Co-working spaces are now popular across the world as both individuals and companies enjoy the freedom they provide. In Thailand, where co-working is still a new trend, most co-working spaces are found in cafes or standalone places as opposed to in office buildings, which is usually the case in most global cities, reports CBRE.
The number of co-working spaces globally has increased by nearly 10,000 locations from 2013 to 2017, according to Deskmag. The demand for these spaces comes from startups that prefer flexibility in their workspace as well as from freelancers and digital nomads who use technology that offers work freedom. However, the adoption of co-working in Thailand has been slower than other places.
“In Thailand, the number of co-working space locations has gone from being less than 20 to over 100 over the past 5 years. However, unlike in many countries where co-working space tends to be in office buildings, most co-working space in Thailand is in standalone cafés that operate as a café, but also provide some work facilities,” says Thatchanan Siddhijai, Manager at CBRE Research & Consulting.
A few co-working space operators in Bangkok have moved from solely being based in retail spaces to opening in office buildings this year. This shift has both pros and cons for office building landlords.
“The advantage of having co-working space in an office building is to improve occupancy and enhance the diversity of the workplace in their building. The downside for landlords of traditional buildings is that it can be hard to monitor the end users, creating a security issue and for users the working hours are less flexible compared to those in standalone buildings or in retail space,” says Thatchanan.
The increasing number of millennials and big corporations moving to co-working spaces in Thailand could mean more office buildings set aside room for these in the future. Most businesses will still opt for traditional offices, but building landlords may give serious consideration to co-working moving forward.