What can you do if your self-employed, or freelancer, is unable to sit down at home and work?
This is true even for startups with only 3-4 employees. It would be difficult to arrange a meeting with clients or use a conference room.
How often can you go to a park or coffee shop to work? You don’t need libraries to get work done.
Coworking spaces are the most popular answer today!
Pre-covid was the same as now. Most people were laid off and are now pursuing new business opportunities due to the current pandemic, which continues to disrupt lives and create the new norm.
Its simple definition can be found in Harvard Business Review:
The coworking movement strives to include community, collaboration and learning as well as sustainability.
Wikipedia calls it:
Coworking allows workers from different companies to share office space. This can lead to cost savings and convenience.
Pakistan and Coworking Spaces/Setups: Is this a trend?
Pakistan has also seen a rise in demand for coworking spaces, despite the shortage of supply. It’s not surprising that many of these startups and freelancers don’t have the capital or the resources to open their own offices.
Geo News reported that Karachi’s real estate value rose from 50% to 100%.
Coworking spaces are a welcoming learning environment. They offer aesthetically pleasing settings where you can just sit and do nothing productive, or work in peace.
They have been able to create spaces that maximize their utility and profit by using small spaces.
Coworking spaces can be rented. I don’t just mean a desk, but conference rooms, meeting rooms, cafes, outdoor areas, etc.
Despite all the positive claims, many people see these spaces as not conducive to productivity but simply places to socialize and hang out.
This is just one benefit of coworking spaces, especially for founders of startups who want to network with like-minded people that may help them make a business decision.
Imagine a place that has freelancers, SME owners, and startup founders all under one roof. Just the presence of this passionate, contagious energy can create a professional work environment where money making and helping others goes hand in hand.
What are the benefits of coworking spaces? Coworking Spaces are a place where you can mix and collaborate.
The heading answers the question clearly.
It can be used as a social space to meet new people or a place for productive collaboration.
A Professional Setting That is Beautiful and Attractive
A welcoming design is a good idea, regardless of whether you’re designing a restaurant or coworking space. You can increase productivity by making small changes to your workplace’s aesthetics.
Simple refers to the design and layout of the space. Lightning can help and facilitate diverse professionals within a cohesive environment.
Open-air benching is also a feature of modern coworking spaces. This means that there are no fixed seating arrangements, but merely a table and chair for the next pair.
Except for those who need desktop setups, most professionals don’t require one. A smartphone or a tablet with a few files and documents is all they really need.
The beauty is in large windows and open spaces that allow natural light to flood in, or the dazzling lights and neon signs in the evenings.
Everything is in the House, even if it’s not on The House
It’s true! Coworking spaces offer many advantages. They are equipped with everything you need in a professional setting.
Start with stable WiFi! A stable internet connection is what most people would rather have than die for. A reliable internet connection is essential for everyone, whether you are working remotely for freelancers or submitting detailed proposals to founders of startups.
You can move onto designated collaborative spaces such as Board rooms, conference rooms, or meeting rooms. A desk space is not enough. Professionals need to have a separate space in order to meet with clients in person or for their employees to brainstorm.
A Cafe or a Kitchen space is the best place to find working professionals who are able to work without coffee or tea. Work can be made more enjoyable by having food stations or snack options, or even a cup of coffee.
Many coworking spaces offer support to their staff members, the most important being IT support staff and finance consultants.
Connect & Collaborate In Coworking Spaces
One of the best features of coworking spaces is their ability to be collaborative.
It is easy to feel isolated or exhausted when running a solo show. Like the popular saying, “A human being can be a social animal” we need others who can help us connect and collaborate.
Being part of a community can have huge benefits, such as the ability to casually bounce off new ideas with people with different skill sets and like-minded persons. These places are also a place of support.
Different backgrounds can bring a variety of experiences to the table, which can be a great asset to aspiring founders or professionals.
These spaces are diverse, but they share a commonality.
