Workstyle, a new serviced office and co-working space has launched in Kenya in what it says is to enhance creativity and collaboration among businesses and individuals who want value for their money.
Incorporating a community feel and a modern design with state of the art workspaces, the company says it was was inspired by the growing demand for independence and freedom at the workplace complete with a sense of community.
“The future of working is serviced offices and co-working,” Grace Wairimu, Workstyle’s General Manager said. “When you look at most commercial buildings in prime locations, they are designed and targeted at larger corporates, yet most businesses still have a staff count of under 10. Add to that the growth of start-up companies and the gig economy and it is clear that the commercial office market is a good candidate for disruption. We started Workstyle to do exactly that.”
Workstyle is ideal for businesses seeking flexible workspace solutions that don’t involve long 5 year leases or additional staff just to keep the place neat and tidy. It’s a plus for employees and entrepreneurs who want to work in good neighbourhoods and well designed spaces that create community and foster collaboration.
With prices as low as Ksh 1000 per day, a desk for two starting from Ksh 25,000 and a private office for eight starting at Ksh 35,000, Workstyle is targeting tech and business start-ups, event organizers and young high growth businesses with several staff members in need of a shared working space or a private office in a community setting.
Some of the companies already working at the space are in the financial, technology and new media startups and creatives as well as independent consultants, freelancers, and international clients who are in Nairobi temporarily.
Workstyle has a common lounge for social or informal meetings, separate from its two boardrooms for executive meetings. The lounge is designed for informal discussions, chilling out, and networking. The co-working space is also working with various event organizers to hold in-house events (formal and non-formal) with guest speakers and industry experts to fill the gap left by then community tech hubs which have all gone commercial.
With Nairobi up and running, Workstyle says the concept is relevant in other cities in the region and plans to take the concept across Africa.
The co-working space industry is becoming popular because many business owners would rather invest capital in their core businesses than in furniture and internet. These fosters stronger, healthier businesses as no cash flow is tied up in unnecessary assets.
“There is a high sense of community and the presence of peers within the space, fosters innovation as ideas are exchanged, and new technologies created. Businesses spend more time on what they are good at and less time worrying about leases, furniture costs, fundis, printer repair, and detergent costs; and when the space is well designed- people enjoy being at work- they are more productive and creative,” said Wairimu.
Co-working spaces are overtaking traditional offices in Kenya and globally because they are cheaper and better for businesses cash flows. They also give users access to a network of other companies and entrepreneurs unlike leasing traditional offices. Though there are so many alternatives in the market, the Pramukh Tower-based Workstyle says its value proposition in terms of price, space, amenities offered and its location make it the best in the market for entrepreneurs.
“There are several workspaces in Nairobi and in fact, quite a number within Westlands location alone. What makes us exceptional is the culture that we intend to nurture here at Workstyle. A culture that allows a budding entrepreneur to grow and thrive within a professional environment that allows for collaboration and community,” concluded Wairimu.
By the end of 2017, nearly 1.2 million people worldwide worked in a coworking space according to a report by Deskmag, a co-working space industry magazine. The growth was driven principally by clear growth in coworking space membership numbers. At the same time, nearly one in five coworking space boasted 150 or more members compared to the year before.