Thanks to the coworking spaces and flexible workspaces that are mushrooming all over the globe, now businesses are able to secure office space in some of the most competitive cities despite conventional office rental rates throughout the Asia-Pacific region getting higher, including in one of the strategic markets: Kuala Lumpur.
The coworking market has grown significantly over the past 5 years. It is noticeable that Asian flexible workspaces are outpacing their global counterparts. Of the ten largest global markets for flexi-space, six now fall within Southeast Asia, including Malaysia. The country has become a dynamic hub for entrepreneurs and startups especially in the digital business sector.
Kuala Lumpur: A Hub for Asia's E-Commerce and Digital Business
Kuala Lumpur experiences steady increase as most of the new businesses as well as large conglomerates are looking to expand their business in a more cost-efficient method - well that's what flexible workplaces primarily offer. This is also due to the city's developing collaborative business culture as more companies of all sizes and shapes prefer flexibility over conventional workplaces.
As expressed in the Global Start Up Ecosystem Report, a year ago, Kuala Lumpur's e-commerce business segment has developed by 46% since the previous 4 years with significant sub-part strong points including big data and analytics and health tech.
Flexible Workspaces Are Unrolling All Over Kuala Lumpur
The interest for flexible workspace in Southeast Asia has outpaced worldwide markets and Kuala Lumpur is now home to a flourishing flexible office space market with the support of its economic sustainability, technological inclination, and network. With a 12% increase in supply of coworking centers in Kuala Lumpur last year, it has become recognized among the region's top cities with the fastest growing flexible workspace markets.
What makes Kuala Lumpur's market fascinating is that we have started to see a head start of the giant pioneer of global coworking, WeWork which has just marked their footprint and opened their doors here this year. On top of that, the first leading coworking space center in Malaysia, Common Ground, is now already secured 15 spaces in their inventories with 3 in Manila and 1 in Penang. It will soon be expanded in Bangkok around this year.
The tenderfoot in local coworking scene is WOTSO, a joint endeavor between UEM Sunrise Bhd and Australian-based BlackWall Ltd has opened the doors to its first location in Malaysia earlier this year. The 14,000 sqft hub can cater over 220 members in driving innovation through offering a creative and exciting working environment.
And not to forget, the leading provider in Asia, Compass Offices, has also opened their space last February in a very strategic location within the KL Golden Triangle. They have done a great job in appealing towards the local culture and scene as they have implemented some of Malaysia's familiar scene into their interior, making it more engaging with Malaysians.
In brief, as a market, Kuala Lumpur is evolving from the simple service office operator and moving forward to the next phase of service-focused flexible workspace. As mentioned by Knight Frank Malaysia managing director, Sarkunan Subramaniam, there are currently around 40 players in the market. This means more than 170 centers in just Klang Valley alone.
According to a recent study, in 2018, Kuala Lumpur experienced a growth by 36% in flexible workspace supply from its previous years - 7% increase for serviced offices, 10% for coworking, and 31% of hybrid offices. A hybrid office is well-known as a combination of serviced offices and coworking. Basically, that 31% inclination of hybrid offices in Kuala Lumpur can be accredited to the backbone of the city's fastest growing supply for flexible offices.
Key Areas of High-Demand Workspaces in Kuala Lumpur
The innovative and synergistic business culture has seen demand in flexible workspace grow in key urban areas crosswise over Kuala Lumpur itself. The city center is one of the most expensive places for workspaces in Kuala Lumpur. Due to the prestigious address and MSC status buildings throughout the area, that's why coworking centers are mushrooming all over the area.
On top of that, KL Sentral is not only known for Malaysia's biggest transportation hub, it is also a center for a strategic office location as it offers an international atmosphere and unrivaled convenience along with the global connectivity. These days, the rise of suburban flexible offices has also invaded Kuala Lumpur starting around last year. Businesses now have options to choose from either coworking spaces, serviced offices, or hybrid offices available across the outskirts of the main city with lower rental rates.
Among the high demanded territories (outside of the KL downtown) includes Damansara Heights, Bangsar South, Mont Kiara, Petaling Jaya, and Subang Jaya. These spots are integrated residential and commercial hub areas that flaunt exceptional transport connectivity and facilities and well connected by main roads and major highways with a plenty of green views.
Overall, not only new businesses, SMEs, startups, or digital nomads are swapping the drawbacks of conventional offices for flexible workplaces. Corporate and international firms are also following the trend and utilizing this low-cost solution, which can save them up to 73%, plus it's a generally safe method for testing the local market. Let's take Petronas and UEM as examples.
The incorporation of Common Ground into PETRONAS Station Jalan Kolam Air Lama denotes the foundation of PDB's arrangement to change the station into an advancement center, which is presently known as The Place @ Ampang. Meanwhile, WOTSO's first customers will be a project team of UEM Sunrise who will begin working from the workspace for 6 months starting from February 2019.
Having all of these considerations and costs, security, renovation, furnishing, administrative - and that's only the tip of the iceberg - coworking spaces could be your best option. Fret not as FlySpaces can help you lock down the perfect workspace for your business. Hence, never hesitate to inquire a workspace via our platform or reach out to our Kuala Lumpur Representative, Nefissa via email or directly give her a call at +60175577369 and she will provide you her expert insight.