The Death of Communal Living and The Rise Of A People-First Renting Model
Communal living areas are becoming less common in London but there is something we can do about it.
It has been reported that nine out of ten shared houses in London don't have a living room. This has serious implications for today's rental generation amid a national loneliness pandemic, which is reported to be affecting young adults the most. In total, more than 2 million adults suffer from chronic loneliness in the UK, which has further increased in recent months with lockdown loneliness.
At Gravity, we strongly believe that communal areas are a necessity for everyone. One of the core motivations we stay grounded to throughout our growth is building community and human connection. Without communal areas community building becomes more difficult, almost impossible. How can you be expected to connect with others if you are living from your bedroom? For those who have just moved to London and don’t know many people, this must be even harder for them to grow social and professional circles in an unfamiliar city.
In case you haven’t heard, sleeping, working and relaxing in your bedroom only is not good for your health. This is backed up by The National Sleep Foundation which warns that making your bed your workspace affects both productivity and sleeping patterns. You need to keep bedrooms for sleeping as much as possible so your brain can associate that space with rest. With many public spaces being closed and opportunities to connect with others heavily limited due to Covid-19, we need to cherish whatever social space we have. With 86% of the UK workforce reported to be working from home, without a communal area those will be forced to work from their bedrooms without the option of gathering with housemates during none working hours (outside of their bedroom). This not only reduces collaboration, innovation and morale but will affect mental health for all the reasons mentioned above. Today the costs to businesses for employee’s mental health and the overall decrease in productivity is huge, estimated at £45b per year; an increase of 16% since 2016.
What we need is an industry adapting to a people-first renting model, creating a product that truly reflects the needs of today’s rental generation—a place people actually want to call home. A place you can meet friends for life, stay inspired and have resources and amenities at your fingertips to live happier, healthier and more productive lives. At Gravity, we are proud to be a part of the much-needed movement towards healthier lifestyles and creating change in an industry that is desperate to be disrupted.