The abundance of freelancers in markets like the Philippines can steer the commercial real- estate market to produce more coworking or serviced office spaces, and that demand is expected to grow by as much as 15 percent by 2030, Terry Blackburn, president and founder and managing director, PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards, said, citing a JLL report.
Blackburn believes that the coworking concept is getting popular to the working population, including the millennials. And the emergence of coworking space in the country’s business and corporate horizon has created a big impact among entrepreneurs and start-ups.
Millennials are taking the lead in turning every bit of space available in the different areas of the Metro into a coworking space.
Miggy Azurin, the 23-year-old chief executive officer of Digital Husky, told the BusinessMirror in an interview that he and his team enjoy the atmosphere in a coworking space.
“There are two benefits of coworking space. First, is the flexibility. As a business owner, I value how coworking spaces get to offer on-demand services with business-friendly terms. I get to offer my team a place to be productive without breaking the bank,” he said.
“Second, the vibe of the community is inspiring. Being with other innovators, entrepreneurs, and big thinkers allow me to expand my knowledge and network,” he added.
Mikko Barranda, cofounder of Acceler8, said the emergence of coworking space has made millennials, especially start-up entrepreneurs, better workers equipped with good behavior, technology savvy and have better understanding of entrepreneurship.
Barranda said coworking space also provides the environment for millennials to harness their creativity by putting several breakout areas and be inspired.
Bianca Cruz, community manager of Acceler8, said she enjoys the work environment in a coworking space. “I like the working environment in Acceler8 because I enjoy working with start-ups,” Cruz said.
“Our workspace in Acceler8 has several breakout areas to give our tenants the opportunity to be inspired, lounge, green area, coworking space and interact through the coffee shop.”
For the past two decades, the IT-BPM sector has led the growth of office spaces in the country. As the Philippine property market continues to evolve, there is a big possibility that coworking spaces could be the next growth opportunity in the country, just like Bangkok, Jakarta and Singapore. As the next generation of workers—millennials and the gen Z after them—look for flexibility and shared experiences, coworking or serviced office spaces could fulfill their requirements.
Filipino organizations so far still dominate the local market. Nonetheless, the big conglomerates are ready to step into the picture and are already looking to venture in the same business.
Barranda said coworking has a strong appeal to millennials because they possess an extreme desire for togetherness and coworking spaces that are designed and built to maximize interaction.
“At the core of Acceler8, we are more that just as desk, we provide built-in communities and curate events to help our members build their network. Our thrust is building real connections with the people,” said Barranda.
By embracing an entrepreneurial mindset, Barranda said millennials find a co-working space ideal whether they are starting their own business or being employed by a firm that gives them a free-hand and independence.