The JustCo Story

JustCo to me is more than an exciting job; it is a business that my husband Wan Sing KONG founded, and I am blessed to have been involved in his entrepreneurial journey right from the start.  Prior to joining JustCo, I was working at Proctor & Gamble. In 2011, I moved from my much-loved American life and embarked on this journey with Wan Sing in Singapore.

Like many start-up stories, the initial years were marked by a lot of dreams and doubts, ups and downs, exciting and exhausting moments. During the early years of JustCo, we knew that the entrepreneurial journey would not be easy and we did face many obstacles – but the sense of fulfilment was something I would not find elsewhere. JustCo makes my life even fuller and more interesting every day.

My role in JustCo is to foster a community of talented and like-minded individuals and businesses where members can tap into to seek new connections and explore business opportunities through engagement activities like specially-curated professional and social events. Our members get to fully experience the benefits and network effects within JustCo’s large community of more than 17,000 members. This is not different from the atmosphere I fell in love with when at Columbia Business School, where students collaborated to complete projects, and tapped on each other’s expertise to learn and grow.

At JustCo, we offer people a range of options; they can work and socialise in either their own offices or hot-desks in the common area, either behind their computer screens or while using our shared facilities like ping-pong tables, foosball, arcade games, and swings (yes, like the ones you see in a park). They make friends, network with industry peers, attend thought-provoking events, gain advice from a host of senior business figures, or learn to pitch their business ideas. Every day, the community grows, expands and new connections are created; with kudos also to our Community Team – made up of passionate individuals who work closely with our members and understand the needs. I had never dreamed that I could have so much fun (and yes, sometime stress too) at work.

Thinking back, I am very grateful with how everything came together. I’ve not only been part of building a business, but more importantly, I get to nurture start-ups, support freelancers, and help many large organizations change the way they work and grow.

Over the years, JustCo has achieved great milestones, building the name to be recognised as one of Asia’s leading premium flexible workspace providers. We now have presence across Asia, including key cities like China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, and more to come.

I had never dreamed that I would be doing this with the most important person in my life, my husband, or ever thought that our personal and professional lives would be so intertwined. Every day I feel truly blessed, to continue to grow as a person and a leader in a business where there is so much passion, support and collaboration. I look forward to welcoming and meeting you in the JustCo community.

 

Lu Liu

JustCoのストーリー

JustCoは私にとって、ただの仕事ではありません。夫のワン・シン・コンが始めた事業であり、最初から起業家としての道に関われたのはありがたいことです。 JustCoに入る前は、P&Gに勤めていました。2011年、私は大好きだったアメリカの生活を離れ、シンガポールでワン・シンと新たな生活を始めました。

多くのスタートアップがそうであるように、最初の数年間は夢と疑問、浮き沈みが交差し、刺激的でしたが疲れ果てるような日々でした。JustCo初期の頃、起業家の道は一筋縄にはいかないことはわかっていましたし、実際に多くの問題に直面しました。でも充実感は他では味わえないものでした。JustCoは私の人生をさらに豊かに、より面白い毎日にしてくれています。

JustCoでの私の役割は、才能に恵まれ、志を同じくする個人や企業のコミュニティを育成することです。このコミュニティでは、メンバーの皆様が専門的イベントや社交イベントなどの特別にキュレーションした参加型アクティビティを通じて新しいつながり、さらにはビジネスチャンスを模索することができます。メンバーの皆様には、17,000人以上からなるJustCoの大規模コミュニティが持つメリットと人脈を存分に享受していただけます。これは、学生が共同でプロジェクトに取り組み、お互いの専門知識を活用して学び・成長するという、私がコロンビアビジネススクールで感じた雰囲気に近いものがあります。

JustCoでは、さまざまなオプションをご用意しています。専用オフィスや共有エリアの共用デスクで仕事をし、合間に交流することもできますし、卓球台やテーブルサッカー、アーケードゲーム、ブランコ(はい、公園にあるあのブランコです)などの共有施設を一緒にお楽しみいただくこともできます。友達としてのつながり、同じ業界内でのつながり、考えさせられるイベントへの参加から、ビジネスでの先輩からのアドバイスを得たり、自分のアイディアを売り込む方法を学んだりすることができます。日々コミュニティは成長拡大し、新しいつながりが生まれています。これは、メンバーの皆様と深く協力し、ニーズを理解している情熱的な人材が揃うコミュニティチームのおかげでもあります。仕事をこんなに楽しく(もちろん、時にはストレスもありますが)できるとは夢にも思っていませんでした。

振り返ると、すべてが上手くまとまったことに非常に感謝しています。単にビジネスの構築に関われたというだけでなく、より重要なのは、スタートアップの育成、フリーランサーのサポート、そして大企業の働き方改革や成長を支援できたというのは非常に大きいです。

何年にもわたり、JustCoは素晴らしい結果を残し、アジアを代表する上質でフレキシブルなワークスペースの運営企業として認知度を高めてきました。現在は中国、シンガポール、タイ、インドネシア、韓国、オーストラリア、台湾など、アジア全域の主要都市に拠点を置いており、さらに拡大しています。

