Work Hard, Play Hard: Productive Coworking Spaces in Thailand

Work Hard, Play Hard: Productive Coworking Spaces in Thailand

วันที่นำเข้าข้อมูล 19 Dec 2023

วันที่ปรับปรุงข้อมูล 19 Dec 2023

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Work Hard, Play Hard: Productive Coworking Spaces in Thailand


Thailand — a haven for digital nomads — has also emerged as a competitive market for coworking spaces, catering to a wide variety of workplace needs and not just in Bangkok. 

Whether you’re here on a business trip, an entrepreneur looking to take your startup out of the living room, or a restless digital nomad armed with your trusty laptop, there are several reasons why people are flocking to coworking spaces in Thailand. 

Here, we unpack some of those reasons and compare coworking spaces in Bangkok and around the country.

What exactly are coworking spaces?

Coworking spaces provide communal workstations as well as private offices with shared facilities. More than a cafe with a decent Wi-Fi connection, coworking spaces are alternative accommodations to traditional offices, allowing you to collaborate with team members, meet with clients, and grow or reduce office space as needed.

Coworking spaces are also ideal for hybrid work. According to The Secret Sauce’s interview with Kincentric Country Head Adisak Chandprapalert, today’s hirees value flexibility in their working arrangements, especially in the wake of remote work necessitated by pandemic restrictions. Coworking spaces create a stable, purpose-built environment that hybrid workers can access for better productivity, like students who need to study at the library or people who need to work out at the gym.

This flexibility also creates a melting pot of different companies and professionals, from full-time employees and contractors to entrepreneurs and freelancers. As a result, coworking spaces can foster a strong ecosystem for business networking, collaboration, and incubation. The best coworking spaces will balance a relaxed atmosphere with professional appearances.

Why coworking spaces make sense in Thailand

People working in a coworking space
Source: fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Thailand’s entrance into the coworking market can be seen as a natural consequence of several factors, starting with digital infrastructure. Thailand has an 85.3% rate of internet penetration (third-highest in the region after Singapore and Malaysia) and 85% 5G coverage, with the seventh-best fixed internet speeds in the world.

Beyond all the office amenities and essentials, Thailand’s cost of living is very competitive and well-balanced against factors like safety, attractions, hospitality, and ease of doing business. Taken as a whole, Thailand offers a competitive quality of life, with major Thai cities like BangkokChiang Mai, and Phuket routinely appearing in the top 10 lists for workations and digital nomads.

Alternative workspaces also find plenty of demand in the Thai business landscape. Startups and small businesses are less willing to commit to traditional office leases. That bodes well for the country’s coworking market, where micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) make up 99.6% of businesses in Thailand and 71.8% of the country’s employment.

The coworking market may be nascent, but according to Surachet Kongcheep, Managing Director of Property DNA Co., Ltd., “The product is maturing.” More operators are looking to distinguish themselves by adding value, whether it’s building their community, organizing professional workshops and seminars, or connecting their members with venture capital.

The COVID-19 crisis has led to more employers realizing the benefits of remote work. This together with the gig economy forecast to thrive in 2023 and a greater push for a stronger creative economy in Thailand make it safe to say we’ll be seeing more coworking spaces in Thailand.

Productive coworking spaces in Thailand

There are hundreds if not thousands of coworking spaces across the country, but here’s a short list of the coworking spaces worth checking out.

 

HUBBA Thailand

HUBBA coworking space in Bangkok
Source: HUBBA Thailand website

HUBBA, touted as Thailand’s very first coworking space, is a prime example of a coworking space that also serves as an incubator. Situated in Bangkok, its great startup ecosystem offers specially crafted business tools and training sessions to support new business development. It also boasts a popular unique greenhouse boardroom, so good luck trying to book it!

Open House (Central Embassy)

Open House coworking space at Central Embassy, Bangkok
Source: Open House Facebook Page

Central Embassy’s Open House’s “Co-Thinking Zone” was developed with a greenhouse-inspired environment with spectacular city views and an open beverage bar. The coworking space is part of Open House’s “Co-Living Space” designed to suit a variety of lifestyles, featuring an on-demand movie theater, eateries, stationery zone, and a massive breathtaking bookstore that feels more like a chic library.

