A Guide To Coworking Spaces in Japan
- What are coworking spaces?
- What are the common features of a coworking space?
- For startups
- For SMEs
- For Enterprises
- Why choose coworking spaces over other remote work alternatives?
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!
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!
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.
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!