人生で最も大事な人である夫と一緒に仕事をするとは夢にも思っていませんでしたし、プライベートと仕事をここまで織り合わせることができるとも思いませんでした。人として、また情熱的で、サポートや協力体制が整ったビジネスのリーダーとして、成長を続けられるということに毎日感謝しています。JustCoコミュニティで皆様とお会いできるのを楽しみにしています。

 

ルー・リュウ

A Guide To Coworking Spaces in Japan

  1. What are coworking spaces?
  2. What are the common features of a coworking space?
    1. Hot desks
    2. Private office suites
    3. Meeting rooms
    4. Phone booths
    5. Fully-stocked pantry
  3. For startups
    1. Coworking space vs incubators
  4. For SMEs
    1. Coworking space vs traditional office
  5. For Enterprses
    1. Coworking space vs serviced office
  6. Why choose coworking spaces over other remote work alternatives?
    1. Working from home
    2. Working from cafes or restaurants

A Guide To Coworking Spaces in Japan

The workspace landscape we know is undergoing fundamental shifts. Driven by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional notion of a workplace is transforming at unprecedented speed, spurring the demand for flexible real-estate strategies which is proving to be a viable solution for the workforce of the future. With almost 40% of Japan’s workforce working remotely at least 3 days a week in 2020 as compared to only 4.8% recorded in 2019, it is evident that businesses find merits in more flexible work arrangements that such avenues offer.

But how effective are coworking spaces and how can they help you in your professional pursuits in Japan?

We’ve put together a detailed guide to understanding what coworking spaces have to offer, and how we at JustCo can help you jump on the bandwagon and reap the benefits of a collaborative work environment!

What is a coworking space?

Also known as a rental office or temporary office in Japan, a coworking space is a membership-based working environment in which diverse groups of professionals from all walks of life come together to work under one roof.

Designed to foster collaboration between the like-minded and boost productivity like never before, these offices are the driving forces of the future of work. Whether you opt for any of the hot desks or head straight to the private office suites, the various solutions offered within the coworking space are meant to drive business productivity and efficiencies at streamlined costs.

What are the common features of a coworking space?

A few common features make the coworking space unique – here’s a quick snapshot of what you can expect at JustCo’s locations across Tokyo, Japan.

1. Hot desks

The hot desk provides you with an ergonomically-friendly office set-up, comprising a spacious table and ergonomic chairs. On top of having a productive workspace to tick off the to-do list, the hot desking arrangement fosters collaboration between different individuals working around you. Maybe a conversation with a neighbour may just spark ideas on your next project or give you more inspiration as you complete an ongoing task.

This solution is not only ideal for solopreneurs and solitary freelancers in Japan. Hot desks can also serve as a third space for growing startups, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and even big corporations that are looking to move to coworking spaces – a fast-rising new way of work that grants a geographically-dispersed workforce the autonomy to choose where they wish to work.

At JustCo Japan, you can hire a hot desk for monthly use with the JustDesk Basic plan in case you don’t require a workspace frequently. However, if you want to gain access as and when you need it, go for the JustDesk Unlimited plan. For those who have a favourite location within our offices in Tokyo and need a desk all set up and ready, the JustDesk Dedicated plan is the one for you!

2. Private office suites

Should privacy be important to you and your team, there are private office spaces within our centres wherever you’re at in Tokyo. With options like JustCo .BASE in Toranomon, you can easily make your way from Shimbashi, Akasaka, Roppongi and other business districts. Or if you are nearer to the Shibuya ward, our JustCo at Shibuya Hikarie is easily accessible from various locations including Daikanyama, Ebisu, Harajuku, Hiroo, Higashi, Omotesandō, Sendagaya, and Yoyogi. Perfect for teams working with confidential and sensitive information, or startups looking for a conducive coworking area for their growing teams, the private studio suites ensure there’s ample room for people to work on their tasks and discuss projects within a productive environment. If this is what you need, the Just Studio plan will have you sorted!

3. Meeting rooms

We know how important it is to communicate effectively with your clients and stakeholders, so we make sure you have the space to set up meetings whenever you need to. With pay-per-use meeting rooms available across all our coworking locations, you won’t have to sit in noisy cafes to discuss projects. All the necessary equipment is at your fingertips, so you can focus on getting the best out of each conference call or meeting. In addition, these meeting rooms are great if you need some quiet time to complete a task or two!

4. Phone booths

When it comes to conducting meetings via video conferencing or over the phone, your employees may prefer a more secluded setting. Phone booths ensure you have total privacy to comfortably make calls without being interrupted. This also serves as the ideal distraction-free workspace to complete any urgent tasks at hand.

5. Fully-stocked shared pantry

To create a better work environment for your employees, common spaces such as the humble pantry have become an integral part of the workspace. Boasting a fully-equipped pantry filled with free artisanal tea, coffee and more, your employees no longer have to leave the office for a quick break outside of lunch hours.

Moreover, it’s a perfect time to network with others occupying the same coworking space – this is what JustCo is all about: creating opportunities for connections!

For startups

Proven by its third-place position in the Mori Global Power Cities Index in December 2020, Tokyo continues to rank highly when it comes to Japan’s attractiveness for startup opportunities. For startups looking to establish themselves professionally here, the coworking space is a great way to do so. Whether you occupy several hot desks or sign-up for a private studio, you are not only investing in a conducive work environment that can cater to your growing team but also a suite of amenities that are all at your disposal. These include a business address and mail handling services, IT and printing facilities, as well as fully-equipped meeting rooms to invite potential stakeholders for discussions.

