Hong Kong is well known as a place that ranks high in many indicators such as foreign investment, easiness of making business, and registering companies, as well as being one of the most expensive cities in the world to buy a property.
And naturally, having one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world can translate into having to pay a premium fee for private offices. Nevertheless, Hong Kong has many options that adapt to the needs of entrepreneurs and foreign investors alike, without the need to sacrifice the comforts needed for a proper working environment such as having a traditional private office space, virtual offices, and serviced offices. A really popular option is coworking spaces, starting with a hot desk that is a single working unit.
In this article, we will discuss some aspects of coworking spaces to help you decide if it is the best option for your team and your business.
An overview of the coworking spaces in Hong Kong
According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), coworking spaces are essentially a shared working environment that provides multiple working stations or dedicated desks to their tenants. Normally, a tenant in a coworking space would pay every month, a fixed amount, without needing to sign a long-term lease or to give a down payment to adapt the installations to its needs. Coworking spaces are ready to use and are up to you to cut on the cost of the operation. Furthermore, some coworking spaces act the same as having a gym membership, you can use the nearest facility closer to you and your teammates.
Coworking spaces offer flexibility and a new experience for entrepreneurs and startups, as well as for bigger companies, that traditional options and landlords do not offer. Let's explore in more detail some of the most attractive features of a coworking space.
Coworking space advantages
Being trendy among digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and startups, coworking spaces have grown in popularity in recent years. Here we will enlist some of the advantages that these spaces offer to their tenants:
- Amenities: with surging competition among the working spaces, the coworking spaces have to reinvent themselves and the perks they could offer to their tenants, almost tailoring their spaces to their every need. Some of them offer a complimentary coffee bar and snacks, places to rest, gym facilities, and even yoga meditation rooms.
- Community: since coworking spaces are trying to break out of the corporate office scheme, they are building their spaces to shape like-minded individuals and an inclusive community. Commonly, networking events are regularly organised in their own event spaces, so their tenants can interact and even cooperate and help each other. Having a dedicated event space can be alluring for some businesses.
- Flexible leases: the contracts for the coworking spaces can be negotiated for shorter terms than they would be available in traditional office spaces. This flexibility will allow you not to stay chained to a long-term lease contract.
- Flexible workspace solutions: the coworking spaces have different spaces that adapt to the needs of different businesses. You start from having a dedicated desk for your 1-person team, up to having private rooms for a bigger team. Some coworking spaces can even adapt whole floors for bigger corporate tenants.
- Branches: as the business of coworking spaces has expanded, some of them have different branches in the same city and even around the world. Most of them allow their members or tenants to use other branches and amenities.
- Dedicated front desk: for any of your questions or troubles, you will have someone that you can easily reach out to at the front desk that can help you navigate the perks of being part of a coworking space and also provide business support to your company.
- You pay for what you use: in a coworking space, you have the right to use the facilities and some of the services for free up to a point, and every month these quotas reset. In this sense, you can only pay for what you use and reduce costs if your business operations do not require all the available services.
Coworking space disadvantages
Something that is not commonly spoken about and that becomes obvious only to those persons using the coworking spaces are their disadvantages. Here we will enlist a few of them:
- Waiting time: as you will be working with other individuals and companies, there is a limited number of facilities that need to be shared among the tenants. This means that a reservation system needs to be in place to assure that all the tenants can access the facilities, especially the meeting rooms. Nevertheless, all of this works on a good neighbour policy that needs the individuals to be respectful and punctual, something that cannot be assured by the operators of the coworking space. Planning would be advisable for client meetings and company events.
- Crowdedness: if you chose to have hot desks or working stations, there might be times that the coworking space becomes crowded, affecting your ability to concentrate and impacting your business operations.
- Neighbours: as mentioned in the first point, you cannot control who is your neighbour in a coworking space, depending on what working format or space you choose to use. It would be like sorting out a golden ticket in the lottery.
- Hidden fees: it is important to review what services are included in your agreement and which are not included. Some of them can be used once a week, a month, or a year for free, while any extra use would be charged. No one likes to receive a big invoice at the end of the month.
Looking for a coworking space?
In the following section, we will enlist some suggestions and our findings on coworking spaces in Hong Kong, for your easy reference:
- The Executive Centre (Prosperity Tower)
Although it could be more on the pricey side, it is considered to be the “Business Class” of coworking spaces in Hong Kong. The Executive Center has over 11 locations all over the city, but the location in the Prosperity Tower has the perfect view of Causeway Bay and is fully equipped for all your needs.
Also located in Causeway Bay, the Work Project Coworking space has been awarded for its unique design and redefinition of the working space with its “Think Design” concept. If you are someone creative and need to work in a group, this is the right place for you. Nearby shopping and commercial areas are just a few steps away from the Coworking centre.
With 2 locations in Causeway Bay and Mong Kok, this Coworking space doubles also as a place preferred for students that want to focus on their afternoon studies. There are many resources available and materials for the users, as well as complimentary drinks and snacks.
Desk One is well known for its design with big windows and bright working spaces. Currently, there are 6 locations and there is a 7th location to be inaugurated soon. The pricing of this Coworking space is charged per hour, giving one of the most flexible rates in the market.
- Metro Workspace (Central)
Metro Workspace offers convenience for all working schedules since it has 24-hour access. The Central location is especially famous since it is designed like a Parisian Cafe and offers complimentary freshly brewed coffee to the users. Just perfect for any brainstorming sessions at any point in the day.
As we have seen in this article, coworking spaces can be a viable alternative to traditional spaces. Although these spaces are not limited to smaller-scale operations and start-ups, they are a good starting point for these specific types of businesses as they can provide a more affordable option in cities such as Hong Kong. If you are interested to learn more, we have prepared a detailed "Office Space Rental Guide" to help you make an informed decision using our local insights.