In a thriving city like Cebu, careers are no longer a one-size-fits-all deal. Alongside regular employees with a nine-to-five schedule are freelance workers, independent professionals, remote workers and entrepreneurs all working to excel in their respective fields. Of course, the freedom that can come with these professions also has some sort of displacement—people who don’t work from the cubicle usually have the option of working from home, which can get too comfortable, or finding a table at a noisy coffee shop with a challenging internet connection.
It’s for reasons like this that co-working spaces are steadily gaining popularity. But more than just having the physical need of a desk and all the tools necessary for efficiency, the true value of co-working spaces is more intangible. According to the speaker of the Mobile World Congress Tine Thygesen, the co-working space’s advantage is being able to provide the sense of urgency, community and peer-to-peer learning.
As it turns out, although people now have the technical ability to work from anywhere, people still prefer to work in close proximity to others. It’s not just about the free coffee—people are at co-working spaces because it increases their output, and it makes work more fun. The trend has made its way to Cebu, with co-working spaces showing how an office can be. Choosing a space allows workers to enjoy its amenities, the philosophy the brand aspires to, and access to the kind of people it attracts. The association to a co-working space, as well as being able to give an official corporate address, gives start-ups and freelance workers credibility.
As it turns out, co-working spaces aren’t just about a temporary office to start up a business, or somewhere to finish a project when the internet speed at your favorite coffee shop just won’t do. The atmosphere of community, interesting design and, admittedly, the free coffee is something that freelancers and start-up entrepreneurs are all so happy to have.
Photography by Ronex Tolin
In a global tribe of smart and innovative professionals, A SPACE unchains one from a traditional cubicle, instead bringing you an open space to shine.
A SPACE truly believes in community, and addresses the need for a venue for startups and creative thinkers to get together and do some work. “The space is creating a kind of crossroads for the innovation community, and it isn’t just in Manila or in the Philippines. It’s worldwide,” says CEO Matt Marisson. “There’s a whole global tribe of awesome people trying to do amazing things in the face of a very protective conventional community. In A SPACE, you’ll see all those people come together.”
Located at Crossroads Mall in Banilad, A SPACE is not just a next generation-serviced office. It’s also tagged as an executive suite, business center and executive center, and they also host events that continue along the line of constantly innovating.
Unconstrained by “international brand guidelines,” A SPACE is flexible to its core. Like startups, they don’t stop trying, and they innovate daily—its exceptional team is empowered to provide solutions, make connections, and establish a genuine connection with their evolving community.
Matt shares how important it is to adapt, whether that’s in design, space management, or the layout, to cater to clients’ needs. “Within the space itself, when we’ve got new people coming in, what we try to do is the same: when you come in, you’ll find a space for you,” he says. “And the house rules, or the culture of the space, is that we respect your desire to do whatever you want within the community you feel part of.”
The freedom and flexibility shows how A SPACE sets itself apart—there’s more than just fast internet, free drinks and free printing here. Its CEO continues, “A SPACE promises a better big-picture advantage: a curated community.” It’s one we definitely want to be part of.
A Space, Crossroads, Banilad, Cebu City
(032) 888 7656
Facebook: A SPACE Cebu
Photography by Philip Lapinid
The in.dus.tri.Room is a favorite new study hangout for students, being a good combination of both a study lounge and co-working space.
With solitude similar to a library, the in.dus.tri.Room requires you to talk softly and quietly. The hushed vibe is matched with a modern minimalist theme—subtle color, neat interiors, and a cozy ambiance. The modernism is reinforced with built-in study nooks, reclining areas, cozy reading chairs, cushioned stools and sofas, and cocoon hanging nests.
For private meetings, there is the co.lab.Room, which can sit up to 12 people, comes with a whiteboard, plug-and-play audio-visual equipment, and coffee and tea-making facilities.
Open 24 hours daily, the space is perfect for those who are more nocturnal. The high-speed internet connection, of course, is an exciting service that’s practically necessary these days.
The in.dus.tri.Room was built by a group of initiators who are passionate in the belief that a conducive study and work environment is the key to success. They saw the gap in the availability of spaces for startups, professionals and students. “We feel there is an urgent need to provide precisely this environment—more than a school library, more than an internet café, more than a coffee chain or a park bench,” they explain. “It’s a dedicated space that meets work and study needs.”