Coworking space vs incubators

While incubators are common to beginner startups, especially in the research and development phase, coworking spaces elevate the experience by bringing them closer to market. The shared areas within the coworking offices allow members of startups to interact with professionals, bounce ideas off and explore strategies they have never considered before.

Plus, with a curated range of professional services and rates exclusive to JustCo members such as those from Amazon Web Services and HubSpot, startups have all the industry tools they need to bring their business to greater heights!

For SMEs

When the pandemic forced employees in Japan to begin working from home, many found merits in the flexible work arrangements – with high usage of telework in industries and occupations related to information. This includes management consultants, researchers and data processing and communication engineers. On top of that, the rate of telework has seen a rapid increase in the office sector as many jobs – in accounting, clerical work as well as in sales and retail – are now able to be done remotely. One of the biggest reasons why SMEs opt for coworking spaces in Japan is its convenience and cost-effectiveness.

Coworking space vs traditional office

Traditional long-term leases bring about more challenges to SMEs, especially when they require more space to accommodate growing teams. Being bound to lease terms for several years does not provide SMEs much flexibility to upgrade and downsize whenever they need. When deciding between traditional offices and coworking spaces, let’s not forget the operational costs entailed when maintaining an office space, plus expenses incurred for fit-out projects. With coworking spaces, businesses can scale effectively – they can take up the amount of space they need, and gain access to all the business amenities that constitute a fully functioning office.

SMEs that find it hard to decide between both can also consider embracing coworking spaces alongside the traditional office space – a hybrid, “best of both worlds” approach with the former serving as a viable alternative to a home office and the latter as a central headquarters. Given the flexibility of a coworking space, companies can scale with ease without litigation risks while enjoying its wide range of benefits.

For enterprises

At the same time, it is now important to implement effective measures to scale, owing to unused spaces within the traditional offices brought about by social distancing requirements. This pushes enterprises to relook at their workplace policies to cater to the changing preferences of employees and corresponding business needs.

Coworking space vs serviced office

From JustCo .BASE in Toranomon to JustCo at Shibuya Hikarie, employees have the versatility to choose where and how they wish to get work done. Fully furnished suites and ready office supplies mean less is spent on operational costs, so enterprises can channel more resources to areas that matter. Plus, there’s no need for enterprises to spend enormous costs on fitting out serviced office spaces to cater to large teams!

Why choose coworking spaces over other remote work alternatives?

Coworking spaces cater to various profiles, from freelancers to enterprises, providing tailored solutions that address specific business needs. Whether you’re from the tech industry working on a new prototype or part of a global consultancy managing a variety of clients, there will be something in the realm of coworking that will suit you. However, how do they fare against other remote work alternatives?

Working from home

One of the most common remote work solutions among professionals, working from home sure has its perks. With time saved on the otherwise lengthy commutes, there’s no need to travel to the office and the kitchen is just there for you to whip up a meal for lunch. However, the work from home model isn’t always favourable, especially among those who do not have sufficient space for a proper workstation. In fact, in the most recent survey conducted in April 2021 by the Japan Productivity Center, the most challenging part about working from home was related to setting up an appropriate workspace – as highlighted by 40% of its participants.

With a fully furnished office and important amenities readily available, coworking spaces make for an ideal remote working environment. Plus, they ensure that you’re free from distractions that pull you away from your work – whether it’s a family member switching on the television volume at its loudest or renovation works taking place at your neighbour’s house.

Working from cafes or restaurants

From cafes to restaurants, more have the option of teleworking apart from their homes. To make this work even better for employers and employees alike, companies are also stepping up to help cover teleworking-related costs by providing employee allowances. However, working from cafes can be particularly challenging given that one often has to deal with a saturated number of external stimuli that could take a toll on productivity, engagement and wellbeing. A coworking space, on the other hand, is fitted with quiet meeting rooms and private studios that allow one to be free from distractions or when there is a need for privacy.

Make coworking spaces work for you

As we embrace the future of work, making impactful decisions for your professional pursuits is essential, whether you’re a new entrepreneur building your SME empire or a seasoned business practitioner. Get in touch with our team at JustCo today to find out how our coworking spaces can work for you!

Coworking Spaces: The Best Way to Support Your Team’s Mental Health

The global COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we live and work. Work-from-home arrangements have been brought into practice for millions of employees worldwide to curb the spread of the virus. As part of Japan’s virus mitigation efforts, companies are increasingly encouraged to allow employees to work remotely.

However, that too can come with its own challenges. For employees working from home, having to juggle work responsibilities and family commitments can be a struggle. As such, home may not be the most conducive environment when it comes to meeting daily work deliverables. Combined with the limited social interaction, some may find it harder to adapt to the new normal. This can eventually take a toll on anyone’s mental health and impact their productivity at work. In fact, as social and economic isolation continues to grow, working women and single mothers are the most at risk of mental health issues.

