Entrepreneur

After Nuffnang: Timothy Tiah Reveals The Project He's Been Working On Under Wraps

It feels like a new co-working space appears here every other week or so, and it now becomes a calculation of who to write about and when to write it.

Which leads me to Timothy Tiah’s new space, called Colony.

In Timothy Tiah’s post of the new opening, his mission statement rings similar to the war cries of other co-working spaces: They’re looking to revolutionise the traditional way of working.

Essentially, he’s looking to create an ideal working environment, comparable to the much-envied Google and Facebook offices of Silicon Valley.

But Community Is Not His Main Focus

Meeting rooms (Image Credit: Colony)

That’s where Timothy’s mission statement diverts from the norm that I’ve been seeing over the past few months.

Instead of catering to startups looking for a place to call home, or to digital nomads and freelancers, Timothy’s goal is to instead change up the “outdated” way we approach offices in normal 9–5 companies.

In this day and age, many companies would have goals of producing offices with similar facilities to the aforementioned Facebook and Google.

But that makes no financial sense if it’s a smaller organisation that may not make enough money to justify the expensive renovations to accommodate such facilities.

The Offices

Image Credit: Colony

Soon to be located in Vipod (between Pavilion and KLCC Convention Center) the facility is still under construction. And it’s the very first location in what Timothy plans to be a franchise.

A hotdesk (no permanent desk) in the upcoming space will cost upwards of RM528/month, and private offices start at RM1988/month (more information about prices and what you’ll be getting can be found here).

Pricing-wise, it’s not too far off from co-working spaces in similarly “good” locations (as a comparison, a hotdesk at Common Ground currently costs RM499/month, WORQ costs RM300/month and Uppercase in APW costs around RM450/month).

Here’s what you’ll be getting out of the deal at Colony:

  1. A space to work in
  2. Complete access to a rooftop gym
  3. Lounge areas
  4. Meals provided by Healthy Food People
  5. An Espresso Lab outlet with accompanying café (not the first in one of these spaces)
  6. Rooftop swimming pool
  7. A dedicated nap area
  8. Massage rooms (with additional payment)
  9. A lactation room for breastfeeding moms

The thoughtful inclusion of a lactation room is definitely one of the highlights of this new space. Otherwise, many breastfeeding mothers end up pumping milk in hygienically dubious bathrooms.

Massage rooms (Image Credit: Colony)

As for the near future, Timothy has plans to include a kids play area for parents who need to bring their kids to the office, among others that he’ll cover in future posts.

“My little dream is that 5 years from now, when someone asks where your office is and you say ‘At one of those Colony spaces…’. If your friend responds to that [working in Colony] with a ‘Your company must really love you’, then we’ve done it.”

He’s not worried about the possibility of his concept being copied, if it turns out to be a success.

Verdict

Lounge (Image Credit: Colony)

So, what does Colony have going for it?

A prime, expensive location, great amenities and a proximity to major hubs in Kuala Lumpur—chief being, large shopping malls, the business district and transportation terminals.

I can see some high-earning companies considering Colony a worthwhile location to set up in.

The trade-off? Losing “owning” a space and some measure of privacy, but gaining the much coveted employee satisfaction, if the amenities live up to their promise.

The math works in favour of smaller companies, rather than big ones in these spaces.

In a co-working space:

  1. When hiring more employees, you have to pay much more in a co-working space, versus in your own office.
  2. Some co-working spaces can be overstimulating. They tend to encourage more networking-like activities as opposed to sitting down and grinding out work.
  3. Confidential company matters can’t be discussed/displayed openly in your office area, only in meeting rooms
  4. You may lose out on employee closeness and community in-company, for what you gain in the ability to network out of your organisation
Image Credit: Colony

But that’s a very Southeast Asian way of looking at things, which Timothy himself has made note of in his own post.

If employee happiness trumps costing for you then why not? Especially if you can still remain sustainable with your bottom line.

And if the Colony is able carry out their stated mandate to improve the set-in-stone way of how offices usually work, then all the better for the average white-collar worker here in Malaysia.

Feature Image Credit: Compiled from Nuffnang & Colony