This post is dedicated to all freelancers and self-starters. Live long and prosper my friends! :)
What are Coworking Spaces (Co-working spaces)?
I always post photos of myself in coworking spaces and a lot of people ask me what those are. Well, in a nutshell, coworking spaces are office spaces for rent. The difference is that, the space is not dedicated for solely one company. One coworking space can be the headquarters for several small startups, and even the temporary table for on-the-go freelancers. It can also be a snazzy study space for students. Basically, it’s a place where you can work and do your thing, alongside other people. Co-work.
Who should use a Coworking Space?
There are typically three types of people who use coworking spaces. The first is freelancers who are often on the go (writers, designers, architects, interior designers, sales people, etc.) While working at home is one of the perks of being self-employed, it has its cons too. And sometimes, a freelancer can be out and about, and has to squeeze in some serious work time in between appointments. Coworking spaces usually have a common area with big, communal tables where freelancers can buckle in and be productive.
The second type consists of entrepreneurs and small startup companies. Depending on which coworking space you visit, there are usually small rooms (or designated tables) that can be rented for a specific number of months. Startups usually have limited cash on-hand and need to cut costs as much as possible. Therefore- purchasing, building or renting their own space may be out of their budget right now.
The third group consists of random people who need some quiet, work or study area. This can be college students working on projects, or people studying for the board exams, or hobbyists that want a proper place to do their calligraphy.
What’s the difference between a coffee shop and a coworking space?
I’m a tambay of coffee shops and while they will always be included in my choices of places to work in, they simply do not have all of the things I need in order to function properly. Power outlets are limited, WIFI isn’t always free (and sometimes very slow), noise levels can get annoying, it always smells like food, and there’s always this annoying inner pressure to purchase more because I’m already overstaying.
A coworking space however attends to all of these issues and then some. They have wide desks and tables. The internet is reliable. There are plenty of outlets to plug in your laptops and gadgets. Water and coffee are unlimited. The airconditioning is comfortable. And you don’t get weird looks from people who are waiting to snag your precious work space.
It’s kind of like the grown-up version of going to the campus library to get some serious sh*t done.
How much do coworking spaces cost?
It depends on the coworking space. The cheapest ones have rates of 100 Php/hour. There are also those that offer 200 Php for 3 hours. If you want to work there for the entire day, it usually ranges from 500 to 1,000 Php. Most coworking spaces offer membership and discounted rates for regular customers.
If you want to rent an entire room that’s dedicated for your company, it’s usually around 20k-30K per month. But it’s a legit room where you have desks inside, cabinets, and the basic features for a functioning office. A Space in Makati even offers a dedicated internet connection for this type of setup. You’ll then have to share the pantry, toilet and other facilities with the other coworkers.
Are there any cons to coworking?
The most obvious setback to coworking is the fact that you have to pay for the hours you’re there. If you’re kuripot then maybe you’re content with staying at a coffee shop for an entire day after purchasing just 1 drink. If you plan to work in a coworking space every single day, the cost will definitely be significant. Plus you have to spend on your food (which you need to buy elsewhere, but you CAN bring inside coworking spaces). But then again, if you’re able to produce some actual work while you’re there anyway, then you can just consider it as operational expense.
For the casual coworker (the ones who just pop in and out), space may be limited. Smaller coworking spaces can get crowded sometimes, although in my experience, there’s always space naman. It’s just that sometimes, you may get a random seatmate beside you. But that’s what coworking is all about anyway.
Coworking spaces often host events that are open to the public with topics that vary from watercolor painting, to taxation, to game programming. There’s always a learning opportunity there and they highly encourage community-building. Some spaces also have event spaces and conference rooms for rent so you can also utilize those for your needs.
And also, if you’re the chatty type, then you’ll love working around young, modern, and creative people (who are often seen in coworking spaces).
Would you recommend coworking spaces?
Hell yeah! I love coworking spaces. I’m a freelancer and I often find myself in Makati for my recordings which sometimes have big time gaps in between schedules. So instead of roaming around aimlessly in malls, I can just go to a coworking space, prop up my laptop and get productive there.
Personally, I have always managed to get a lot of work done while coworking. I highly recommend it to freelancers and start-up entrepreneurs.
Coworking Spaces in Metro Manila (Makati, Alabang, Quezon City)
Here are the Coworking Spaces that I’ve visited so far:
1.) A Space (Legaspi Village, Makati)
The day rates are a bit pricey, but the community is always buzzing and there’s a very cool vibe that surrounds this place. Convenient location because it’s right across Greenbelt 5.
2.) The Office Project (Salcedo Village, Makati)
My favorite in Makati. I love the fact that they have hourly rates. It’s quite small, but the design is nice and the internet is reliable. Long wooden tables for the win!
3.) 47 East (Katipunan, Quezon City)
One of the most affordable in the Metro. Students can totally go here to study. The atmosphere is bright and young.
4.) Launchpad Coworking (Alabang, Muntinlupa)
Love, love, love the layout and design. Big, wooden tables with plenty of outlets. The window view of peaceful Alabang is relaxing. They hold learning events every Monday (they call it Mission Mondays).
5.) PenBrothers (Legaspi Village, Makati)
Open 24 hours for their dedicated members. The atmosphere is very young, vibrant and full of energy. It feels like a huge office floor for a modern IT company.
There are plenty more that I haven’t tried so feel free to comment below if you have other recommendations!
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