartments & this trend isn’t going away anytime soon.

Co-living is a relatively new phenomenon in the Indian real estate business, although it is rapidly gaining ground in India’s Tier I cities. The co-living model preserves renters’ privacy while also providing opportunities for social interaction. People are drawn to co-living because it allows them to be sociable and meaningfully connect with others.

One of the benefits of co-living spaces grew evident as more and more urban areas throughout the world implemented movement restrictions and lockdowns.

When compared to the solitude of living alone in a small apartment, the community component of co-living became the hottest selling factor. This is particularly true for the millennial age, which accounts for a significant chunk of the co-living marketplace.

Speaking of the benefits that co-living has to offer as an asset class, Mr. Kahraman Yigit, Co-Founder and CEO, Olive by Embassy says, “The flexibility that institutional Coliving has to offer as an asset class has never been seen before. While the general mindset of associating coliving with a function of financial inability is widespread; the notion is evolving with the advent of numerous new-age players in the market. Now that employees are returning back to offices, co-living offers the flexibility as a transient accommodation too. This serves as a nice entry point to a plethora of end-users who are either looking out for a new place, an upgrade from previous accommodation, or wish to experience this new age asset class. The fact that most of the employees moved back to their hometowns after terminating their existing leases, coming back and finding new places is bound to bring most of the end-users to experience the benefits that co-living has to offer as an asset class – this shall be instrumental in providing it a new lease of life.’

Adding a new perspective towards Coliving spaces across the country and Hybrid working models, Mr. Suresh Rangarajan, CEO and Founder of Colive claims, ” Hybrid working will be the new norm with employees working out of offices for 1-3 days in a week and the remaining times, they would be working out of homes. But the important thing to note is their availability in the city for any physical, face-to-face meetings. This will automatically give a new lease of life for Coliving across the country. Employees will be keen to lock in good quality homes in urban markets that will lead to improved productivity. This will also see the birth of a new concept of hybrid work-living spaces that will combine co-working & co-living spaces. A private room that offers a combination of good productive workspace combined with a place to sleep with all amenities like high-speed wifi, food, housekeeping, and safety built into it! Welcome to the new hybrid world!

“We can already see a large shift In people looking to engage with the larger world around them. Going to work, workout, playing, dining, etc. are some of the things people are returning to. People want a bit more balance around them and flexibility is core to helping them get that. Coliving, another form of the shared economy business model, provides just that. Helping residents get the benefit of the community, saving costs, and staying nimble.”, says Robin Chhabra, CEO, Dextrus speaking about how the pandemic has compelled us to cut costs and save money and how coliving has now become a popular choice amongst residents.

With reference to Coliving spaces gaining momentum, especially those located near workplaces, Mr. Abhishek Kumar, Co-founder, COVIE Ventures Private Limited says, “As more offices have opened, the need for co-living spaces has increased. Individuals and corporations are returning in large numbers, particularly in business corridors. In a desperate attempt to avoid exposure to the virus, people are now looking for accommodation with hygiene and convenience in mind. Places close to workspaces are priced higher, leading to the popularity of shared living spaces, or better known as Co-living. Co-living in India is expected to gain strength & momentum as office occupancy normalizes. We believe that in the future months, this industry will rebound even stronger than before” 

“In the last couple of months, we have seen a jump in pre-bookings and queries as cities like Noida and Bengaluru and Pune and Chennai and Coimbatore return to normal after a long break. The bookings are still sluggish, as some organizations are still reluctant to fully open their offices. We expect that occupancy levels will return to pre-covid levels by January 2022”, says Dr. Nikhil Sikri, CEO & Co-Founder, Zolo while stating the situation of pre-bookings and occupancy levels in India’s capital cities.

Addressing the impact of hybrid work models on workplace uncertainty and the implications on coliving millennial choices, Sparsh Khandelwal, Founder, Stylework says, “By now you must have already heard about coworking. But there is a new concept on the way: Co-living, which is, in a sense, the coworking equivalent of finding housing. Both co-working and co-living are concepts based on the shared economy model, which is a highly flexible economic model wherein assets and services are provided and shared between individuals from different walks of life. Post pandemic, the workspace uncertainty has increased with the introduction of hybrid work models and thus millennials are moving towards co-living because of the ease of it rather than going in for a traditional rented space”.

Co-living is the younger sibling of Student Accommodation and Residential living. The long-term viability of these well-established asset categories is anticipated to attract greater investment in all forms of residential to workspace properties, including Co-Living Spaces.

Furthermore, as co-living facilities are professionally managed, social distance rules and specialized services such as regular sanitizing of common areas have been implemented by co-living operators, making the environment safer in certain situations.

The tenant’s entry-exits and activities are also regulated by the co-living spaces, which has resulted in a reduction in pandemic-related concerns. As a result, regardless of the pandemic, well-designed co-living spaces will continue to thrive in the future.

ALSO READ: Online Property Search In Sept 2021 Surpassed Its Historic Peak: Report

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