This article explores the impact of Covid-19 on the way people in India work and holiday. It discusses the rise of hybrid work, digital nomadism, and staycations, as well as the demand for co-working spaces and fully-serviced workspaces. The pandemic has led to a shift in people’s preferences towards short-term commitments, flexible and adaptable workspaces, and domestic tourism. The hospitality industry has responded to this demand by offering unique experiences, including luxury staycations with pre-planned itineraries and activities. Overall, the article highlights the increasing need for flexibility and adaptability in both work and leisure.
One of the first women entrepreneurs in the alternate stay segment, Ankita comes from entrepreneurial lineage and a career centred around building teams. At StayVista, she spearheads supply growth, leading all facets of property acquisition, homeowner relationships, human resources, and powering the company’s ongoing expansion efforts into emerging markets. Her passion for travel and attention to detail enables her fortitude of building a robust network of luxury villa rentals in India. Ankita, together with co-founders Pranav Maheshwari and Amit Damani, laid the foundation of StayVista in 2015, offering fully-serviced, luxury villas for group getaways.

Covid-19 has been one of the most seminal events in the lives of people and will continue to have a prominent impact on decision-making. The pandemic has brought about a transformation in the way people holiday and work in India, similar to the effects of demonetization on digital currency and the T20 format on traditional test cricket.

The hybrid or work-from-home culture gave rise to the concept of ‘digital nomadism’ and staycations. The extensive lockdown and travel restrictions gave rise to shorter-distance trips which were easier to plan and execute. This led to traveling to exotic destinations within a drive time of 4-8 hours for a few days or long weekends in order to spend quality time with your loved ones and unwind from the chaotic lifestyle.

Evolving work culture and the rise of ‘staycations’

The idea of a ‘staycation’ or ‘short and all-inclusive retreats’ gained dominance with people wanting to travel more than just one longish trip annually. Travellers of the new post-pandemic era began choosing getaways that allowed them to relax, without the hassles of time-consuming paperwork or lengthy flights. Travellers preferred combining a weekend with a Friday or Monday to celebrate private milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, and bachelorette parties or an awaited reunion with their peers. The global acceptance of a hybrid work culture gave impetus to the concept of a ‘short vacation’. One can operate from a luxurious sea-facing mansion or a campsite in the middle of a jungle and remain seamlessly linked to their workplace without any performance degradation.

The extreme dependence on technology and smartphones, and copious hours of binge-watching, made people want a ‘technology detox’, and staycations offered the perfect escape to unwind and disconnect from the humdrum of a monotonous day. Travellers embraced tourism to places that are close to their homes, which increased the demand for domestic tourism. The hospitality industry offered unique experiences in the form of ‘luxury staycations’, which included an all-inclusive fully loaded stays, with pre-planned itineraries, meals, and surreal experiences.

The industry took cognizance of the increasing demand and tailored holistic experiences like nature walks by the river, yoga by the beach, visiting organic farms, hiking, Barbeque nights, spa sessions, local cuisines, and local sight-seeing as a part of the stay. Guests preferred to conveniently travel to an abode that lent them the convenience and warmth of a home where they could conduct work/business with ease, coupled with elements that added to make the stay worthwhile and memorable.

Parallel symmetry between holidays and augmentation of fully-serviced, flexible workspaces

Following a similar trend to the rise in the desire for quick getaways, there has been a spike in the demand for co-working spaces since the pandemic. There is an attitudinal change which has given rise to a breed of people who prefer short-term commitments whether it’s a co-working space or a holiday. The new-age employer is seeking fully-serviced workspaces that can accommodate the evolving requirements of a dynamic work environment.

StayVista’s HQ in Mumbai, with the largest team strength, and our offices in Delhi and Bangalore operate out of co-working spaces. These spaces are cost-effective, scalable and provide the agility to respond to the changing conditions of a high-octane business.

The adoption of the hybrid work model is pushing businesses to look for smart workspaces that encourage new connections and flexibility. With the large risks and political and environmental uncertainties, companies aren’t comfortable investing huge amounts of capital in fixed assets.

Co-working spaces are a great option since they come with efficient and consolidated spaces whilst staying asset-light. It also diligently takes care of administrative nuances such as maintaining a log, setting up a pantry, managing housekeeping and paying up electricity bills, allowing companies to focus on macro-aspects of the business.

The growing adoption of coworking spaces and rise of staycations are reflection of our increasing need for flexibility and adaptable approach to work and leisure.


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