If you’re a budding startup with an innovative product, then congratulations. You have now joined the fray of young entrepreneurs who want to change the world around them. In order to do that though, you first need to start from somewhere, right? You need Office Space. This is literally and physically your starting point.
We’ve been there as well
Many of you who know us may or may not know that ReadMe too, started off the same way. We were a bunch of 20-somethings who would work from home from the comfort of our beds. And it worked too, for a while. Sure, we could write articles upload photo albums but sooner or later, we found ourselves needing a physical location for us to gather and also for client meetings. This is where an office space comes into play.
Office spaces are essentially blocks of space that are given out on rent, much like a house or apartment is. The amenities of the office space can vary but usually, you would get utilities such as electricity and water. The only cons were that regardless of whether you use the office space or not, you’re still paying rent for it. This, in turn, can affect your companies cash flow negatively. Now, that problem is overcome by Office Sharing.
In very simple terms, office sharing is a concept which allows companies that own offices or office spaces to rent out unused office space to smaller companies looking for a flexible workspace. The office space can contain equipment such as PCs and Laptops, or can just be the literal office space.
All you need to do is maintain the minimum quote of hours that you need to be using the office space and you’re good to go. Some office sharing spaces are privately run for a profit, some are managed by universities, and others are run by local authorities or charities. Now you’re probably wondering where your nearest business hub or office space is. Fret not for we have a few places in mind.
Located in the Dematagoda, it’s pretty hard to miss Orion City. This multi building facility plays host to some of the key software development companies in Sri Lanka and also has its own collection of office spaces for rent or lease. Known as Colombo’s first IT Park, Orion City sprawls across 16 acres of land and currently has 550,000 sq. ft. of developed space, with 6,000 heads working out of the Park.
Orion CIty has three categories of rentable office space. They are NEST, Kitted Out and Warm Shell.
NEST is ideal for small scale startups and small operations to gain the momentum they need. It offers pay-per-seat facilities and a plug and play model. All you need to do is to literally walk in and start working. Kitted Out offers fully furnished office spaces for rental. So you can customize your space and all requirements such as server rooms, workstations, meetings & manager rooms along with all related cabling will be taken care of.
Warm shell is the largest, literally. It offers a large open floor plan. Renting out is done on a square foot bases and includes facilities such as AC, lighting and ceilings all installed. Apart from all these, the common amenities include central A/C, lighting and carpeting, internet and network connectivity, external security, cleaning and maintenance and janitorial & waste management. You also have a 24-hour help desk, and generator backup in the event of a power failure.
Since the needs and requirements of those looking for co-working spaces can differ, the best option is to either call the Orion City hotline on 9411 2 692255 or to drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business Hubs has four centers. The first one is located in Nugegoda and has a capacity of 200 seats. The second Hub is in Kollupitiya (Colpetty) with a seating capacity of 62. The third is a mini-hub of 28 seats is located in Mount Lavinia. The buildings draw inspiration from the British underground by having the metro sign. Private offices are named after stations such as Waterloo, Wimbledon, Kensington, Knightsbridge.
In terms of cost, a monthly rental would be anywhere between LKR 12,000 to LKR 15,000 depending on the hub location. You will also be able to use all the facilities such as an air-conditioned office, free Wifi, unlimited tea, and coffee. You also don’t have to pay for utilities such as electricity either. If your work involves the use of a computer, they too are available at the rental fee of Rs. 5,000 per month.
You can also “hot-desk”. This is where multiple parties would use a single physical work location during different times of the day or week. This usually costs around LKR 1000 per 4-hour session or Rs. 10,000 per month for 20 sessions. Depending on your business or work preference, you can work for a couple of hours or an entire day between 9am and 6pm Here too you’re given access to free Wifi, air conditioning, and tea/coffee. The only drawback is that you are not able to use the facility on Poya and other public holidays.
Another popular office sharing platform is Regus. With regard to renting out office space, they have over 3000 locations globally and a number of offices across Sri Lanka as well. You can lease out office spaces on a daily, weekly, or yearly basis. The offices include amenities such as high-speed internet, office furniture, and utilities as well. For renting out office space, you can take your pick from the following:
- Window office – Starts off at LKR 928 per person per day. Includes a private office space with a view. This is available in all Regus centres.