It can, however, be hard to tell who needs the support. During this time, it is crucial to take action and bolster against the negative impacts of working from home. As a start, you can be proactive in reaching out to your employees on a regular basis. You can do so by scheduling daily or weekly meetings with the rest of the team to maintain communication via video conferencing. Most importantly, this provides you the opportunity to check in with them and ensure everyone is managing well at home.

When the office and home environments do not serve as viable options for work, it is a good time to consider leveraging JustCo coworking spaces to complement company processes.

Understanding the Impact of the Pandemic

In an effort to combat the loneliness and isolation that stem from the pandemic, the government set up a new office in February 2021 to reach out to those who are suffering. Still, the increasing number of calls to mental health hotlines makes it a prevalent issue for companies themselves to offer help to affected employees. As employers, it is important to understand how you can help your employees stay mentally well throughout their workday, whether at home or in the office.

Start Prioritising Mental Wellness with Coworking Spaces

Conveniently situated in prime business districts, your employees can easily come from anywhere in Tokyo such as Shimbashi and Roppongi to our JustCo shared office spaces and start working. From JustCo .BASE in Toranomon to  JustCo at Shibuya Hikarie, our coworking spaces can provide a much-needed change of scenery for employees who are finding it difficult to work from home.

Shared office spaces can also come in handy for employees who miss face-to-face interaction at any point of time. Besides working alongside fellow colleagues, our coworking spaces offer a safe environment to make valuable connections with other like-minded individuals. In addition to the increased social interaction, there are countless benefits to coworking spaces when compared to traditional offices, such as increased cost savings and flexibility in space.

Starting with a JustDesk Unlimited plan from ¥ 68,600 per month, your employees can enjoy 24/7 access to any JustCo hot-desk areas when required. With attractive member perks and in-house services, your company can make the most of coworking spaces.

Additionally, should senior staff need to conduct any in-person training for newcomers, they can opt for meeting rooms available for rental. With a dedicated place for work, coworking spaces can ultimately help your employees adjust to remote work-life better and continue bringing out the best in them.

Set Your Business Up for Success with JustCo

When your employees are struggling with mental health issues, it can be difficult for them to continue working as usual. It is thus crucial to recognise that mental well-being and productivity are interlinked. Taking care of your employees’ well-being can not only play a part in high job satisfaction but it will also be beneficial to your business as you continue to adapt to hybrid work arrangements. Here at JustCo Japan, you can find coworking spaces that support your team during these uncertain times. To get started, explore our wide range of flexible rental plans available for businesses of all sizes today.

Feel free to reach out to our team at JustCo to learn more about our coworking spaces and solutions in Japan!

Traditional vs Coworking Office Space: What Works Best for You

The work landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade. As new technologies and globalisation open up more business and workplace opportunities, companies are reorganising their workforces to be more agile and flexible – further expedited by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We see this being manifested in the shift from the traditional office space to flexible workspaces. Also known as a rental office or temporary office in Japan, coworking spaces are a newer concept that has gained momentum over the past few years.

The question many companies ask themselves is whether they should go for a flexible office space or stick to traditional office rental. The answer to this depends on what you’re looking for in an office environment. Read on to explore coworking and its benefits for both growing companies and enterprise-level organisations in Japan.

Benefits of Coworking Spaces

1. Cost savings

For all businesses, the office lease can be one of the most expensive components of total overheads. When getting a lease for long-term office spaces, you may be required to first pay either one to three months of key money or up to twelve months of cash security deposit upfront. In addition to the amount needed for interior fit-out and proper office infrastructure, the overall cost of setting up an office can put a huge burden on growing companies in Japan. In fact, Tokyo continues to top the list for the highest office fit-out costs.

The amount of money that a business have to fork out to fully utilise the office space will soon become an overwhelming financial commitment. From paying for electricity, internet, and other utilities to salaries for employees, the total operating expenses (OPEX) can add up quickly.

If you are looking for cost-effective strategies to maximise your company budget, flexible workspaces offer an affordable way for any company to rent desks or offices that come with shared equipment such as printers and photocopiers. When deciding on the various coworking space rentals, you can also consider meeting rooms or other facilities available for members to use as and when there is a need. At JustCo Japan, for instance, you can also make full use of our curated range of professional services offered to members as part of the plan.

If your company is just starting out and needs some time to establish itself in the marketplace, then this may be the perfect solution for you!

2. Flexibility in space

Traditional office lease agreements in Japan lock you in for two to five years. When your business is growing, it is essential to have enough space to accommodate new hires that come on board. In fact, it is quite common for a company to settle into one location and then outgrow it within a year or so. Yet, when it comes to finding the office space necessary to accommodate growth, the search can be exhausting in Japan. This makes the office lease agreements costly – especially penalty fees incurred should you break the contract, plus the additional costs you need to put in for fit-out projects. The same applies to downsizing your company.

Should there be a need to expand or downsize, it is a more viable option to choose coworking spaces that are customisable to your changing needs. The flexibility they render makes such spaces appealing to businesses growing in size and constantly having to make room for larger teams. Without being tied down to long-term leases, this type of working arrangement gives companies the freedom to rightsize accordingly and save money on operational costs such as rent and utilities.

