Co-Working Space: The Next Generation Office

Written by Laila Wahidah Iskandar

Millennial have been labelled as many as the Gen Y with creative entrepreneurial talent and skill. Some may have referred the youngsters as “The Start-up Generation”. The future of work is evolving. As the e-commerce industry allows businesses to operate from anywhere as long as there is Internet connection, many new business founders have challenges to work and organize meetings without a proper office. It would be nice to be able to work from home but it may not be very conducive to get some serious work done.

The Klang Valley has had a recent influx in awesome co-working spaces, so there are endless options for any freelancer or entrepreneur looking for a change or scene, or networking opportunities. Multinational companies are beginning to discover the appeal of co-working spaces as a flexible office solution. Companies aspire to have smarter workplace design which can provide the flexibility to attract and retain talent and help increase productivity.

As predicted by global property consultant Knight Frank, in a report by the News Straits Times, co-working footprint in Malaysia will continue to grow in 2018 as businesses consider new ways to manage their real estate. Office market in Kuala Lumpur continued to struggle with oversupply of new buildings and subdued leasing activities during the last quarter of 2017. Knight Frank’s Asia Pacific Head of Research, Nicholas Holt said the lacklustre leasing activities was due to continued growth in demand for co-working and technology-related spaces.

This opens the door for co-working providers to attract multinational companies into flexible and creative spaces. Real estate is typically the second largest operating expense a company may incur, excluding salaries and wages. Co-working providers can offer a tailor-made office solution with no upfront capital expenditure costs which address a platform of work based challenges.

Owing to the initial investment needed to set up permanent office space, self-employed entrepreneurs and small start-ups were the initial users of co-working space in Malaysia. Recognising the unique offering of community, collaboration and higher transactional flexibility, a growing multinational client base has emerged. Co-working now boasts a range of users across different industries, a trend we expect to accelerate moving forward.

For many businesses it is critical to be in an environment that has access to start-ups and technology innovators, elements that can be found in the “community” within the co-working ecosystem. Likewise, traditional teams that are mobile on a daily basis and do not need a permanent desk can work in different locations. These businesses are attracted to a network that allows mobility throughout the city.

According to an article by The Edge Markets reported that the shifting trends of co-working spaces may benefit the reposition of the demand and supply of office spaces in Malaysia. Real estate firm Savills (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. Chairman Datuk Christopher Boyd explained this is because traditional office buildings which meet tenants’ criteria for modern facilities, can easily be deployed as co-working space. They added that it has helped alleviate the oversupply situation of the office property market, which is true because most of the co working spaces are now renting at old renovated buildings, corporate buildings and even shopping malls.

“It is also not aimed at just the Golden Triangle, but [office spaces] out in the suburbs and other cities such as Penang, Kuantan, Johor Bahru,” Boyd said at a forum today.

“Today, you have medium-sized range of co-working space [tenants] that takes up starting from 20,000 sq ft to as high as 60,000 sq ft. And that’s very good, it helps with the filling up of the office buildings,” Deputy executive chairman Allan Soo said.

As flexible working is becoming more common, rentable working spaces are also on the rise here in Klang Valley. If you are looking for a change of scenery and somewhere new to draw inspiration from, here are some conducive, tech-savvy, state of the art co-working area that are rentable for businesses, start-ups and even students!

  1. WORQ

WORQ provides a co-working space that utilises natural light with its large windows, providing a gorgeous view while you work on one of their comfy beanbags!

It is definitely recommended for those who need a visually-stimulating and colourful environment to perk up your mood and get creative at work.

  1. The Co

The Co gives a futuristic, minimalist feel yet provide tenants with spacious area. The interior decoration looks very edgy and definitely suits those who are working on elegant tech-savvy projects.

One of its spaces is located at The Row, which is situated right above a ton of cafes so this is the perfect place for coffee addicts!

  1. Common Ground

This is one of the more popular co-working spaces on this list due to its presence across Southeast Asia. CommonGround has work spaces in Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

CommonGround in fact has their own mobile app, which can connect you to other members with whom you can gain feedback on ideas and plans in real-time. With its eye-catching interior decor, this is definitely a great space to work and get creative!

  1. CO3 Social Office

Looking for a space to get the creative juice flowing? Fret not! This awesome co-working space will give you a colourful vibe and a fun working environment.

It has an indoor slide and a built-in aeroplane for those looking to think out of the box!

  1. Colony Space

Colony Space is definitely one of the more luxurious-looking co-working spaces in this list. With a simple yet elegant black-and-white theme, this space looks professional yet laid-back thanks to its comfortable furniture.

On top of that, the space is also equipped with its very own gym and swimming pool! Perfect way to de-stress whenever a mental block comes on!