Upon visiting a coffee shop in Manila, it’s very likely you’ll see a number of people with their laptops or tablets on their tabletops. These are a mix of students, startups founders, mobile employees, or freelancers — basically people grasping a good internet connection for work. The problem with coffee shops is that you can’t always get a good internet connection. It can get noisy too, especially during a coffee shop’s peak hours. This is where co-working spaces come in as a solution.
What’s good about co-working spaces is that you get an office without spending too much. People can also network with others who share their interests, say in business or technology. Plus, there’s fast internet connection and coffee.
In the Philippines, coworking spaces haven’t garnered much attention yet compared to the rest of Asia. But there’re a few emerging ones that are worth noting:
Co.lab launched in the Philippines in 2011. It offers daily, weekly, and monthly passes, where people can opt for early morning or late afternoon visits, or unlimited access.
It costs around Php 500 ($11.61) to Php 750 ($17.42) for daily rates; Php 2,000($46.45) to Php 3,000 ($69.67) weekly, and Php 5,000 ($116.12) to 7,500 ($174.14) monthly. The 214 square meter office can accommodate 40 co-working seats. It also has an additional 25 to 40 seat capacity in its meeting rooms.
To date, around 12 to 15 startups co-work in Co.lab regularly. It also hosts monthly events to promote collaboration and networking among co-workers.
• free wi-fi
• office facilities such as print, scan and copy
• free coffee, tea and water
• use of pantry and common area
Location: Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City, near the business districts of Ortigas and Makati.
A Space Manila
A Space Manila offers day passes, 40-hour passes, and monthly passes. While it doesn’t publicly post its price, it says that its day pass is cheaper than staying in Starbucks for a day, given that one can buy a number of beverages and sandwiches in that span of time. Its office space is 200 square meters, which can accommodate around 50 people. Almost 50 percent of its regular co-workers are startups, according to A Space Manila.
private office suites (apart from the co-working spaces)
access to pantry, can cook
Location: Salcedo Village, Makati City
Location63 is still fresh from its recent launch last March. It’s founded by British businessman Chris Ducker, who’s based in the Philippines for his outsourcing business. An island away from Metro Manila, it introduced the idea of a coworking space to the city, and is the first of its kind in the region.
• free wi-fi
• Access to pantry: use of microwave and fridge
• Lounge Area
• Conference Room
Location: Mandaue City, Cebu