3. Adaptability

As the pandemic situation evolves continuously, the uncertain future weighs on the minds of every business. Companies are seeking to reduce capital and operating expenses by cutting office space and hiring more remote workers. Even as office supply in Tokyo reached the second-highest level in history last year, traditional office leases are expected to be cancelled as some may opt to shrink their space for more efficient use of available resources and introduce flexible working arrangements for employees as the new norm.

It has become more important to minimise impact to work arrangements caused by unpredictable factors whilst ensuring business continues uninterrupted. This means providing avenues for remote workers to collaborate beyond teleconferencing. Available for rental, shared office spaces in Tokyo are designed to offer productive and collaborative workspaces via hot desks, conference rooms or even private office studios. With JustCo Japan conveniently located in Toranomon, organisations big or small can now consider implementing flexible work arrangements for your employees living in Shimbashi, Roppongi and other nearby areas in Tokyo.

How to Find the Best Coworking Spaces in Tokyo

Before committing to a traditional office, consider choosing the ideal working space with all-in-one facility management and the essential office necessities covered here at JustCo. With just a basic plan starting from ¥15,000 per month, you get to enjoy the full suite of amenities in our shared spaces such as meeting rooms, business-grade printing services and IT support. Get started on finding your dedicated working space that’s move-in ready for you to make a smooth transition.

How Growing & Established Businesses Can Future-Proof Office Space

The world of work is transforming in many unprecedented ways. Forces such as digitisation and other concerted new solutions have sparked radical shifts – turning the discussion about the future of work into a constant drumbeat. Besides, COVID-19 has accelerated the transformation beyond anything we could have imagined. It has demanded fresh approaches to facilitate flexibility and bolster agile working capabilities.

This poses a tremendous challenge for businesses across the globe, leaving one question at the top of the mind: “What’s the right workplace structure for the 21st century?”

While the evolution can be unnerving, plenty of organisations are already making significant headway into the now-accelerated future, steadily shifting into the next decade of workplace transformation to keep up. However, now is not the time to sit back. Businesses have to find new ways to take a bigger leap to identify the right workplace structure for them and staying adaptable, agile and resilient are the key traits for survival.

Rolling out the road map for the next generation workforce

To facilitate the transition, flexible spaces are no longer perceived as exclusive territories for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They are now an essential component of the future of business – even for large corporations. Research has shown that in the past two years, 58% of Australian organisations had already planned to downsize their traditional leased office footprint. On top of that, 55% looked into adopting flexible solutions and embracing the concept of the alternate workspace by supplementing traditional office spaces with coworking and serviced offices. Beyond Australia, the number of worldwide coworking spaces is expected to grow at an annual rate of 13% by 2022. So what drives this changing landscape locally and globally?

Mitigating litigation & financial risks

First of all, it is unsurprising that we are witnessing this evolution. Coworking and serviced offices provide businesses with the advantages of flexibility and state of the art facilities, while mitigating litigation and financial risks that are associated with their traditional counterpart. While traditional private office spaces are typically bound with long term leases, agile real estate solutions like JustCo coworking spaces, on the contrary, allow rapid growth, contraction and workspace re-structuring with relative ease.

Taking into account the volatile cycle in modern-day businesses, tailored, flexible and short-term membership plans lend businesses the freedom and added edge of scaling up and down at short notice, without having to worry about how to mitigate too much or insufficient space, penalty fees and legal restraints of sorts.

Reducing Capital Expenditures & Operating Expenditures

Coworking and serviced offices offer a move-in ready, fully-furnished private and enterprise suites in conjunction with all-inclusive professional business services. On the contrary, traditional private office spaces often call the need for a major fit-out project that come at a high cost. With the coworking model, big enterprises and SMEs can keep their Capital Expenditures (CAPEX) at a minimum, reduce their Operating Expenditures (OPEX), while focusing on what really matters to them.

A healthy mix of collaborative & private workspaces

A view of Tokyo Tower from .Base managed by JustCo in Toranomon

If that’s not enough, coworking and serviced offices also allow businesses to get the best of both worlds.

For organisations requiring a level of work confidentiality and discretion, the good news is that privacy will not be compromised. With ample extension spaces like meeting rooms, phone booths, and exclusive suites separated by full-height partitions, organisations can do more than just hot desking.

On the other hand, it is also understood that the needs of the new generation workforce have drastically shifted. Unlike isolated white-collared workers of the past, employees today crave community. Likewise, businesses now better understand the benefits of establishing a collaborative culture.

Luckily, coworking renders an opportunity for collaboration, connectivity and interaction, offering employees a sense of belonging. These positives mean that people will continue to come together to form deeper emotional connections with people within and beyond their network. Studies have suggested that corporate culture accelerates along with employee engagement – and a positive corporate culture can become a mechanism for attracting and retaining talent.

Moreover, coworking spaces like JustCo are designed to reflect work-lifestyle integration and support physical wellbeing. Employees can leverage the many comfortable breakout areas to ‘switch off’ and get away from the routine atmosphere in the office. At the same time, it can even double as shared brainstorming spaces.

Workplace design has become a dealmaker for top-talents – cellular offices and cubicles just don’t cut it anymore.

Workplace flexibility is the new norm                       

The potential benefits are clear.

