Southeast Asia is currently experiencing a tech sector boom. Entrepreneurs and startups from all over the world are flocking to countries like Malaysia and the Philippines to take advantage of a highly skilled and educated workforce.
The universities in this part of the world are much better than many westerners realize. The problem is that aren’t enough skilled jobs to go around. Or rather, it is an issue for young graduates. For entrepreneurs, it represents an abundance of opportunity. The market, particularly in the Philippines, is crying out for investment and intrepid businesses can have their pick of talented employees.
So, if you are looking to grow and develop in Asia, this could be the perfect place. It is easy to get started too, what with the availability of superb virtual and co-working offices.
This guide to getting the most out of coworking spaces will help you decide if sharing and streamlining is your future.
1. Invest in Noise Cancelling Headphones
There are all kinds of great benefits to operating out of the same space as peers and rivals. In fact, studies have shown that we tend to be more productive when we’re around others. It puts us at ease and reduces the need for procrastination. This is likely because sitting in a room alone feels more like a punishment. It is voluntarily isolation.
On the other hand, there will be times when you need quiet, so invest in a good pair of noise canceling headphones.
2. Seeking Peaceful Places
If you have your area to while away the working day, then you will always have a place to retreat to when the need arises. However, for those working in an open plan or collaborative environment, finding peace is the bustling business place can be harder than one might imagine.
Even with headphones, it can be near impossible to avoid distractions when you are working through the less engaging parts of your business obligations, which is why finding places to go can be so invaluable to your ability to maintain effectiveness.
This can be anywhere from courtyards to meeting rooms to break rooms. It may not be ideal depending on the size of your office space, but any place of repress is better than nothing.
3. Get to Know the Staff
Even though you’re not working from a private room, a virtual office is still somewhere that you’ll spend a lot of time. You’ll probably end up with a favorite chair, desk, or spot within the suite. It makes sense to get familiar with the staff so that you know who to talk to when you have a problem.
Most virtual office providers are ready to supply extra laptop chargers, headphones, HDMI cables, and other bits and pieces to occupants who need a hand.
4. Finding a Balance
While a worker that prioritizes making friends over making progress is likely to fall out of favor with those surrounding them, building connections with your fellow workers is sure to make the overall office experience more pleasant.
Finding points of conversation, common interests and enjoyable ways to boost the office experience will have resounding benefits for not only your overall enjoyment but your ability to collaborate and work as a team.
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5. Have a Grasp of Etiquette
No matter where you are in the world, you need to learn how to master the people if you want to be successful. In the Philippines, this is a delightfully easy thing to do.
The culture is warm and friendly, and you’ll find that people enjoy chatting and making new acquaintances. It is customary for people to inquire about personal details (marital status, family, children, etc.) quite early on. It isn’t nosiness, and you should try not to be too guarded.
On the other hand, avoid chatting with or disturbing office users who are clearly busy with tasks.
6. Explore Your Surroundings
While it’s all well and good to be set up in your workplace or apartment, your experience of a place simply cannot be complete without having a grasp of what resides outside those office doors.
While going on an adventure to explore the perks and benefits of your surroundings will allow you to feel more comfortable and at home within the place you are currently residing, it also gives you something to look forward to throughout your daily schedule.
Having a grasp of what’s outside for you to enjoy will give you the opportunity to make the most out of your place of work, and give you a place to escape to when you need a break from the daily grind.
Find some lovely cafes, a place to sit and relax, or perhaps somewhere to partake in some delicious Filipino cuisine. Whatever your preference for relaxation, it’s always best to know what your options are.
7. Use Conference Spaces When You Need Them
All good virtual offices come with the option to hire completely private spaces when needed. These usually take the form of larger, specially designed conferences spaces or boardrooms, but there may be smaller offices available too.
The unspoken rule is that occupants only use these areas when they need them. Otherwise, they might as well just pay for a fully private and serviced workspace.
If you do want to utilize larger meeting rooms for something other than group sessions, book them out early or late in the day, to minimize the chance of thwarting actual meetings.
Why Becoming a Co-Worker Is Easier Than You Think
For entrepreneurs and small teams, the prospect of operating in a shared, open plan space isn’t as jarring as it might have been ten years ago. Flexible work arrangements have become the norm and businesses that can adapt to match them stand to benefit. In a country like the Philippines, where the conversation is warm and open, virtual offices are a powerful, valuable asset.