Debunking the myths — CoLiving

Grexter Living
Oct 29, 2019 · 9 min read

By now, you’ve already heard about co-working. But there’s a new concept on the way: Co-living, which is, in a sense, the co-working equivalent of finding housing. A trend that’s been quickly embraced by young people in cities across the country, co-living is a new answer to the age-old issue of affordable housing. It’s also an ideal way to continue your professional and personal growth outside of the office.

What is co-living?

Co-living is the trend of living with many other people in one space that encourages its residents to interact and work together. They are most often run by companies and have popped up in response to the huge number of young people moving to expensive cities in search of work. Co-living is a new kind of modern housing where residents with shared interests, intentions, and values share a living space where they’re almost like a big family.

Co-living is built on the concept of openness and collaboration, with the residents often sharing similar philosophical values. This form of housing is based on the sharing economy. Residents will usually have their own bedroom and bathroom but will share common areas like cooking and living spaces. On a practical level, the expenses are shared between all the residents, which can make it a more economical choice for some. The price you pay for a co-living space will vary depending on the city you live in, but it will always be cheaper than traditional rent.

While you might be imagining a hostel, dorm, or hippie commune, this version of communal living is designed with young, working professionals in mind. While it could feasibly work anywhere, it remains a mostly urban trend at the moment, with residents sharing a house, building, or apartment.

Is co-living the same as coworking?

Co-living and coworking are similar in terms of more than just their names. They are both based on collaboration and community and they take a novel approach to daily activities, whether it’s how we live or how we work. Many coworking spaces like WeWork are now adding co-living to their options, and a great deal of the co-living spaces around the world include coworking as well.

While they are not the same concept, they share key aspects that skew towards young users. They’re also both poised to completely reinvent the way we think about working and living.

Many co-living establishments will double as a co-working space. For those who are digital nomads or remote workers, this is an ideal situation as quality Wi-Fi, and a place to work are located within the space.

Coworking and co-living are also similar because of the ease in which you can network. Both environments allow you to meet with similarly minded people and form relationships. These types of spaces will often have regular organized activities or events where you can naturally integrate with others. Many people opt to work in a co-working space rather than a coffee shop or at home because they want that sense of community; the same reason why people choose to live in a co-living space.

Why is co-living so popular?

The rise of co-living comes from many factors, including engaging amenities and the enjoyment of living with others who share similar interests. Unlike some communes, those who choose co-living do not separate themselves from the world outside of their living space; they interact normally with the world while choosing to live with like-minded or like-interested individuals. For this reason, you can find co-living spreading across the world. There are co-living spaces in the United States as well as in cities around the globe, with several companies offering multiple locations around the world.

Its popularity also comes from the fact that many people want to be around others — it’s easy to just open your door and start a new friendship or even a business. Other benefits include a reduced financial burden, community support, group activities, and a sense of belonging. Co-living currently appeals mostly to younger generations, especially digital nomads who want to be able to travel and don’t want to worry about a mortgage. This type of lifestyle has a heavy emphasis on agility. The ability to move from place to place without being tied down by a lease is freeing to some people.

Co-living spaces solve many problems that digital nomads and millennials face. When moving to a new city, the norm for many is to sign a one year lease, fill the space with your furniture, set up all the utilities, and when the year is up, you must either move or renew the lease.

However, with co-living spaces, there is often no lease agreement or minimum commitment, making it a good fit for people moving from city to city due to professional or personal reasons. Often, there is no security deposit, and you will never have to set up utilities. Because of the communal nature of the housing arrangement, all of the resources are pooled together. The expenses are included and paid for as a group. One last pro to co-living spaces is that many are already furnished, so you won’t have to hire movers or spend money on furniture. While living in a co-living space, you might experience enhanced productivity, especially if there is a coworking space available in the area.

As house rents skyrocket in India especially in the metropolitan cities, co-living has become increasingly mainstream and an attractive option for millennials and the working population. Today, professionals and students alike are looking for a place to stay which is not only closer to their offices and academic institutions but also offers a bunch of amenities at affordable rates.