Today, the world is perching on an amusing crossroad in the history of work. The concept of private office no longer means the same as a decade ago. Organisations that are resistant to change will only get left behind in the race. To ensure that your workspace is equipped and prepared for the workforce of tomorrow, now’s the time to get ahead of the change curve.

To find out how we can support your flexible workspace requirements, please get in touch!

Top 5 workspace trends for 2021

Today, we see a seismic shift in the world of work. While remote working became a temporary norm for many organisations during the pandemic, plenty have recognised the merits of this enforced flexibility. Now, the choice is to voluntarily accept the change. At the forefront of this wave, JustCo has enabled corporations to scale with private suites and coworking spaces.In Singapore, increasing number of queries for flexible solutions like hot desking indicate that enterprises want to draw on the benefits of contemporary workspaces by adopting a more cost-effective real estate solution – the ‘core-and-flex’ model. On top of reducing operational expenditures, it fosters a sense of independence and autonomy among employees who have the freedom to choose where they wish to work. Over at Tokyo, for instance, hot desks at smaller coworking spaces have become popular where employees work without the supervision of a manager. While employees have shown preferences for greater flexibility, it can only be achieved when employers accept workplace changes. When set against the backdrop of impending uncertainties, this discourse becomes more pertinent, which renders the need for enterprises to strategise for cost-effectiveness. We see how this plays out for the near future as we study in detail the top workspace trends to anticipate in 2021.

  1. Increasing Demand For Work-From-Anywhere

Remote working will last well beyond the ongoing pandemic, a sentiment expressed by 94% of corporate real estate professionals in a Corenet Global Survey. This indicates that work will continue to take place away from the office, albeit beyond the home – a reality businesses will operate in not just next year, but those to come. Corporations can meet the demand for Work-from-Anywhere with ‘Flex’ workspaces beyond co-sharing office spaces, such as SWITCH, a new space-as-a-service solution that makes working anywhere possible. Offering on-demand spaces for focus work, these booths located across neighbouhood shopping malls and commercial buildings are significant to employees who choose not to or are unable to work from home.

  1. Shrinking Footprint Of ‘Core’, More Demand For ‘Flex’

While Work-from-Anywhere delivers an excellent solution for employees preferring more flexibility, it also complements business strategies that put more emphasis on scalability, owing to increased uncertainties like those the pandemic revealed. Take Fujitsu as an example. The Japanese IT will reduce its office space by 50% by 2023, with aims to adopt flexible workspaces to support remote work. We can expect more to do the same. What makes this better? A combination of different ‘Flex’ spaces. From satellite offices to meeting rooms on-demand, the list is endless. JustCo’s Australian partners leverage the flexibility JustCo’s plans provide – meeting rooms, event spaces and enterprise suites are leased periodically on a casual basis to bring teams together for daily work, meetings, collaborations and team bonding. By rightsizing, corporations will not need additional cash flow to accommodate spatial requirements in traditional offices even as teams grow, so more resources can be channelled towards business productivity. This is critical when operating in volatile economic conditions.

  1. ‘Core’ Will Serve More As A Space For Relationship-Building

The headquarters, which these downsized ‘core’ offices refer to, will not just be a workspace but more so an avenue for relationship-building. Its role is to create meaningful experiences for employees to drive innovation, collaboration and stronger connections among co-workers, resulting in a happier and more productive workforce. Ensuring a balance is key – remote workers can continue to enjoy the flexibility on a regular basis, while strengthening solidarity as a company when they drop by from time to time.

  1. More Space Required For Social Distancing

Even as the pandemic gradually phases out, social distancing measures will remain as a precaution – businesses must abide by the laws without allowing them to come in the way of work. Back in Australia, more businesses are taking up larger spaces in our coworking offices to accommodate the same number of employees so they can maintain a safe distance among themselves. These flexible offices will continue to serve as leverage even to those organisations that have yet to explore downsizing their traditional offices but need additional spaces for their employees who cannot work at home.

  1. Increasing Prevalence Of Tech-Infused Spaces

As the smart nation narrative expands across the globe, workspaces will increasingly adopt effective technologies to improve their functionality. For instance, JustCo’s first smart centre at The Centrepoint offer card-free access with facial recognition turnstiles that also ensure members are wearing face masks upon entry, enhancing both security and safety of the workspace. Complementing this is SixSense, a spatial analytics technology by REInvent, Asia’s first PropTech Innovation Studio, that monitors real-time occupancy levels and social distancing. The detailed analysis across per square foot not only provides JustCo insights into spatial behaviours for improved office design planning but also useful information for enterprises that need to make better decisions on rightsizing. SWITCH Enterprise portal allows employers to study employees’ use of the space by tracking their choice of location, clock-in time, duration of stay and other relevant data, and then scale appropriately for more productive outcomes. From the expanding choices of workspaces to the evolving functions of today’s traditional offices and the role technology plays in creating more effective work environments, the trends shine an unforgiving light on the future of work – it is no longer ‘future’ as we are living it at present. The workplace is revolutionising rapidly as are employees’ needs and wants- adapting for a change is the only way forward. Experience JustCo for yourself with a free trial.

