Over the past five years, the concept of “Co-working Space” has emerged to meet a new type of demand for office space. Previously, professionals and small businesses were often forced to choose among leasing a traditional office space, renting a room from a Serviced Office, or working from within a coffee shop. But with the recent advent of Co-Working spaces, these tenants now have an alternative.
Co-Working spaces are similar to traditional Serviced Office providers in form. But whereas Serviced Office tenants often rent their own private rooms, Co-Working spaces encourage all tenants to mix in an open-seating environment. Amenities such as wi-fi, reception, and even gourmet coffee are provided to the tenants, often with an all-inclusive rate. Co-Working lease terms are usually shorter than those for traditional office, and the design of the spaces usually reflects the young, tech-savvy professionals that are found within.
The first co-working space in the Philippines, Co Lab, was launched in 2011. After its success, other flexible office spaces began to appear throughout Metro-Manila’s CBDs. Ayala Land Inc. has recently offered co-working spaces through Clock-in, which targets sales people, freelancers and other working professionals in search for a different kind of work environment.
“In today’s world where people are always on the go, the need to access your e-mail, print proposals and surf the net happens anytime and anywhere. Business transactions and negotiations are now done outside the office. High-level executives, young professionals and start-up entrepreneurs used to work in coffee shops and hotel lobbies. With co-working spaces, they now have an alternative venue to conduct business activities,” explained Rick Santos, Chairman & CEO of leading real estate and workplace solutions advisor Santos Knight Frank.
Santos Knight Frank is part of the Knight Frank network, which operates from more than 400 offices in 60 countries across the globe – this includes a strategically important partnership with Newmark Knight Frank (including the market-leading West coast and Silicon Valley operations of Newmark Cornish & Carey) in the United States. Newmark Knight Frank has brought many of the Silicon Valley companies, ranging from startups to billion-dollar global players to the Philippines.
According to the 2017 Global Co-Working Survey, worldwide co-working spaces today number at around 11,300 and will likely increase to 14,000 by the end of the year. The global growth rate of Co-Working space users is projected to be 41% in 2017, reaching almost 1.2 million people.
At present, there are at least 30 Co-Working spaces in Metro-Manila, with majority concentrated in Makati (14), Bonifacio Global City (8) and Ortigas (3). Some of the more popular Co-Working spaces include Acceler8, vOffice, and A-Space Manila. Websites with an AirBnB-like search concept are likewise present in the market, which makes finding available Co-Working spaces even easier for potential tenants. Typical co-working space rates in Makati can range from as little as PhP 400 up to PhP 1,200 per person per day.
“We believe the co-working space trend will grow further, thus creating a relative impact to the office sales in the future. Millennials would also be a valuable aspect in the expansion of this concept as 35% of the 2015 Philippine population are comprised of people aged 15 to 34. Millennials would soon be dictating the office market, its concepts and the growth of new businesses,” said Santos.
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