Star Property |

This industry is not without its own challenges

Contributed by Sulaiman Saheh 

After more than two years post-pandemic, the co-working scene that had gained much attention and demand in conjunction with the rise of remote and flexible working styles continues to see new spaces opening across the nation. This year alone, we saw announcements from three different co-working providers on their respective expansions. WORQ had its 8th outlet open in January 2024, located within Sunway Putra Mall. Co-Labs Coworking under Paramount Corp Bhd saw its 7th outlet opening in Damansara Heights while INFINITY8 is looking to launch their 7th co-working space in Penang which will mark the latter’s first venture into the Northern region alongside three more in the pipeline.

Notwithstanding the new openings, the co-working space industry is not without its own challenges as we saw some closures and downsizing. Malaysian-founded Colony@KL Sentral ceased operations in 2021 while Singapore-based co-working space operator Found8 closed their KL Sentral office in 2022. Both were attributed to the pandemic. The co-working culture was growing as a mainstream alternative to conventional office spaces as it provides the essentials for a quick set-up with the necessary facilities plus the ingrained collaborative culture in its design. Facing this unique offering, owners of conventional office spaces have begun to keep up to provide an office environment that promotes co-working culture, especially within the newer spaces in the market. Furthermore, cafes and modern bookstores have slowly evolved to provide a transit working space as an alternative working spot aside from co-working spaces. These have created some added competition within the co-working industry.