By Angela Christensen
By 2030, coworking spaces are expected to comprise 10 to 15 percent of offices in Southeast Asia – a significant leap from the meager 1 to 5 percent they make up today. This dramatic increase can, in part, be attributed to an overall cultural shift away from traditional office spaces, but it’s also the result of the conscious efforts of Southeast Asian governments. Why are these institutions so heavily focused on coworking? After seeing the success of coworking space in London and other cities, these countries are recognising the incredible impact that coworking can have on entrepreneurship. Here, we break down how coworking spaces help take businesses to the next level.
Professionalism in the early stages
Of course, coworking spaces offer fundamental resources that are crucial when attempting to get a business off the ground. In the early days of starting a business, it’s important to establish your company professionally in order to be taken seriously by potential clients and investors. Coworking spaces provide an affordable, dedicated environment in which to work on building a company, complete with a business address and the right facilities to establish an original and innovative brand, technology or service. Plus, many coworking spaces are available to access outside of traditional office hours, allowing for flexibility in work schedules. This is especially vital in the beginning stages of a startup, when small teams of employees and long to-do lists make extra hours necessary.
A creative and collaborative community
Coworking spaces are unique in that they bring together people from all walks of life working on a variety of projects in different industries. This diversity encourages the exchange of ideas, and often results in creativity and collaboration among the entrepreneurs working there. In fact, one survey of coworking entrepreneurs reported that 71% of participants experienced an increase in creativity after joining a coworking space. This surge in inspiration is probably due to the close proximity of like-minded innovators, though many coworking spaces actively seek to foster collaboration among members, as well. These spaces put on workshops that allow people to share their strengths and learn important skills like pitching and managing employees.
Perhaps one of the most impressive benefits of coworking spaces is the extensive network that they provide access to. For instance, The Brew, a coworking space in Shoreditch, hosts networking events and seminars that introduce its members to some of the biggest names in business and technology – people that most entrepreneurs could not connect with otherwise. This built-in network of investors and business-minded professionals is invaluable for startups looking to fund their ideas and scale.
Given the positive relationship between coworking and startups, it makes sense that Southeast Asian countries would turn to coworking spaces to bolster innovation and entrepreneurship. Not only do coworking spaces provide an exceptional environment for establishing a business, they also give entrepreneurs the resources they need to help scale their ideas and increase their impact within their industry. With so many benefits for entrepreneurship, it seems that the coworking trend is here to stay – and it’s going to be a worldwide phenomenon.