Freedom of speech wasn’t the only good thing that came out of Indonesia’s political reform in 1998 and the transformative policies that followed. The society became more organized, mobilized and innovative. As the economy grew and the country became an emerging market, changes also occurred in terms of how people approached the issue of economic development and poverty alleviation.
In Indonesia, more people became proactive in identifying opportunities for entrepreneurial initiatives. Concepts such as idea generation, market assessment and financial opportunities grew more popular, especially among the reenergized youth.
Fast forward to today, along with the rapid development of technology and the Internet, small ventures spring up almost on a daily basis. In fact, these days, establishing a new startup is probably easier and more affordable than ever – partly thanks to the availability of coworking spaces that cater to budding entrepreneurs, self-employed professionals and digital nomads alike.
As the name implies, coworking space involves a shared working environment, often taking place in an office. The people coworking are not necessarily employees of the same organization, but rather, work independently. Over the past ten years or so, all over the globe, trends show a doubling of the number of coworking spaces in the US, Europe and Asia. Jakarta is no exception.
Benefits. The first benefit that comes into mind when talking about coworking space is that it offers much more affordable rent compared with conventional office space. Although differing in facilities, most coworking spaces offer varied packages – daily, weekly, monthly or annual. Some places would even allow you to rent a desk for a couple of hours – which makes it attractive for freelancers and start-up founders who tend to have high mobility and move around from one appointment to another. Most coworking spaces also provide basic office requirements such as high-speed Internet access, presentation tools, as well as printer and copier.
Another highlight of coworking space is its progressive work culture. Coworking spaces are usually designed in modern styled interior that promotes natural lighting and an open plan, which supports collaboration. Compared with cubicles or box-like rooms, this kind of environment radiates more positive energy that leads to higher productivity.
Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a freelancer, networking plays a crucial role for your success. The good news is that working in collaborative space allows you to be surrounded by like-minded people so you can make new friends, learn from each other and perhaps even engage in collaborative projects together. You’ll discover that many coworking spaces routinely organize networking events such workshops, seminars or sharing sessions for their members to get to know each other. Needless to say, coworking spaces are the perfect place to be for the growing demographic of self-employed professionals.
How to Choose the Best Coworking Space. I believe many would agree that workplace environment is a key determinant of our work quality and productivity – regardless of the type of work we’re doing. If indeed you are a freelancer, self-employed, remote worker, entrepreneur or an independent professional, it’s very important to choose the right coworking space that best supports your needs in terms of community, collaboration, learning and sustainability. Here are a few factors you should take into account before settling in one place.
Location. With frequent client meetings and pressing deadlines, you wouldn’t want to waste your time in Jakarta’s infamous traffic. Choose a coworking space that is convenient for you and your clients to save your time (and money). As they say, time is money. Don’t underestimate the importance of accessibility when choosing a place to work.
Interior Space and Facilities. Is the space ideal to support both private and collaborative work? Is the meeting room equipped with the latest technology? Is the Internet fast, stable and secure enough? Does the space provide recreational area where you can take a break and relax? Make sure you ask these questions before booking your desk, especially if you’re planning to apply for long-term membership.
Culture. Every co-working space has its own vibe. Some act as incubators for technology startups while others may be more suitable for creative professionals or aspiring artists. Think of it as joining a social movement. Good coworking spaces are committed to promoting a culture where it’s the norm to help each other out. Make sure the coworking space you’re joining has regular networking activities.
Pricing. Of course, it will always come back to your budget. Look for a place that offers basic office amenities at a reasonable price. Learn about its various membership packages – find out what’s included and what costs extra. Coworking spaces often offer discounts to members who prepay their rent. Ask the space manager if this is possible.
Jakarta’s Best Co-working Spaces
Facilities: a noise-free Work Focused Area, discussion lounge, meeting room for eight people with free wireless Internet and video projector, coffee shop, patio and shower room. Coworkinc hosts weekly events.
WIMO Building 3rd Fl.
Jl. Kemang I No. 7, Bangka, South Jakarta 12730
Facilities: two convenient locations (the Maja and the Breeze), shared desks, private office, modern meeting rooms and locker space. EvHive hosts weekly events.
Facilities: three convenient locations (Antasari, Tebet and Senopati), modern yet quirky working spaces, private meeting rooms and auditorium. Kolega hosts weekly events.
Facilities: spacious coworking spaces with communal tables and sofas, meeting rooms, private offices, mini classroom that caters up to 80 people, library and an indoor amphitheater to accommodate 125 people. Conclave hosts weekly events.
Jl. Wijaya I, South Jakarta 12170
Facilities: Shared desks, lounge area by Fabelio, meeting rooms, private offices, 24-hour security and CCTV, as well as regular events.
Jl. Bangka XII No. 4, South Jakarta 12720
Facilities: two convenient locations (Cilandak and Pantai Indah Kapuk), spacious office spaces, dedicated desks, virtual office, call answering office and business assistance (mentoring, scale-up, company incorporation, bookkeeping and accounting). Cre8 hosts weekly events.
Facilities: comfortable shared working spaces, modern meeting rooms, private office, lounge area, outdoor terrace, business service and basic office supply. Tier Space hosts weekly events.
Jl. Bhakti No. 10, Kebayoran, South Jakarta 12180