Why big corporations are moving to coworking spaces

The Global Coworking Growth Study reported that the number of coworking centres worldwide is expected to surpass 40,000 by 2024. At present, the Asia-Pacific region has the most shared workspaces in the world, with the highest average capacity of 114 people. While it is a promising statistic for coworking operators, what is more noteworthy is the changing profile of tenants. Startups, entrepreneurs and freelancers aside, we are now seeing a growing pool of enterprises jumping on the bandwagon. JustCo Singapore noted a significant increase in enquiries for flexible workspace solutions by enterprises, who now make more than 50% of our customer base.

Why that shift?

It’s A More Cost-Effective Real Estate Solution

The ongoing pandemic unveiled new real estate challenges – the need for more workspaces to house office employees amid social distancing measures. Split team arrangements and the equivalent forced many to work at home from time to time. Employees are also gradually preferring to work elsewhere than in the office (more on this later).

What do all these mean for enterprises with large but emptier offices? There will be wasted space.

If this makes up one end of the spectrum, the other is insufficient space for growing teams – one of the biggest hurdles large organisations always face.

What both scenarios entail is a cost – enterprises with such traditional office spaces are tied down to long-term leases with additional fees when they downsize or upgrade, alongside substantial fit-out spend This prevents them from scaling when they need to.

The solution: a flexible and cost-effective real estate plan – also known as a ‘core and flex’ model.

The ‘core and flex’ refers to an idea where enterprises occupy a long-term office space (‘core’) and a flexible workspace somewhere else (‘flex’). A smaller traditional office or a serviced suite as ‘headquarters’ can serve as the ‘core’. Dedicated hot desks at coworking spaces or private cabins as satellite offices in shared work areas complement the former where employees can jump on immediately to work – the ‘flex’. And there’s no need to worry about amenities – from meeting rooms and day-to-day office equipment to a curated range of professional services, coworking spaces have them all covered.

With this, enterprises save on overhead expenses of large office spaces and have more agility in managing the size of their real estate vis-a-vis human resource needs.

There’s Opportunity For Networking Even With Privacy

For employees or those in the management level, networking is key to keeping up with the pulse of the market. A traditional office setting does not allow for seamless connections with the like-minded but a coworking space can. A conversation in the common area like the pantry can lead to meaningful business partnerships you’d never imagine.

Hot desking employees would have ample opportunities for networking in the shared office space. Yet, privacy can be of concern – a dedicated cabin within the shared area will make the cut.

Regardless of the coworking plan, enterprises have access to regular networking sessions with industry practitioners, making it easier to enhance brand exposure and source potential leads.

You Uplift Employee Morale And Productivity

Having the option to work where employees want keeps them happy – an essential aspect of employee morale, which translates to productivity. If the office is too busy, having a flexible and secured workspace somewhere in the city or neighbourhood gives them a peace of mind to tick off tasks from a to-do list. Perhaps a parent needs to pick a child from school at an odd hour – a hot desk in a nearby location saves a good deal of commuting time. And on days when the walls close in on you while working from home, having a ready work desk in a coworking space solves the problem. All these with 24/7 access and security, so you’d never need to think twice where else to get your work done!

The coworking environment also offers a creative and collaborative workspace for employees who can break away from groupthink they unconsciously subject themselves to in the office. They can enhance the quality of their work with out-of-the-box ideas, ultimately benefiting the organisations they serve.

Coworking spaces have evolved over the years. It is no longer just a workspace arrangement for small businesses but also a practical solution for enterprise-level organisations to better manage the office and workforce. If you’re looking for the future of work, this is it.

Coworking vs WFH: Why a hot desk is better for freelancers

One of the biggest perks freelancers enjoy is having the autonomy to choose where they can work. Amid the many options, working from home tend to be a popular choice for obvious reasons – it’s more accessible, comfortable and less costly.

Yet, this comes with some snags. Having a poor study set up or unstable internet connectivity, for instance, can make it difficult for some to work. Then there are distractions that hinder productivity (cue the TV, a cosy bed, your crying toddler or the adorable kitten snuggling between your legs each time you’re on a call). These point to a larger phenomenon – the blurring lines between work and home life. Since work and home are intertwined, especially when you perform work and household duties at the same time, it leads to – what we know today – the ‘WFH burnout’. While burnout can occur in a regular office environment too, the exhaustion caused by working from home is a combined consequence of attending to never-ending household needs and putting in longer work hours than you should because it is just so easy to lose track of time at home. There’s also the feeling of isolation being on your own, underpinned by the lack of camaraderie you would otherwise enjoy seated next to colleagues.

If you’re having gripes with your work from home arrangement, similar to those we’ve noted above, it’s probably time for a change. We reckon a coworking space will help. How so?

  1. You can draw a line between home and office

Since the blurred lines between work and home form the crux of many problems associated with such an environment, the first step you should take is to shift your workspace away. A library or café may be the next best option, but these come with a caveat – taking a wrong seat or not finding one at all.

Renting a hot desk at a coworking space solves the problem. The environment, which is essentially a co-sharing office space, guarantees a desk for you to work at. This helps you establish the boundaries of work. You have the space to solely focus on your tasks with a peace of mind, and then return home to pay full attention to your household needs.

