Homes and gardens

Heard of co-living spaces?

A resident relaxes in a library communal space at a co-living building  

You are a single person with a job that leaves little free time. You are looking for that accommodation that gives you all facilities, yet relieves you of the bother of maintenance. More importantly you do not want to pay for spaces that you hardly inhabit, yet cannot do completely without. You scout around for single rooms, studio apartments that fail to meet your expectations.

Welcome to the emerging concept of co-living spaces which is fast catching up in parts of the western world, offering all that a single person aspires for, sans the bother of maintenance. What is more, the ambience and facilities on offer far exceed what even a single bedroom space may provide. Permitting community living along with the provision of a host of facilities and attractions, the co-living spaces propose to bring together individuals with similar lifestyles and inclinations.

The concept of co-living involves offering facilities such as a common kitchen, utility space, lounge area and also a common work zone which residents can use. This is besides the private bedroom and bathroom that each resident has. The concept stems from the statistics which points to single working persons spending barely three quarters of an hour a day in the kitchen and living area while the time spent in the bedroom works to an average 9 hours.

Given that the rental cost of the bedroom works to merely around 40 per cent of the total, it is prudent to have the less utilised spaces used by multiple people so as to share the rentals, utilities and maintenance bills. The co-living spaces aim to achieve just that, while also combining the spaces with added facilities and attractions such as housekeeping, launderette, entertainment, security along with attending to repairs and maintenance.

Cost factor

The interesting aspect of the co-living spaces is the quality of the facilities on offer which is more akin to a classy hotel or serviced apartment sans the high cost. What is more, add-on facilities such as housekeeping and attending to repairs are also offered to make the concept extremely attractive for the single person seeking rental accommodation.

A point to note here is that the rental charged for the co-living space is inclusive of all these facilities and yet proves to be cheaper than renting a conventional home that comes with all these spaces and facilities. In short, it proves to be a value-for-money solution, promising to be the next extensively sought after living space and lifestyle concept.

Since the concept is about co-living, a question that immediately grabs attention is the harmonious living environment, given the varied background, lifestyle, inclinations of the co-sharers of the space. Addressing this concern, the smart sharing spaces are structured and pitched to residents with similar interests, inclinations and expectations, where the co-living offers an opportunity of meeting and living with people sharing similar ideologies.

Ideal condition

Thus emerges the fair chances of bonding and new friendships being forged, making this interactive living atmosphere even more attractive and sought after for single people. In fact, the co-living concept is increasingly viewed as an apt antidote for single individuals who suffer from loneliness.

While this concept has already caught on in parts of Europe and the US, and even parts of Asia such as Hong Kong and China, it is still nascent in India with many not clear as to how it can work in the Indian context.

Making it work

Says Farook Mahmood, Chairman and Managing Director, Silverline Group, “As a concept it is good but we need to examine the possibilities of how to make it work. There is certainly potential here but it needs to be seen against the social fabric, the real estate cost involved, the financial as well as workable feasibility and the value-add.

Currently an informal concept such as this prevails where a three- or four-bedroom house is shared, using the kitchen, living areas as common facilities. But taking this on a larger scale needs to be analysed.”

Says Viswa Pratap Desu, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Brigade Group, “This is a very new concept and needs to be explored. It certainly will take time to pick up. But it promises to hold a lot of potential. If perfected and the concept is doable, investors would certainly be keen and so would be service providers. This is especially so in a place like Bengaluru with its young IT crowd.”

Perhaps the concept currently appears too far-fetched to be implemented from the Indian context. Yet, the concept of co-working spaces has caught on and is being increasingly sought after given the facilities and convenience it offers. A similar trend cannot be ruled out in living spaces too in the coming years, especially if the co-living spaces prevail as part of large office complexes and offer housing for the single employees.


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 3:31:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/heard-of-co-living-spaces/article24410306.ece

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