Riding on the back of a buoyant business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, the office real estate market continues to grow, especially in Metro Manila’s major business districts. Not only are developer-built and -owned office buildings being snatched up by BPO and corporate locators even before their completion, strata-titled offices are also finding their way again.
Along with this boom is the rise of shared offices—also known as coworking spaces. By definition, shared offices or coworking spaces are a place for work where individuals from multiple companies or different businesses can engage in work. These offices can be rented out on a temporary basis and they consist of open-plan spaces, shared desks, telecommunication facilities, and creative meeting rooms. It can be a hub or a home to collaborative communities of freelancers, online professionals, small teams working on projects, startups, and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Here are some of the perks of shared offices and coworking spaces:
1. Flexibility and Cost-effectiveness
The main benefit of shared offices is arguably their cost-effectiveness and flexibility. They allow creative individuals, freelancers, startup businesses, and new entrepreneurs to maintain an office within a prime location (e.g., the Makati central business district or Bonifacio Global City) without needing to spend too much on a traditional office. Also, shared offices allow these businesses to avoid the huge responsibility of maintaining an office space for the long term.
Shared offices come complete with amenities that are pertinent to operating a business. In an article published in Business World, amenities that shared offices typically boast include Wi-Fi Internet, working landline phones, dedicated reception personnel, a well-stocked pantry, printing and photocopying services, and even courier services.
Some shared offices are also so flexible that they even rent out seats to starting entrepreneurs and starting businesses. This allows these businesses to save a lot of money on space they won’t be able to use. Likewise, this flexibility allows these small companies the opportunity to buy more seats should there be a need for expansion.
2. Collaboration and Networking Opportunities
Shared offices also allow individuals and groups to work closely together, and even though they belong to different organizations; these people are given the chance of connecting with each other and finding others in the same field. These spaces foster collaboration and networking opportunities for knowledge sharing, partnerships, and establishing new leads and referrals, which will be good for new small businesses and budding entrepreneurs.
3. Prime Location and Accessibility
Nearby public transport hubs and commercial and leisure centers are some of the most attractive benefits of using shared offices, which make these properties very advantageous to young working millennials. Furthermore, as most of these shared offices are situated in important business districts, their address adds prestige to small businesses and starting entrepreneurs. Indeed, having “Ayala Avenue” or “Bonifacio Global City” written on an entrepreneur’s business card is attractive to any potential client.
4. Top-of-the-line Infrastructure
Any office cannot function at all without a good Internet connection, which is the reason why renting space in a shared office makes perfect sense as all their rooms are pre-equipped with high-speed Internet and phone lines. Others even have dedicated reception personnel, who can accept visitors and deliveries. A starting business will waste no time waiting for Internet connections to be installed, eliminating downtime when moving in.
The rise of shared offices is beneficial to both tenants and landlords. While landlords may take this opportunity to expand their market based on the needs of the Philippine workforce, small businesses and starting entrepreneurs will be able to save on costs to make their businesses grow further, and soon find the future need for expansion to rent out a full traditional office space.
This article is contributed by Cherianne Mangrobang, a PR & Partnership Officer of Lamudi Philippines, one of the country’s leading and most trusted real estate websites.
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Jen spent six years in real estate, with three years in commercial leasing and facility management. She is now the leasing director of Figari handling leasing and business development. Her charisma and dynamic attitude certainly make her the life of the party. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach and getting a tan.