Hong Kong’s vibrant CBD is home to a number of financial institutions and conglomerates, but for many entrepreneurs, leasing space in some of these districts can be extremely expensive. For these reasons, working in the city is not so feasible for many businesses, and worse yet, it places them far away from valuable resources and people who can help them grow their business. Fortunately, for the average business, there are a number of alternatives to traditional office space.
Business owners in Hong Kong also have found other ways to lease affordable, appropriate office space in the city. In fact, young professionals and their experienced colleagues have exchanged their traditional digs for some of the more trendy co-working spots in the city. Co-working spaces are so attractive because these shared spaces provide many of the amenities of an office without the added expense. Check out Servcorp’s Hong Kong co-working space at http://www.servcorp.com.hk/en/coworking/ to get a glimpse of professionals who choose this office style.
Let’s take a look at how Hong Kong businesses have transitioned into co-working environments and what this means for the future of your business.
Conventional Leasing V. Co-Working Leases
Many professionals leave conventional leasing formats for co-working leases because leasing is a little bit more flexible. With co-working’s flexible leases, professionals are not bound by a protracted lease that requires them to commit to at least a year. Co-working, on the hand, only asks professionals to commit to much shorter contracts, some being as short as a month.
In addition the leasing terms, the initial start-up costs with a co-working space is also much less than a traditional lease. Typically, a conventional lease provides you use of the structure only. You then would have to spend money for deposits on the utilities, cable and phone, in addition to having to pay for office equipment and support staff. With a standard lease, you spend a couple thousand dollars in just initial start-up costs. With most co-working spaces, you only pay for the first month’s rent and a deposit which is usually equal to one month. For many professionals, calculating for a rental that will save you hundreds, maybe thousands yearly is a no-brainer, and for this reason, the co-working space is a more appropriate choice for many.
More than any other factor, the networking potential of the co-working space draws professionals to these types of office arrangements. Because of the way a co-working office is typically organised, professionals might find themselves working next to others from a diverse array of industries, and these are just the hot desk working situations. Many of these shared spaces have many different types of professionals working in the office.
This proximity fosters the type of networking that builds relationships, that encourages mentoring opportunities, and that is the foundation of collaborations for professionals. These little professional enclaves support the types of relationships that have birthed some of the best ideas, such as Instagram, Uber, ZipRecruiter, in addition to a host of others. All of these ideas were the culmination of informal and formal networking.
Many professionals find the laid back but professional atmosphere very attractive. A stuffy, corporate image works well when trying to win over possible clients. When faced with professionals (many of them millennials) who want a more laid back, community-minded atmosphere and an office layout that also boasts some of the finest after-hours events (barbecues, happy hour, breakfast events), the corporate office is no competition for the co-working space. Professionals flock to these spaces just for their positive, pro-entrepreneurial spirit.
A Shift Toward Cooperation Instead Of Competition
In Hong Kong, the shift toward working style that encourages cooperation and collaboration is well underway, and with good reason. Professionals are offered a great environment to work, but more importantly, to network in a very natural way. However, the biggest benefit of co-working to the professional is their budget.