Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — The traditional workspace is associated with a typical office setup where an employee is isolated, performs duties and accomplishes tasks in a designated cubicle, sitting in front of a desk, rendering nine hours of work.
But now, the work environment is slowly evolving: companies, especially startups and small entrepreneurs, have seen the need for a more flexible and convenient workspace that fosters creative productivity. Hence, with the emerging demand for a more modern workplace, coworking spaces have become a global boon, permeating across Southeast Asia and eventually in the Philippines.
Software engineer Brad Neuberg is credited for pioneering the coworking phenomenon in 2005 when he underwent a financial problem. Working at a startup, he felt conflicted: he wanted to fuse independence and individuality with the sense of community and the synergy of working with others. So, he partnered with a life coach to produce a three-part plan that created a new kind of space he wanted: co-working.
It’s easier and more reliable to work in a shared and quiet space than at home or in a coffee shop. There are distractions (your comfy bed, noisy crowd) that can impede your workflow. For a more productive time, here’s a roundup of co-working spaces that will get your creative juices flowing.
It’s not just small enterprises that are embracing the co-working wave. Big corporations have also recognized this emerging phenomenon, and Ayala Land’s Clock In is no exception.
Located in Makati, Ayala Land’s Clock In offers a conducive space where everyone can flourish. Its amenities include a fast internet connection up to 35 mbps, use of basic utilities, and unlimited coffee, water, and tea.
It’s evident that Ayala’s expertise extends to Clock In. Here, it’s all about business but with an approachable feel. It’s a place where you can concentrate and at the same time relax. Easy on the eyes, the chairs, desks, sofas, and walls are washed in neutrals. The black and white checkered floor adds an interesting touch to the establishment.
Clock In is located at located at the Penthouse of Makati Stock Exchange Building, Ayala Triangle Ave., Makati City. For more information, visit their website.
The Common Space
The Common Space holds a diverse community of business professionals, freelancers, and artists, who prefer to work without distractions. Located in Pergola Mall in Paranaque, they’ve strategized their space for convenience, as there are restaurants, banks, and a supermarket around.
The small start-up upholds four core values: community, co-work, create, and collaborate. They cover all coworking essentials that support their clientele — fast internet, parking, pantry staples, printing and scanning services. They have furnished meeting rooms complete with equipment where groups can discuss and exchange their ideas. The rates vary for each space, but they make sure they're also affordable for students who are looking for a quiet place to study. They charge ₱300 for a whole day.
The interiors, which have a distinct quaint charm, are more appealing than an average coffee shop. There’s plenty of space to move around so you don’t have to be stuck in one station.
The Common Space is located at the Pergola Mall, Aguirre Ave., Cor. Gaches St., Parañaque. For more information, visit their website.
Adam Neumann, CEO of WeWork, was first interested in real estate. In the neighborhood of Dumbo in Brooklyn, New York — that's being gentrified — he fell in love with a vacant warehouse on Water Street. There, he and his friend Miguel McKelvey teamed up to start a real-estate venture, Green Desk. This would lay the foundation for WeWork: Green Desk served as a prototype and featured sustainable elements like recycled furniture, free-trade coffee, and green office supplies.
It was 2008, and the real estate market, under a collapsing economy, was facing financial crisis. But Green Desk flourished, and the reason: Neumann presumed that people liked being part of a community. He and McKelvey realized the focus on community — and not sustainability — was a hit, and this drove people to work. In 2010, they sold the company and established WeWork.
Now, WeWork has annualized revenue of US$2.5 billion and roughly 5000 employees under its wing. The New York-based co-working space provider recently opened its first hub late last year in Uptown Bonifacio Global City, positioning itself in Metro Manila’s business districts. It occupies two floors in Uptown Bonifacio Tower Three, which can accommodate 800 people, it evokes a homey and laid-back ambiance with its rustic floors, desks, and chairs, and warm lighting that fuel productivity.
WeWork BGC is located at Uptown, 36th Street Corner & 11th Ave, Taguig. For more information, visit their website.
47 East has been operating since 2012, and it has become a working ground for startups and creatives who want to work independently. On their website, the co-working space provider says they are the prime destination for people who are passionate about “tech, design, and entrepreneurship.” Unlike other cafes, this is a place where you can interact, forge connections, and meet new people.
Sitting in the neighborhood of Katipunan, composed of professionals and students, this hub acts as a working space, dormitory (on the third floor is Solana Suites), and a venue for meetings and gatherings. They also provide property management services to valued clients. Basic services include fast internet, printing, scanning, and photocopying, and free water and coffee. After work, you can retire and chill at the lounge and outdoor terrace.
At 47 East, you’ll be able to manage your time more efficiently. The natural light filters through the glass paneled windows and it has been proven that exposure to sunlight is beneficial while working and helps reduce stress and regulates mood. The upholstery’s bright and well-coordinated colors will motivate you to start working.
47 East is located at 47 Esteban Abada Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. For more information, visit their website.
A Clean Well-Lighted Place
There are creatives who thrive in a messy workplace, but nothing beats working in an organized environment. A clean space provides a sense of clarity and when things are in order, people tend to be more energetic to work. As such, A Clean Well-Lighted Place takes inspiration from its name, turning you sharp and effective to beat your deadlines.
A Clean Well-Lighted Place is housed on the 27th floor of Jollibee Plaza in the bustling district of Ortigas. It’s the coworking space for freelancers and entrepreneurs, especially those who are in information technology. It’s just a few feet away from the Philippine Internet Domain office.
Here, the internet is fast and the space employs a dedicated fiber line so you can download and upload files with ease. There’s an on-site tech support team ready to assist you if you need troubleshooting your device. The desks are spacious, enough to accommodate your belongings.
A Clean Well-Lighted Place’s furnishings are built for long working hours. They've equipped their space with functional ergonomic chairs that lets you sit in a balanced position, making it easier for you to do the job.
A Clean Well-Lighted Place is located at 27/F Jollibee Plaza, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. For more information, visit their website.
First Coworking Space
First is a co-working space in Old Manila’s Escolta street. The coworking space is a logical trajectory for the First United Building as a creative hub. The open-planned interiors has a seating capacity of 36 people but can accommodate up to 60 people. The space is designed for flexible use, with niches for people who want to have brainstorming sessions by the window for a relaxed environment, or a dugout in a more private setting. There is a long table for conferences, and shared desks at the lower half of the room for more collaborative users. The lower part of the space can be re-arranged to accommodate functions and events like talks and discussions.
Wide, floor-to-ceiling windows frame the historic structures of the Escolta, placing the space in a historic context, with views of neoclassical buildings Regina and Roman Santos and Leandro Locsin modernist, Syvel’s.
First Coworking Community is located at 5/F First United Building, Escolta St., Manila. For rates and more information, visit their Facebook page.