  1. You will work alongside a community of like-minded individuals

Working in a co-sharing office space makes you part of a community of like-minded individuals who could be freelancers like yourself, owners and employees of new startups or independent entrepreneurs. You get the opportunity to mingle with them and share experiences, eventually making new relationships with people even as you work independently. This saves you from the isolation and loneliness felt while working on your own. When you get stuck or need some inspiration, strike a conversation with someone at a nearby hotdesk. Who knows, that might just land you your next big gig.

  1. You can secure yourself more prospects

There’s no better way for a freelancer to acquire leads than to make connections. A coworking space creates an environment for conversations and knowledge-sharing, geared towards creating opportunities for growth. While you can connect with people over video, calls or chats from home, mingling with groups of individuals, in the common areas or at community events you gain access to with a hot desk plan, lets you widen your network faster.

  1. You can establish your freelance career professionally

Maintaining a professional outlook is also essential for freelancers. When you book a hot desk at JustCo for instance, you get a business address to direct all work-related mails to, such as cheques or project documents. You may also print this address on your business card or add to your email signature so your prospects and clients know where they can speak with you in person – whether in our meeting rooms or cafés in the vicinity. Since most of our coworking spaces are located within or near the central business district, you also enjoy the benefits of working in the city and easily making your way to client meetings without travelling too far.
Coworking still provides you with the flexibility to choose your workspace
While working from home may appeal to some, especially those who are caregivers, a coworking plan will still prove beneficial. You can choose to come down once a month or just a few days in a week, that too at any time you want – all these while having full access to amenities and other hot desking benefits.

Working from home is not entirely bad – often, it can be a necessity. What can help improve the situation is having an alternative workspace and a community to tap on so you don’t miss out on what you need to take your freelance career to greater heights.

Together through difficult times: Young inspiring entrepreneurs share tips on staying resilient in times of crisis

(Clockwise from top-left): Laura Dawson from JustCo Australia, Han Jin, Co-founder of Lucid, Eileen Kamtawijoyo, COO & Co-founder of Populix, Will Fan, Co-founder and CEO of NewCampus, Pahrada Sapprasert, Director of 500 TukTuks.

It’s tough being an entrepreneur, and perhaps – even tougher at the time of a global economic crisis. Over the recent few months, many entrepreneurs, start-ups and large businesses have been battling challenges while looking to pivot and reposition themselves amid the COVID-19 situation. The entrepreneurial journey can be a difficult path to walk alone, so opportunities where entrepreneurs can come together to share their challenges, seek advice, and even share learnings with others, would make them feel less lonely in your business battles.

How does one cope when faced with barriers and obstacles in today’s ever-changing business landscape? At JustCo’s Regional Signature Event, “In Conversation with Inspiring Entrepreneurs”, We spoke with four young entrepreneurs and game-changers from the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list of entrepreneurs. As members and partners of JustCo, they exchanged stories on their entrepreneurial journey, real life case studies on how to mitigate through crisis, their approach to innovation and more.

 

Every challenge presents us with a new opportunity 

Crises don’t last forever. It is temporary and also a test of an entrepreneur’s resilience and ‘never give up’ spirit. For an entrepreneur, any disaster or challenge presents an opportunity for change and renewal – an opportune moment to not only redirect and point businesses to a solution.

When asked whether is COVID-19 hindering or helping innovation? Will, Co-founder and CEO of NewCampus, is quick to respond, “You need moments like this to really trigger transformation. This pandemic has pushed us to look into new areas that are currently untapped, areas that we can arbitrage.‘

 

Innovation begins with small steps

Today, businesses are aware that innovation is the only way for them to grow and move forward. But what exactly is innovation?

“In a start-up, if you don’t innovate on a daily basis, you die. If you’re not doing something different on a daily basis, then you’re not innovating and not bringing the company forward. This is what start-ups need to survive,’ highlights Han Jin, Co-founder of Lucid.

Innovation doesn’t have to be big changes. It begins when someone sees an opportunity and reacts to it. Most importantly, it has to have a massive impact on the world of sensors and the internet of things. The difficulty lies in failing to recognise them and embarking on the very first step.

“To identify innovation opportunities, we need to put ourselves in the customers’ shoes – that’s an entrepreneur mindset. By constantly innovating, we are improving, growing and moving forward,” says Eileen, COO & Co-founder of Populix.

 

Fall down seven times, get up eight

Being a successful entrepreneur does not happen overnight; it takes a lot of time, perseverance and a resilient mindset. “Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey, but you don’t have to do it alone. Surround yourself with good advice, mentors, friends, family who can help you push through these tough times,” says Will, Co-founder and CEO of NewCampus.

It is important to mitigate loneliness by developing camaraderie and a sense of belonging in  your team – it makes this journey a lot more fulfilling as everyone is working towards the same goal and direction.

“Believe in yourself. Keep learning and put your mind to it! For me, it is very rewarding to see new start-ups and entrepreneurs succeed – this is definitely something that keeps me going!” says Pahrada Sapprasert, Director of 500 TukTuks.

Last but not least, never be afraid to fail. True failure comes in the form of not trying. Entrepreneurship involves the creation of processes, not just the creation of work. Just like sailing; we cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.

Interested to make your work and business better? Sign up for a free trial here, to experience being part of an ever-growing coworking community across Asia Pacific.