Matthew visiting the Soundbrenner HQ in PMG during Cadet Orientation Week (second from left).[/caption] What in the world are co-working spaces? I had an extremely vague idea of the answer to this question before I worked in one myself.
An interview in the New York Times with workspace members introduced me to this intriguing business model. My understanding was still limited at the time, but I had an inkling that it facilitates entrepreneurs to success, and I had the opportunity to further delve into the topic during my time learning and working at Garage Society. A brief tour and orientation gave me a sense of how Garage operates and how individual companies connect to form a collaborative workspace. During the two weeks, I shadowed various members of the Garage Team, where Marketing and Operations were my two main focuses. There are many individuals in the company I admire but, the most prominent takeaway for me is the community aspect of the co-working space. I love how the senior members of the company submerge themselves into the “society”, which provides assurance to other members. In the meetings I sat in, the company’s Founder Elaine would consult other staff members and communicate with them before making a decision. This phenomenon is omnipresent in all three spaces. “A united company” is definitely not an overstatement in describing Garage. I followed Rachel and Cheryl in the first few days, and familiarised myself with the basic Operational duties involved with running a co-working space Orientation day, which was led by Hei-Yue, was eye-opening. Our visit to Soundbrenner, a music hardware company and former member at Garage, showed me how co-working spaces facilitate entrepreneurs to success. The ambitious entrepreneur initially established the company in Germany, but he and his colleagues moved the company to Hong Kong shortly. Garage provides a secure office for them to develop their product, and through this, their most startling problem is eliminated. During the two weeks, I also attended and helped to run Garage Academy events The events organized by Garage strongly emphasise the nurturing of a warm environment for members, which was especially true for an event discussing the displacement of refugees in Hong Kong and how they can be empowered by learning essential tech skills. Through this experience, I was able to perceive what a collective community is. Min, James, and Elaine were particularly helpful and patient in explaining their roles in the company. I enjoyed engaging with a special Project Team the most, as it was interesting to see how an idea comes together and how the company works to develop new initiatives s. I believe the creation of an online community is inevitable as technology advances, and it was exciting to see how this Garage is working to bring this idea to life and connect an even wider group of entrepreneurs I am excited to learn more about how various events and social activities strengthen bonds between members and foster a community beyond work in the future. Of course, I must thank the Garage staff for giving me an enchanting experience. Without them patiently guiding me through these two weeks, I would not have understood nor seen the value of co-working spaces like I do now.
Today’s entrepreneurs do not like getting tied down and are inherently drawn towards options that let them progress at their own growth-plan. Personalisation and a sense of creative freedom has picked up the pace and is here to not only rule but also dominate the work culture.
As part of Garage Society’s Well-Being Month, we sat down with Dutch entrepreneur Madelon van de Ven, to learn more about her flourishing plant subscription startup and her mission to get more urbanites to experience the health and well-being benefits of plants.