By bringing such groups of millennials and professionals together for a hassle-free, networking and facilities rich rental experience, co-living is altering the long term rental paradigm. As a modern, shared long term rental housing option that allows residents to not only co-share their living space with one another but also interact and engage over similar professions, interests, requirements, etc, co-living focuses more on connection and circular lifestyles rather than just sharing the cost of living.

With work and academic pursuits today requiring more flexibility and mobility, the demand for fully furnished, fully maintained, internet ready accommodations and innovative services have increased manifold. Tapping into this very need, co-living solution companies are using their tech-driven expertise to provide fully managed long term rental solutions along with a range of amenities at an affordable cost. Co-living companies and their teams are going above and beyond to make daily life more convenient by building on the foundation of shared experiences.

Let us explain few points to you about Co-living to make it more clear to you.

Where affordability meets sustainability: Co-living is all about community and collaboration rather than just isolation and competition. One of the most tangible benefits of a co-living setting is that it encourages the adoption of a sustainable lifestyle. By making it easier to share resources, co-living facilities not only save money but also help develop a stronger environmental consciousness. Sharing cost for utilities and rent is a financially conservative idea requiring you to haggle with your roommate over bills and shared expenses at the end of the month. Instead, co-living facilities empower you to pay a fixed rate with all the key amenities from TV, fridge, furnishings, electricity, wifi, etc being factored in the monthly rent, as each person interfaces directly with the co-living company. Transparency through billings and invoices helps maintain visibility on amenities being charged for and utilized as well.

Empowering independence and greater flexibility: Having the independence to change or leave the co-living setting without having to worry about the 3–6 month long lock-in period, is another advantage that plays well for the millennials. For individuals who are just starting out and may not want to block their savings to buy or rent real estate on their own, or event those who just aren’t quite ready to settle down in a single place yet, co-living offers an incredible opportunity to find fulfillment.

Where community engagement and privacy go hand-in-hand: While co-living settings involve people living under one roof from different walks of life and offer plenty of opportunities for collaboration and community bonding, it also gives enough and much-needed quiet time and privacy. The smart use of space has made co-living a perfect combination of socialization and privacy. While designing a co-living apartment/buildings, companies and their designers are mindful of optimum utilization of space, building efficiency and convenience while ensuring guest privacy. Use of colors and unique design palettes also play a major role in brightening up the place that a collective group of people can call their home.

Technology for safety and convenience: With our mobile phones becoming indispensable, co-living brands lay a big emphasis on the smart use of mobile apps to make the lives of the residents easier. This ensures seamless communication between the tenant and the co-living provider to provide instant assistance, whenever required. These factors contribute to making co-living spaces the preferred choice for millennials and the young workforce. Security and safety are also a top priority for co-living providers, which is ensured by installing facilities such as biometric and facial recognition in addition to setting up a 24x7 concierge and hiring guards and caretakers.

Welcoming residents from all walks of life: While the majority of the residents opting for co-living facilities are the young population, it’s a myth that this lifestyle is mainly for millennials mainly since they are most likely to be attracted to something different from the norm. The truth is that with increased traffic in metropolitan cities, people across age groups are opting for co-living facilities which are near to their workplace, despite having a home in some other distant part of the city. This is primarily to avoid the daily commute and save on time for other leisurely pursuits. Co-living also allows residents to choose their place of stay without being discriminated against for their choice of food, clothing, race, caste or gender.

For example: While NCR is considered to be one city, peak office hours make commuting a very lengthy affair with most people spending hours on the road. As per a 2016 study in Delhi, a person travelling a distance of 40 km by a private vehicle during peak hours spends an average of 3.43 hours on the road, as opposed to 1.36 hours in 2011. A 2018 BCG report further indicates that On average, travellers in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata spend 1.5 hours more on their daily commutes than their counterparts in other Asian cities during peak traffic times. Similarly, people with families especially the ones with transferable jobs are starting to opt for co-living facilities to enjoy a freedom-filled yet budget-friendly life focused on community and creativity.

While the concept of co-living isn’t entirely new, with booming urbanization, rocketing housing prices, shrinking living spaces and increasing social disconnects, we can expect the future of rental living to be more flexible, community building oriented, and surprisingly affordable through shared spaces.

Grexter Living provides co-living spaces to students and working professionals with community experience like nowhere.

Grexter Living

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Co-living spaces for the coolest kids on the block.

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