Co-working spaces around Metro Manila that offer a little something extra
One of the perks of being a freelancer, digital nomad, or someone who’s been given a free pass to work remotely is that you don’t need to go all the way to the office to clock in. You can start your work day before you even brush your teeth or wipe the gunk out of your eyes (not that we would recommend this). You don’t have to deal with the hellish daily commute to and from work. You can spend the day with your dog by your feet or your cat on your lap. And you don’t have to dress to impress; if you want to stay in your PJs all day, you can.
The downside is, if you’re not careful, your productivity can take a hit. It’s so easy to get sucked into the black hole that is Netflix and just binge watch one show after another. Plus, since your “office” is only a few steps away from your bed, you could end up power napping the entire day away. There are just so many distractions.
Anybody who’s had to work from home will tell you that sometimes it helps to just get out of the house. You can set up shop at a café with a reliable WiFi, schedule work dates with friends, or head over to a co-working space and settle in for the day.
What’s fantastic about co-working spaces is that they cater to people like you. There’s no danger of getting disconnected from the WiFi after an hour; you don’t have to feel obliged to keep ordering coffee to justify hanging around longer; and you don’t need to deal with the servers and other patrons making you feel like you’ve overstayed your welcome 3 hours ago.
With the high volume of freelancers in the Philippines – and with the number only expected to grow in the next few years, co-working spaces have mushroomed all over the metro. You’re actually spoiled for choice. Here are just a few we picked out that stand out for offering more than the usual services.
Burgundy Place Condominium, Katipunan Ave, Quezon City
Mondays - Saturdays, 10 am - 12 am
Sundays, 10 am - 8 pm
Catering mostly to students in the schools across the avenue, this cozy co-working and co-studying space in Katipunan is probably more fanciful than what you’re used to. With swings for seating (hence the name), whimsical lighting, and an artificial tree at the heart of this hub, it’s the grown-up workspace version of a treehouse. There’s even a corner with a hammock, floor pillows, and plush rugs for private powwows and power naps.
Oddly though, the playful vibe isn’t distracting. If anything, the unique interiors make the place more conducive to creative thinking (and yes, okay, perfect for that #todaysoffice IG post). And the swing seating? They’re actually quite comfortable.
They offer unlimited free coffee and tea and serve complimentary snacks. They also sell pastries, their own milk tea, and if you’re looking for something a little more substantial, rice meals. If there’s nothing on the menu that appeals to you, you can bring in your own food, but you’ll have to pay a corkage fee.
First Coworking Space
Units 502-506 First United Building, Escolta, Manila
Mondays - Fridays, 8 am - 6 pm, Saturdays - Sundays: For reservations
The creative spirit that defines the revival and reinvention of Escolta’s First United Building into a cultural hub is evident in this beautifully designed coworking space that unabashedly embraces the building’s age and history – keeping its original architecture and structure intact – while celebrating contemporary aesthetics.
First Coworking Space provides a place for freelancers who do not have a permanent working address to not just work on their projects and conduct business but also enjoy and appreciate one of Manila’s famed heritage buildings.
Our favorite features in the space include the sunken seats, which provide just enough privacy to get your work done without feeling like you’re boxed in an office cubicle, and the huge windows that open up the space to a view of the city and next door’s Regina Building (another of Escolata’s architectural marvels).
Jonesing for a jolt of caffeine? You can order a cup from The Den Coffee and Contemporary Culture, a coffee shop on the ground floor that’s the very definition of Manila hipster, and have it brought up to you. You can also drop by The Hub Make Lab before heading home to browse local merchandise and find unique buys.
928 Antonio Arnaiz Avenue, 1223 Makati City
At first glance, Spaces seems like your typical co-working space albeit one with a cool Scandinavian appeal thanks to its Amsterdam origins (even the furnishings are from the Netherlands). It’s fully serviced and has 101 coworking desks, office spaces, conference rooms, and a rooftop terrace.
But there are a couple of things that sets it apart aside from that rooftop terrace and Scandinavian vibe: For one, Spaces in Arnaiz has an in-house Little Flour Café, so you can enjoy food and drinks from their menu.
Secondly, when you hear the word “brew” here, it doesn’t always refer to a cup of coffee. That’s because they have a Heineken Blade draught system on hand, so you can get a tall glass of fresh beer whenever you want.
And because studies have shown that beer is a more ideal fuel for creative thinking than coffee, having a cold one while you’re working isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Apparently, while coffee is great for improving your focus and getting things done, beer is excellent for brainstorming and coming up with ideas! Just remember to drink responsibly. You don’t want to end up disturbing your “coworkers.”
Make Space Today
40 Malingap St., Teachers Village, Quezon City
Tuesdays – Sundays, 9 am – 9 pm
Make Space Today is actually more of a co-making space. Built for creatives by creatives, you can tell the moment you walk in that the space offers something different and unique. It primarily has people with artistic and crafting pursuits in mind: It has a 3D printer, sewing machine, pin making station, heatpress, loom, corner punches, books, etc. TL;DR: It has everything you need to start creating.
There’s also an outdoor area for photoshoots that allows natural light to stream in, and has different backgrounds and interchangeable flatlay surfaces. Plus they have an exclusive room that you can rent for workshops, conferences, and meetings.
It is clearly a space for crafters, but that’s not to say you’re not welcome if you have no plans to macramé or make your own button pins. Whether you’re there to paint or finish a report, it’s a great space to find inspiration or just soak in the artistic and creative energy.
In case you work up an appetite from all that creating, there’s a food hall just outside the space with stalls that sell everything from vegetarian fare to chicken wings and burgers.
Finally, don’t leave without checking out the retail area of Make Space Today, which features products from their Retail Incubator Program. – Rappler.com
Maggie Adan is a storyteller at heart. She is a freelance editor, writer, and content creator.
When she’s not stringing words together, she’s practicing yoga, doing crafts, puttering around in the kitchen, or providing free petting services to neighborhood dogs.