WeWork Thailand

WeWork coworking space in Bangkok
Source: WeWork Facebook Page

The O.G. coworking space, WeWork Thailand brings its brand of professional polish to all four Bangkok branches. Its latest, located at The Parq, offers airy spaces that make the most of natural lighting, great city views, direct access to the Queen Sirikit Centre MRT subway station, fitness amenities, and even bike storage — fitting for WeWork’s concept of “work well and live well.” Keep an eye out for its lamp shades modeled after northern Thai floating lanterns and other culturally inspired interiors.

JustCo Thailand

JustCo coworking space in Bangkok
Source: JustCo website

JustCo manages close to 50 coworking centers across eight gateway cities across Asia-Pacific, including Bangkok. They currently have six branches in downtown Bangkok located at AIA Sathorn Tower, Amarin Tower, One City Centre, Samyan Mitrtown, Silom Edge, and Capital Tower, All Seasons Place. 

These centers feature a suite of purpose-built workspaces that support focused work, collaborations, meetings, networking sessions, video conferencing, and events. You can find nature-inspired designs and hotel-like furnishings. JustCo’s newest branch at One City Centre also houses a café, offering its members another relaxing spot for work and conversation. 

Businesses that sign up for JustCo memberships enjoy convenient access to JustCo centers in all eight cities they operate in.

NapLab

NapLab coworking space in Bangkok
Source: NabLap Facebook Page

A 24-hour “co-napping workspace” near Chulalongkorn University, NapLab is the result of extensive research into what its key demographic, university students, were looking for in a coworking space. Customers can request pillows, cleaned daily, to relax or catch a few winks between classes. With lockers, showers, and plenty of hot desks, NapLab has found a unique formula for the university coworking environment. The co-napping workspace is also part of a multi-purpose building that also houses apartment units and a fitness center.

TrueSpace & True Digital Park

True Digital Park building in Bangkok
Source: True Digital Park Facebook Page

TrueSpace has multiple locations in and outside of Bangkok. Similar to NapLab, its branches are also marketed towards students, with locations in Mahidol University in Nakhon Pathom Province, Rangsit University in Pathum Thani Province, and Ubon Ratchathani Rajabhat University in Ubon Ratchathani Province. 

Meanwhile, True Digital Park is an entirely different animal aimed at uniting the startup ecosystem in Thailand. Located in Bang Na District, Bangkok, it provides an upskill/reskill academy, a one-stop service center for startups including business registration and accounting & taxation, and opportunities to meet with investors and secure venture capital. True Digital Park recently celebrated reaching 5,000 startup and SME members.

BeacHub Phangan

BeacHub coworking space on Phangan Island, Surat Thani province
Source: BeacHub Facebook Page

But what if you’re not in the city? BeacHub, the world’s first beachfront coworking space, is located on the gorgeous Phangan Island in Surat Thani Province. Aside from amazing ocean views, you also have access to two beaches for when you need a break or are done for the day. And thanks to co-living facilities, your beach office is only steps away from your beach bungalow.

KoHub

KoHub coworking space on Lanta Island, Krabi province
Source: KoHub Facebook Page

Named for the Thai word koh meaning “island,” KoHub is located on the secluded Lanta Island in Krabi Province. Named one of the ten best coworking spaces on earth in a 2016 Forbes survey, KoHub has a thriving community of digital nomads who, despite the very relaxing vibe, are very productive. Similar to BeacHub, KoHub also includes bungalow accommodations. However, KoHub is only open from November 1st to April 30th to coincide with good weather and the tourist high season.

Yellow

Yellow coworking space in Chiang Mai province
Source: Yellow Facebook Page

Yellow can be found in North Thailand’s Chiang Mai Province. As a Web3 startup incubator, Yellow offers a blockchain-savvy ecosystem with state-of-the-art facilities including sound-proof Skype booths and a fully-equipped YouTube room, all nestled in Chiang Mai’s vibrant digital nomad culture.

The last pieces fall into place

Thailand’s co-working landscape makes getting business done and living your best life so much easier. Why wait for retirement when a sustainable work-life balance is in your reach? If you’re serious about traveling to Thailand to work and play, just be sure you’ve got the right documents and to take advantage of the accompanying benefits.

If you ever find yourself in a creative rut, step away from work and take a swim in the ocean, a run on the beach, a Thai massage, a walk in the park, or any one of the many leisurely activities that have made Thailand a renowned workation destination. There’s just no telling when or how inspiration will strike.

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