10 Resources for Coworking in Asia Pacific

A coworking space in Tokyo, Japan

Coworking is now an established feature of many urban centres. Spaces have been set up in most major cities across Asia Pacific, and also within many regional towns. While many still cater predominantly to freelancers and start-up types, there are others that play host to professionals of all kinds, including many executives that work in large enterprises.

It's important to remember that coworking is a valid option for your organisation, especially if you don't have an office where your employees are or you want those same employees to be exposed to different people and ideas. That said, it's always necessary to do your due dilligence on any given coworking space and to ensure your confidential data and communications remain that way, while employees continue to provide the desired output.

The following is a list of resources to help those trying to either understand the growth of coworking in Asia Pacific, or learn more about what co-working can do for their organisation. It's not intended as an exhaustive list of everything related to coworking, but more as a kick start for your own research and due dilligence.

The Asia Pacific Coworking Reading List

Deskmag

Deskmag is an online magazine dedicated to coworking. It's one of very few dedicated resources to the trend. While it covers the globe, it has a broad range of articles and insights - including an annual survey - on coworking. This includes guides on the type of technology required for successfully running a coworking space and user stories, including many from Asia such as the first coworking space in Myanmar. It also has a useful interactive timeline on the history of coworking.

Global Coworking Map

The Global Coworking Map provides exactly that - a map of more than 1000 coworking spaces around the world. It has short profiles of each of the submitted spaces along with contact details, URLs, and useful Google Map locations for each. It also has a short statistics section that highlights some of the data it has collected via coworking spaces that submit their information.

The Coworking Alliance of Asia Pacific

The Coworking Alliance of Asia Pacific (CAAP) offers a membership program that includes access to its many events such as the respected Coworking Unconference.

Coworking: A Transdisciplinary Overview

This academic paper (PDF) out of Australia provides a great overview of coworking. The abstract reads: "The purpose of this working paper is to introduce the concept of ‘coworking’ to an academic audience. It argues that coworking is a complex social phenomenon that can be differentiated from other spatial concepts that relate to work, learning and social interactions. The paper provides an historical account of the origins of coworking and reviews the existing scholarly and popular literature, offering a theoretical distinction between coworking spaces and serviced offices that hinges upon the degree of social collaboration versus the importance of location and facilities of the office environment. An overview of recent data on the number and location of coworking spaces across the world is provided, including a few examples that demonstrate the spatial distribution of coworking spaces within cities. It also provides some data on typical coworking profiles, and links coworking to the broader contextual debates on non-standard and creative work. Finally the paper suggests some future research directions by linking relevant extant theory with key questions across the fields of economic geography, urban planning economics and organisational studies."

The Coworking Wiki

The Coworking Wiki is another global site that provides a list of spaces including many for Asia Pacific.

Tech in Asia

The team at online tech news site, Tech in Asia, have been covering coworking for some time. They often include lists of spaces that you can find in many of Asia's urban centres.

The Coworking Handbook

The Coworking Handbook is actually a guide for people looking to run their own space, but it also provides a useful list of links to research that has been published online.

Wework

Wework is the much vaunted start-up that offers a booking service for coworking spaces. It's been backed by considerable investment and is starting to make its way to Asia Pacific, although at the time of writing it only had one space available in China.

HBR: Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces

A brief look at why coworking spaces are considered "meaningful" by researchers at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business that are undertaking work in this area.

99 Spaces

There are a number of organisations launching services that allow individuals and organisations alike to book a coworking space in a location of their choice. 99 Spaces is one, and another is Office Hub. And there will be more in future.