Coworking is an arrangement in which members from different companies share a workspace. This way of working together under one roof allows cost savings and convenience. Besides an office or space with air-conditioning and power points, coworking space providers’ common services (tables, chairs and some with cupboards), pantry with water dispenser, photocopy machine, receptionist and parcel acceptance services. Coworking culture started back in 2005, invented by a software engineer, Brad Neuberg. He started the culture from a San Francisco collective space. He had financial issues back then when he was working at a startup company. “I want to find a way to combine the feeling of independence and freedom of working by myself with the community feel and structure of working with others,” said Neuberg. San Francisco Coworking Space, located in Spiral Muse was the first coworking space that Neuberg built, with financial help from his father.
For Malaysia, coworking space started in Kuala Lumpur in 2010 by Paper + Toast, located near Pavillion. The culture spread quick and many other co-working spaces were established in the capital. Giant companies such as PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad, Carsome, Cenergi, and Paramount Property have moved to co-working offices.
Infinity8 is a coworking space company based in Johor. The founder Lee Sheah Liang quit his job in Kuala Lumpur as a lawyer and back to Johor Bahru in 2014 to serve the community. He was 25 years old at that time. The first Inifnity8 built is in Taman Desa Tebrau. 5 more spaces are built to date.
The latest Infinity8 branch is in Afiniti Medini. This branch offers hot desks and private offices. The common areas are spacious and have various seating for its members. There are high tables, sofas, beanies, and individual cubicles by the wall. The interior of this branch is full of wall arts with inspirational words.
Some of the highlights are:
- Unlimited Wi-Fi connection
- Photocopy machines
- Pool table
- Meeting rooms
- Cleaning service
- On-site sheltered parking
The members can walk over to the Mall of Medini for a meal or a cup of coffee. There are grocery stores within walking distance, too, for members to grab some groceries after work. Whenever members need a break from work or some fresh air, they can enjoy nature by merely walking out of the building as it is surrounded by trees. The other thing to mention is the operation hours. It is operating 24/7 and hence members can enter the co-working space anytime they wish to, safely with the 24-hour security and CCTV. Most of the other providers are operating from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on weekdays only. The membership is from RM 150 per month with a flexible contract available.
The statistic shows that 20% of Malaysian organizations have adopted co-working space for their employees. 53% of Malaysian companies plan to move to or start using it in the next 3 years. With more people unemployed, more startup companies will be formed. Hence, the number of co-working spaces will also increase. It is a more cost-effective and community-oriented solution compared to the traditional one.