Co-working areas seem to be all the rage these days, and this new one that just launched in Malaysia last week already has dreams to branch out to Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam, if their website is anything to go by.
Common Ground is one of the latest additions to the co-working scene. Funded by Catcha Group its doors are open to everyone from the general masses to startup founders every Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm.
We took time off from our own office to take a little trip down to Common Ground to see what it’s about, and one thing that definitely struck us was how aesthetic it all was.
Located in a Wisma UOA Damansara II Penthouse, walk-ins are greeted with a café-like environment that rings true for the rest of our tour around the penthouse area.
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The reception desk is simple but does everything between taking calls for businesses housed here to receiving mail and guests among other duties.
You don’t even have to leave the space to look for food or coffee, as there is a café on site.
Verbal recommendations have touted the coffee in the café as something to note, helmed by League of Captains café barista Danial Naim.
The food was developed by renowned celebrity chef Nik Micheal Imran. Our guide even noted with a laugh that there are people who come to buy coffee there just to catch a glimpse of him.
Since they are a newly minted open working space, their prices are still in promo mode and may fluctuate or change after publishing of this article. At the time of writing, the prices for the packages listed below:
The Hot Desk gives access Common Ground’s open working spaces during the opening hours. Subscribers get to enjoy the benefits of being a member such as having internet access and being able to participate in Common Ground networking events.
The area open to Hot Desk-ers is open and large, allowing individuals to easily network. According to the team, many of the entrepreneurs based here either come from IT or software development.
The Fixed Desk membership means that you get to rent a desk as your permanent workspace, but you will be in an open room with 20 other people.
Lastly are the Private Offices, which are separate rooms of your own. The offices in Common Ground can host companies ranging from 2–6 staff.
On top of the usual access to the pantry (For Hot Seat buyers, only available during Common Ground’s office hours) printing services and such, Common Ground buyers are also able to access the meeting rooms, with different allocated hours provided depending on the package bought.
The meeting rooms come in multiple sizes.
On top of that, there are two lounges available, one upstairs and one downstairs. The one downstairs can easily be converted into a networking venue, or even an event space complete with a stage and projector that can host up to 130 people.
Common Ground values networking, and they want to be known for it.
As such, they plan to hold their own networking events such as members’ nights every week or so, Friday breakfast, and even 5-minute pitching sessions where the members get to speak in front of some of the VCs attached to this project.
According to our guide who show us around, “The thing about renting space is that we’re more about community building, and that everyone is getting as much benefit as possible from their membership. So we go by what you need. Do you need someone to talk to or someone to invest in your startup? We can initiate the connections.”
Personally, I did enjoy the fact that there was a lot of natural sunlight pouring in for both floors of the space. It didn’t hurt that there was the scent of freshly brewed coffee constantly wafting around the common area thanks to the café. It was very comfrtable to be in, and we did find it hard to leave it to go back to our own less “aesthetic” office after.
You may think we’re exaggerating about the spinning circles. Here’s some proof.
Overall, despite a rather high pricepoint compared to some of the others on the market, Common Ground does have its strategic location, interesting design and access to good coffee going for it. In fact, during our short visit there, quite a few of the offices were already marked as ‘Reserved’ for new owners, showing that there are a lot of entrepreneurs interested in making their move there.