Let’s say a startup founder needs a social media team, but cannot afford one. Well, within the same roof, they can find creative freelancers to help him/her with social marketing efforts. The same can be applied in other domains such as tax experts or finance professionals to help you file your annual taxes.
The affordability of coworking spaces is what money does
The affordability factor is probably the most important selling point.
Coworking spaces can offer a cost-effective way to get a desk. You also have the opportunity to enjoy all the amenities that you’d find in a regular workplace, such as a kitchen station and Wi-Fi. High-speed Wi-Fi and Kitchen station are some of the many amenities available at a coworking space.
Coworking spaces are a better alternative to paying rent, electricity and phone bills.
Top 5 Coworking Spaces In Pakistan
Let’s take a look at some modern coworking spaces that promote collaboration.
A little bias doesn’t kill anyone – and Mindstir is my favorite example of all the points above.
The best coworking space in Islamabad that has gained much popularity within few months.
Small spaces available for small teams with flexible monthly plans. Private offices are also available for large teams.
It is an example of a coworking space that has been designed artistically to foster a collaborative culture.
You will find separate areas for events, workshops, networking sessions, and conferences. There is also a roof garden and terrace.
This space is well-equipped with lockers, multipurpose studio, and a lounging area. It’s the perfect stop for freelancers or anyone looking for coworking space that will meet their needs.
Mindstir currently hosts over 100 companies, 60% of which are tech startups.
Daftarkhwan, another example of beautiful workspaces that provide huge benefits to entrepreneurs and professionals is Daftarkhwan
Their slogan is “Reinventing the Way You Work” and they have been a part of the community building process through initiatives like Daftarkhwan Venture Exchange, which connects startups to top investors via one-on-one investment meetings
Daftwarkhwan is currently operating in three major cities of Pakistan, i.e. It is located in Lahore and Rawalpindi.
Daftarkhwan, like many coworking spaces, offers its employees a wide range of facilities, including high-speed WiFi, meeting & conference rooms, lockers & storage, as well as printing and scanning services.
Plan 9 TechHub
Plan9 is well-known as an incubator for startups in tech, but many don’t know that it also offers a state of the art working space for freelancers.
Plan9 was founded in 2012 and has become the go-to destination for tech enthusiasts
Pakistan was previously ranked among the top five most active countries via oDesk and Freelancer. Plan9 was an initiative by the Punjab Government to offer affordable workspaces every quarter.
The space is located on the 5th floor of Arfa Software Technology Park in Lahore. It offers networking and collaboration opportunities for freelancers as well as aspiring entrepreneurs.
Freelancers can use the space for up to 144 spots. They also have full access to all the amenities, including the business development consultant.
WeCreate, the only incubator and co-working space exclusively for women entrepreneurs and professionals, is now available. It helps to build new businesses and grow existing ones.
WeCreate Center was created by a public-private partnership between U.S. Department of State Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and TiE Islamabad. It is a safe and central location where female entrepreneurs and professionals can access vital economic empowering resources.
This is a great place for women to meet, have meetings, pray, and get work done. It also includes storage and a self-help cooking space.
WeCreate Center hosts many programs, including the StartUp Academy. SheTalks provides mentoring, networking and specialized training to assist in accessing capital markets and markets.
This unique space, located in F-11 Markaz Islamabad, is designed by women and features a staff that helps females feel at home.
Although The Hive is one the oldest and most innovatively designed coworking spaces, with perfectly placed egg chairs or hanging chair, it is somewhat more expensive than the other spaces.
The Hive provides fully-serviced, scalable office spaces and coworking options for professionals, small and large teams, as well as mature businesses. It is present in three cities, namely. It is located in three cities: Islamabad (Blue Area), Lahore (DHA), and Karachi (Clifton).
Event halls and meeting rooms can be rented that can accommodate between 30-40 people.
They offer large-scale serviced offices that are both standard and custom-built for teams.
Pakistan’s coworking spaces have a bright future. They can offer a great alternative to traditional coworking spaces, which are subject to rising rents and infrastructure costs.
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