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Shift in people’s lifestyles causes a change in the demand for shared accommodation

Today, most individuals seek accommodation that provides an equipped working or studying space. With health and wellness becoming the top-most priority, the demand for hygienic personal living spaces is increasing.

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The hybrid model of work is another factor that has altered living preferences.

By Jaikishan Challa

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted our lives, much more than we initially imagined. It has radically altered the way we work and live. The trend of shared living took a massive dip during the pandemic’s peak. Factors including uncertain economic conditions, work-from-home, and safety led to a gradual shift in consumer behavior. Today, most individuals seek accommodation that provides an equipped working or studying space. With health and wellness becoming the top-most priority, the demand for hygienic personal living spaces is increasing.

The transition from sharing to having a personal space

A few years back, most organized co-living spaces recorded a greater demand for double or triple occupancy. For students and even young professionals, it was a medium to experience community living and save on their monthly expenditures. However, this scenario has wholly altered. The demand for single occupancy rooms has gone up multifold where individuals prefer a more personal and private living space.

Before the pandemic, single occupancy amounted to 30% of the total demand, with more people opting for double and triple occupancy. Today, demand for single occupancy has soared, reaching almost 60%, with most individuals seeking private rooms. One of the primary reasons for this is physical distancing protocols devised to minimize the spread of the deadly virus. In the wake of increasing awareness, individuals are willing to increase their accommodation budget to make sure they have minimal social contact.

Moreover, the past two years have been monumental in making hybrid work and education a norm. Both students and professionals require a private space where they can attend online meetings, work, and study.

Co-living, the bridge between privacy, comfort, and security

Across India, around 20 million students and professionals relocate every year. A high influx of students to Delhi, Noida, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Dehradun, Chennai, and Kota for higher education creates a much greater demand for private, safe, and maintained accommodation. Hence, parents are opting for single occupancy in co-living spaces that give students a holistic living experience while giving them personal space.

The hybrid model of work is another factor that has altered living preferences. In most companies, professionals work from the office only for a few days each month. It is resulting in a fast-paced shift towards co-living spaces that provide hotel-like living facilities and privacy at much lower rental budgets.

Likewise, the growing millennial population in India is continuously joining the workforce with high-paying jobs. Quality accommodation and personal space have become a priority for them, and the increase in salary quotient has expanded their spending capacity. With a greater emphasis on affordability and convenience, around 82% migrant millennial workforce living in co-living spaces seek facilities like private washrooms, security, etc.

Final word

Hybrid work mode, increasing health awareness, and improving salary quotient are transforming consumer behavior. From complete lockdown to offices and educational institutions’ reopening, people’s preferences have shifted from shared rooms to single occupancy. Even though it’s a recent shift, the altered lifestyles will continue to expand the demand for solo rooms among students and professionals.

(The author is Founder & CEO, Curated Living Solutions. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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