Lifestyle

Claw your way out of your cubicle and into a coworking space

Coworking spaces represent the future of working. We put the spotlight on a pioneering enclave in Southern Manila.
IMAGE Launchpad Coworking
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Coworking spaces, increasingly found in urban areas all over the world, are more than just a passing trend—they represent the future of working. A great number of people in today’s economy do not fit into the “traditional office worker” category— either freelancing, self-employed or part of a startup—but require more than what a home office or a Starbucks can offer. These in-betweeners, usually creative and tech types, do well with looser structures, still within a proper working environment where the presence of other like-minded individuals will inhibit the desire to procrastinate in one’s pajamas all day.


Coworking spaces, increasingly found in urban areas all over the world, are more than just a passing trend—they represent the future of working.

“Coworking literally breaks down walls and barriers, and the spaces really encourage you to thrive, thanks to low business costs. Shared workspaces may not be for everyone, but this is really where things will be heading sooner than you think,” says Mel Lozano- Alcaraz, one of the founders of Alabang’s first coworking space, Launchpad. People tend to be more productive in these types of spaces, because the environment encourages and fosters collaboration and connectivity. “All you and your team literally have to do is show up and not worry about anything. And coffee. Lots of coffee. To fuel and lean startup founders.”


A great number of people in today’s economy do not fit into the “traditional office worker” category— either freelancing, self-employed or part of a startup—but require more than what a home office or a Starbucks can offer.

Launchpad feels like an expansive coffee shop, too, with its wood-paneled conference tables, mid-century style sofas and geometric pendant lights. Paper planes and wall decals make it a match in Pinterest heaven. Whether you need desk space for a day, a function room for special events or a full private office for several months, your unique work demands are met with several different packages, all of which include high-speed Wi-Fi and necessary office equipment like printers and scanners, which your neighborhood coffee shop is unlikely to have.


“Alabang, being a suburban business area, has a great mix of business owners, students, BPOs, freelancers, and work-from-home parents, so we get all of these people in any given week,” Mel says. “My favorites are the moms who come in to do a little work or some studying with their toddlers and small kids in tow. It’s nice to know that we’ve become a place where they can be productive for a few hours without leaving their kids.”

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More than just a space to plug in your laptop, Launchpad also organizes events for community-building in the south. Their “Mission Mondays,” for instance, feature lectures and seminars geared towards startups and entrepreneurs.

Launchpad offers itself as an incubator for the south, where great ideas can take shape.

The success of a coworking space is indeed a reflection of the community it creates and the knowledge that is shared with others, and each coworking space needs to have its own identity, mission and vision, lest it be just another soulless rent-a-cubicle, without the cubicles. Launchpad offers itself as an incubator for the south, where great ideas can take shape.


2/F Commercenter Alabang, Filinvest
www.launchpadcoworking.ph

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Audrey N. Carpio
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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