The name itself reflects this, because they believe being industrious in your field is the key to success. With its modern look and thoughtful amenities, if you’re on the path to accomplishing your goals, the in.dus.tri.Room can certainly help you get there.
Industriroom, 2nd floor, Balay Alumni, Villa Aznar, Urgello St., Cebu City
(032) 343 4846
Photography by Ryan Tailo
Designed primarily to boost productivity, Workplace Café positions itself as good working space with a great coffee shop experience. Since it opened in early November last year on the busy F. Ramos Street, students, professionals and coffee enthusiasts have been coming over for its industrial feel, and thoughtful amenities for efficiency and productivity.
“I saw more than half of the people were either working or studying,” owner Kristoff Villanueva describes the usual scene he’d witness at a coffee shop. “However, they were not provided with comfy seats and tables to work on.” Having previously worked at a coffee shop, he’d thought of a café that provides productivity tools—high-speed internet connection, comfortable seats and tables, ample power outlets, and beverages that give a good caffeine kick.
Its great ambiance resembles that of a coffee shop, with relaxing hues and ample lighting. Industrial trimmings are evident, with the wall murals depicting different professions alongside symbols and abstract drawings. Also, unique and inspiring coffee-painted art from the League of Cebu Artists were on display.
Whether you’re a student or a professional, the café’s open atmosphere is geared towards building a community inside. “Here at Workplace Café, there is no exclusivity,” says Kristoff. “Thus, our mantra—for the rest of us.”
The café’s rates allow customers to choose to pay by the hour, day, week or month, and yes, it comes with free-flowing coffee or iced tea. And it’s not just about providing a workspace for those who need one—Workplace Café supports local farmers in the Visayas and Mindanao by sourcing products locally, like the famous tablea of Argao and the renowned Hinelaban coffee from Bukidnon. Kristoff shares that for every bag someone buys, a tree is planted by a farmer in Bukidnon—truly a way of sustaining the environment.
The two-storey co-working space accommodates approximately 60 people, and also comes with a conference room for about eight people, a six-person meeting room, and a power nap station. They also offer a great selection of food and drinks to choose from, but visitors are free to bring their own snacks as well.
With the influx of co-working spaces in the city, Kristoff shares how these can be an effective venue to work. “Recent studies and articles have shown that a large number of online workers and students develop higher performacnce when co-working around people with similar goals,” he explains. Kristoff also mentions how coffee shops have the tendency to be noisy, as these are places primarily for social interactions. “Co-working spaces offer the best in all the scenarios.”
F. Ramos Street, Cebu City
0925 585 6800
Facebook: Workplace Café
Photography by Ronex Tolin
An acronym for Technology Innovation Design Entrepreneur, The Tide is fittingly named to symbolize the wave that could bring innovators, designers and entrepreneurs up to new levels of success. Thus, “Catch the rising tide.”
Filling a major gap in the entrepreneurship ecosystem of Cebu City, The Tide is the first space in Cebu that provides a flexible and affordable co-working space, classes to build tech and business skills, a space for events, introductions to investors, and access to mentors and a global network.
“We see ourselves as the hub and facilitator for the technology, innovation, design and entrepreneur communities, both within our membership and throughout the greater Cebu area,” says community manager Kevin Jennings. Also, the founders of The Tide, who had extensive experience with co-working spaces in other parts of the world, wanted to give back to the local community.
The Tide is an ideal place for collaboration, and like many co-working spaces, has a community of like-minded people who want to grow their business.
Similar to an open office with picture windows, shared spaces and meeting rooms, The Tide is planning a significant renovation that will brighten things up, and make the space feel more relaxed and creative. “Some of the proposed design changes will create an environment that encourages collaboration, inspires innovation, stimulates creativity, and most importantly, nurture success-oriented mindsets,” says Kevin.
With the existence of co-working spaces growing in Cebu, there is no denying the influence it now has on how people work. “The success of co-working is based on collaboration and synergy among its members, the financial benefits of sharing a workspace, and being the hub and facilitator of a community, typically a technology, entrepreneur-based community,” Kevin continues.
The constant need for development and improvement is important, but even more so, according to Kevin, to the wisdom to stop and listen to what is relevant. Knowing the needs of the community is the key to anticipating and adapting to services that growing businesses will need. This philosophy is what makes The Tide a true partner in building a company.
The TIDE, 7th floor, Skyrise 1 Bldg, Cebu IT Park
Facebook: The TIDE Cebu