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Why Coworking space in Hong Kong? (9Feb2015)

(Written by Conrad Ko & Justin Castro)

So you wake up at 6AM, the greatest idea ever comes to your mind. You start thinking about it; day in, day out it’s the only thing you think about. You come home at 6PM, and the only thing that greets you is your family asking you to do chores or favors. But of course you’ll do it, you’re 27 years old and you’re still living with your family. You finally finish everything at 10PM and finally have the time to start working on your own project. Only problem is you’re being bothered. Still. Continuously. Without end. So you decide to move out, find your own flat for privacy. But you can’t because it’s so expensive. So you put your dreams on hold until you grow old to be around 50 when you can finally afford it only to realize that someone else had done it. All because you put your little dream on hold. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Let me introduce you to the most brilliant and most glorious idea of our modern working lives: coworking.

What is Coworking Space?

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Coworking, not co-working as some people would spell it, is a booming idea in today’s technologically driven world. The premise is simple: one rents a table or space away from his or her home to do his or her work there. It sounds simple, but there’s a whole lot more to that (but really, it’s simple. Just keep on reading).

Why not a coffee Shop? Why don’t I work at home?

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You might notice that if you are a regular to a coffee café, certain people almost always occupy the same seats, hunched over their laptop, their coffee already hours old and still just half drunk. These people are usually freelancers or startup entrepreneurs. They tend to congregate towards these cafes because of the availability of internet and an ambiance that helps them work. There are a variety of reasons as to why this is. Some people cannot concentrate on doing any sort of work at home as they do not want those two spaces (work and rest) to mix with one another. Some people might like working alone, and with the rising cost of real estate in Hong Kong, young professionals just starting out their career would find it hard and expensive to buy or rent their own living space. This is where coworking spaces kick in.

The Origins of Coworking Space

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Coworking spaces began in the United States. Back in the mid-2000s, when the social media/smartphone/new internet scene hadn’t taken off yet, the primary users of these coworking spaces were professionals like accountants who needed office space to conduct their professional service but weren’t necessarily employed to a company. Coworking spaces offered these without the huge capital required to set up one’s own office. It was a win-win; coworking spaces would have a steady amount of clients who wish to use their facilities while workers were able to conduct their profession without spending too much on space.
But as the Internet 3.0 exploded, these spaces suddenly became more in demand. From a mere 75 spaces in 2007, there are now near 2000 of them in 2012. In a span of five years, it expanded over 2500% as more and more professionals seek their own private-yet-not-personal space. And so these spaces evolved as well. From very traditional offices with cubicles, they became hip and colorful spaces, with bright and colorful décor to match their elegant furniture. These spaces became more reminiscent of the Google campus then the typical work space office.
These crowd working spaces then started catering more towards this crowd. High speed internet was almost always a must. Snack bars, light recreation and lounges became more commonplace. Social events that allowed fellow coworkers to mingle with each other were now held weekly.

As to why they exploded, it’s primarily because of the very human need to socialize. Because of the internet, a lot of technology based startups can work almost anywhere, provided they have a laptop and stable enough internet connection. This allowed anyone with a great enough of an idea and the skills and dedication to back it up to create their vision. But as most creatives would understand, it is also necessary to get feedback and criticism. These coworking spaces became the avenue of that. At any given time, there are a large variety of projects happening inside these coworking spaces, with the people inside of the freely trading ideas with one another. At the same time, they get to socialize and meet new people that they might potentially work with in the future. These coworking spaces have then replaced the traditional office.

What are the benefits of Coworking Space?

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Coworking spaces are highly ideal for individuals or very small startups. Traditional companies that are large and have a more vertical organizational structure will find it hard to adapt to coworking.

Coworking Spaces in Hong Kong

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Coworking spaces in Hong Kong are quite common nowadays. Almost all of them offer the same base amenities mainly high speed internet connection, large and open workspaces for individuals and a lounge for socializing, usually at around 1500 to 2500 HKD. Individual rooms for groups, 24/7 access, conference rooms, photography studios are available for extra. Do note however that most of these spaces require an application, some spaces might already be filled up and full while some spaces tend to look for certain applicants. The Good Lab, for example, is dedicated to those who are more socially oriented and one might not get his application approved if his idea is more of a commercial venture.

List of Coworking Space in Hong Kong

Geographically, the spaces are spread out all over the city. Sheung wan, Kowloon, Sai Kung and Tin Hau are home to the well-known coworking spaces.