- Interior office – Starts off at LKR 817 per person per day. Identical to the Window office but minus the window and the view.
Office suite – combines both an office and a meeting room into one. Usually, consists of two desk and a meeting table. Pricing varies so it’s best to call and find out.
- Coworking – Starts off at LKR 690 per person per day. This is essentially desk spaces shared in an office environment. So you get the benefit of a full day at the office but only pay for the number of desks you use. You can either have your own permanent desk or you can choose to hot-desk it based on a first come, first serve basis.
In addition, Regus also offers features such as a virtual office and the renting out of meeting rooms. WIth a virtual office, you can establish your business anywhere in the world. To help you with that, Regus offers services such as call answering and mail handling. You also get your own business address at any Regus Business center located across the world.
You can also rent out one or more meeting rooms for presentations, interview, client pitches or anything else that your company might require. Services such as catering, coffee, and projection equipment are also provided. As pricing is subjected to change depending on the meeting room scenario (interviews, boardroom meetings, training rooms or conference rooms), you can call the Regus hotline on +94 117555050.
HUB9 is another option for space located in Park Gardens, Colombo. They offer co-working spaces with a variety of services such as a meeting room, kitchen and pantry facilities and even your own customized mailbox. If you don’t need an entire office space, you can hot-desk it as well.
Once you’re signed up with HUB9, you can access the space anytime you want with your access key card. The office spaces are equipped with SLT Fibre Optic connections so you can simply walk into your “office” and be connected straight away. If you need to print documents, Hub9 also has printing facilities as well. The company is currently out of co-working spaces and they are expanding to
The company is currently out of co-working spaces and they are setting up another space located at Fife Road In Colombo 05 within the coming days. If you are interested, you can contact Ramila (Community Manager) on +94772075686 or Charitha (Director) on +94777725755 for further details and pricing.
Located in Nugegoda, Agaya Holdings is a company primarily known for BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing). They also offer co-working spaces for startups, freelancers, and digital nomads. In terms of pricing, you’re looking at LKR 15,000/- per person per month. If it’s more than one person, then prices can be negotiated. Their facilities include a 2″x4″ Office table, 2x 13A power outlets, A/C, internet, tea/coffee, a lunchroom/pantry and also cleaning and maintenance services. You can contact them on +94777793700.
Likuid Spaces offers a rather uniquely curated space in central Colombo, and is primarily focused on building a thriving community in and around the space. They draw inspiration from coworking hubs like San Francisco, New York City, Istanbul, and Bali.
Likuid is currently working to roll out daily and weekly memberships. Their current monthly membership includes:
- 1 Workstation with locking drawer
- 100Mbps Fiber Optic WiFi, backed up by 4G LTE
- Printer & Scanner
- Kitchen with standard amenities and fully stocked pantry
- Free coffee, tea, and drinking water
- Daily Cleaning & Maintenance
- CCTV Security
In addition, you also have 24-hour access to the space so you can come in and work at whatever time you like, In addition, if you’re looking to host a small gathering or party, Likuid Spaces also offers roof access where you can host events etc. Things to look out for in the near future include a rooftop event space hosting everything from startup events to musical performances, a streetside café, and a gallery featuring local artwork.
For further details, you can contact Shuaib on +94 777 004 488 or check out their Facebook page.
AIMS Smart Hub
Located in Negombo, AIMS Smart Hub offers co-working spaces for startups, freelancers, and digital nomads. For a monthly rental of LKR 15,000/-, you would have your own office desk with accompanying power outlets, a meeting room, lunch room/kitchen and other amenities such as the Internet and A/C. You also get a consultation for branding and IP (Intellectual property) along with support with regard to company formation and legal matters. Unfortunately, there is no website associated with the company. However, you can contact them on +94 777669757 or +94 31-7388001/2.
And there you have it
These are some of the go-to places if you need some space to set up your own space. As we always say, make sure you know the exact specifics of the space you’re renting out and get everything down to the last detail documented. This makes it less hassling for both you and the space owner in the event of a dispute or some renewal is needed.
Do you know of any other office space sharing platforms? Have you used any of these services? Leave a comment in the section below.