theDesk story

theDesk Story: What does an “inclusive co-working space” look like?

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Over recent years, the number of co-working spaces across Asia Pacific has undergone a period of tremendous growth. Propelled by the start-up boom, a demand for greater work flexibility and the cost benefits compared to traditional offices, over 300 co-working spaces have sprung up in APAC’s gateway cities. However, flexible workspace in Hong Kong only accounts for around 1.2% of occupied offices – about 1m sq ft in land area. This represents one of the lowest penetration rates in APAC and pales in comparison to Beijing (3.6%) and Singapore (2.8%). Consequently, there is still plenty of room for growth in Hong Kong and it’s predicted that, by 2029, flexible workspaces will expand to cover about 6m sq ft  – around 12% of the market share.

theDesk - InclusiveCoworking

theDesk story

While Hong Kong may be lagging slightly behind APAC’s co-working trend, there are still 50 operators – with over 80 locations – across the city. The defining factor that differentiates theDesk, from the plethora of other spaces, is our endeavor to create an “inclusive community”. At theDesk, every member matters. We see ourselves as the next iteration of the co-working phenomenon – co-work 2.0. Rather than just offering free beer and funky workspaces, we promote our members’ businesses, deliver business value and help members build strong links within our communities and beyond. When a new member comes on board, it doesn’t simply mean another table and chair is accounted for, but that there are a new mind and business that can be connected with our existing members and neighbors – a chance for a new relationship to be forged.

Communal networks

Our number one priority is always our community. At every one of our sites, there’s a diverse membership pool that spans across numerous industries and sectors. Regardless of your background or what business you’re in, you’ll fit in at all of our sites. In other words, we are an industry agnostic co-working environment.

theDesk Member
At theDesk, every member matters. We have a diverse membership pool that spans across numerous industries and sectors.

When working in isolation companies can often be at risk of “breathing in their own exhaust fumes” and lack the variety of formal and informal connections a co-working environment can offer. It comes as no surprise then that the primary reason people choose co-working spaces is for the opportunity to improve their networks. Therefore, at theDesk, we constantly strive to match complementing businesses with each other. When someone needs a certain service or is looking to collaborate with another business, our community team will proactively align them with other members to find a solution – this usually results in a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Darren Cunliffe, CFO of ELEVATE, reiterated this value when asked about the similarities between his company and theDesk. Cunliffe stated, “we both focus on people – theDesk is all about its members, helping them to achieve what they want to in a workplace environment and when you put that all together it creates a phenomenal community.”

Your friendly neighborhood co-working space

While strengthening the internal ties between theDesk members is vital, we also pride ourselves on integrating into our surrounding neighborhoods. Instead of being an isolated group, we connect the dots between our members and the districts we inhabit. To achieve this, we regularly hold on-site community events to which all our neighbors are invited. By hosting guest speakers and entrepreneurs we strive to encourage connections, engage potential members and drive future projects. The close collaborations between our members and neighboring businesses allow theDesk to truly create an “inclusive community”  that thrives in an increasingly shared economy.

In collaboration with HSBC Business Banking, a dedicated counter has been set up to offer free private consultation services for our co-work members and the neighboring community for two weeks. And end with a full house luncheon to share about the topic on: Leveraging Technology for eCommerce.

Read More: 5 key benefits of co-working spaces for freelancers and solopreneurs

Work hard, play hard

While creating a professional and productive work environment is our primary goal, we understand that enjoying life together is integral to fostering the spirit of our inclusive community. Post-work gatherings, such as our Mid-Autumn Festival bowling night and World Cup Final viewing party, are a great way to put the work to one side and bring our communities closer together. As our member base continues to grow, it’s rewarding to greet new faces and see relationships blossom. Many of our members also get together for lunch, either to take a break from their busy work schedules or to brainstorm upcoming projects. Of course, theDesk’s door is always open for friends and families of our members. In fact, people from other offices will often pop by theDesk and we’re glad to say many people treat it like a 2nd home.

We understand that integrating into a new workplace – especially if it’s your first time in a co-working space – can come with growing pains. In order to speed up this process, we encourage all our members to take part in our onboarding process that helps them get familiarized with the environment and community. We also invite them to participate in our social events, but nothing is compulsory. We believe that, over time, the right connections will occur organically.

Learn more: Your questions answered: The benefits and costs of co-working at theDesk

We encourage you to come and take a look at any of co-working spaces for yourself – after all, actions speak louder than words. Book a tour today, at any of our sites, and experience the inclusivity of our communities firsthand.

Join theDesk: Your co-working and events space

Be part of our vibrant professional communities. Enjoy our flexible plans for private offices and desks. Let’s make it happen together.

Contact  and today. Discover how our inclusive community, flexible plans, and pricing can help start and grow your business.

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