 

 

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Coworking Romance in Hong Kong (1Feb2015)

(Written by Conrad Ko, Edited by Margaret Jarvis)

How many lonely hearts are there in Hong Kong? It’s a tough question for many. According to statistics, there are many more women than men in Hong Kong. In 2009 there were 907 men for every 1,000 women in the city. Nevertheless, there are so few stories about finding the perfect match in the city, that it is very discouraging on both sides.

The top reason on the list is that there are not enough venues and occasions to meet a high quality partner. The fact is, most Honkies go straight home to bed after work, leaving no time for meetups, cocktails, buffets or other social mingle time. The more single you are, the more time you devote to work, creating a vicious cycle. Since you have nothing to develop, apart from your career.

Be honest, you want guys or girls, not work. So how can you break this vicious cycle? The answer is blatantly simple, find a guy or girl during your working hours, two birds one stone. What a great solution! .As a matter of fact, there are tons of opportunities in the work place. But for the sake of this article, I would like to introduce a new concept – Coworking Romance. To be exact, romance developing in coworking spaces in Hong Kong.

Having a Coworking romance is actually a very good idea, because working for a start-up itself screens out a lot of low quality girls and guys. It certainly screened me out, as I am a Chinese and I am frugal enough not to spend dollars on it. But let’s be honest, you want the lavish ladybird or sugar daddy, right?

From my POV (generalization, bias, BS), my Coworking Space filter will reveal people with the following qualities.

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• People who speak near native English. People who work in Coworking Space in Hong Kong are generally educated abroad, or come from an expatriate background. So if you want to find your perfect Snow Man or the Pearl of the Orient who actually speaks English, this is the way to go.

• People who can afford to pay 3-5k a month for nothing. People in Coworking Space in Hong Kong are generally young energetic rich kids or semi-retired professionals who are looking for a second career. Obviously these people do not need a job to feed their family. What does that mean to you as a girl or guy? It means that if you date this bloke or pony, you are going to spend less on dining and other expenses, you might even get a free ride to fine dinng venues in Hong Kong. Again, remember? Two Birds one Stone.

• People who are hip and good looking. People in Coworking Space need recognition from others, that’s why they work at coworking space and not at home in their pyjamas. Since they are involved in the relentless pursuit of looking good, they generally have good taste in fashion and food.

• People who are looking for a moon shot. People in Coworking Space have dreams beyond their reach, ATM, they go for the moon shot. That is if you date them and eventually start a relationship with them, you might become a trophy winner or have a ticket to a future ATM.

• People who actually have the time to develop romance. People in Coworking Space do not have a boss at their back. That means they have more time to do what they want at their own discretion, be it romance, affairs or rendezvous. They most certainly have this priceless asset – Time.

Venue wise, Coworking space is especially good for workplace romance, why?

Photo Gallery _ the Hive Hong Kong Coworking Space _ the Hive (2) Photo Gallery _ the Hive Hong Kong Coworking Space _ the Hive (1)

• It’s usually quiet, not a lot of background noise, perfect for brewing ambiance. In a traditional Chinese office, the only thing you hear is swearing and phones ringing, which are the worst enemies of romance. However, in this romanticized working utopia, you have a no-phone policy, or a quiet policy. Which means there are no sounds, only eye contact, the perfect ingredient in starting affairs… Hmm I mean love.

• It’s usually well decorated with elegant wood finish. Lots of chairs and sofas. Most Chinese offices are decorated with partition board, plastic partitions and metallic plates. Whereas in a coworking space, you are surrounded by heart-warming cozy wood, which means you want to lie down and take a rest more often, usually means more cuddling.

• It’s not dry, you can consume alcohol on the premises. In a traditional Chinese Office, nothing other than water is provided. Why, you might ask? As frugal as the Chinese are, why do they provide water? The answer to that is, it’s required by law, although the boss may be tempted to put amphetamines in the water to boost workplace productivity. In a Coworking space, they actually encourage you to drink – the more booze you have, the more likely you will want to stay in this utopia, which equals higher profit for the coworking space owner. And remember as Shakespeare said, “If wine be the food of love, drink on.” The more wine there is, the more love there is, naturally.

• You can smoke, love is in the air. You cannot smoke in a regular office without waiting for 5 minutes to go down in the lift, and then up in the lift again, which means no time for private conversation. Whereas in some coworking spaces in Wan Chai, you can get outdoors to smoke in seconds. The craving for nicotine is a perfect excuse for a few minutes of cuddling.

Given our hints, what are you waiting for? Go to a coworking space on the weekend to hunt for your Prince Charming immediately. Ok I will give you a list now:

Top 10 Co-Working Spaces Places For Parents To Plug-In Apr 03, 2014 – http://www.littlestepsasia.com/hong-kong/articles/play/top-10-co-working-spaces