In major cities all over the world, people are breaking out of traditional working environments. For some people this means firing their bosses, selling their possessions and traveling the world while they work exclusively online.
Others in less extreme cases are negotiating with employers to spend more time working remotely and telecommuting to the office using high-speed connections and a bevy of cheap or free online collaboration tools.
This trend has led to a rise in demand for "coworking" in big cities around the world. Coworking is a movement where people buy membership to an office space where they have access to a comfortable, high-tech shared space, and a community of peers who may or may not be working in similar fields.
For Bangkokians frustrated with working on poor connections in coffee shops, this seemed to be another international trend that would pass the city by. That changed with the announcement that two new coworking spaces will be launched in the city this month.
"I know many many companies, either big or small, new or old, have had the same problems with their working environments and conditions," says Amarit Charoenphan the founder of Hubba, a coworking space scheduled to open this month in Bangkok's Ekkamai area. "We understand how difficult and costly it is to launch a startup. You have many expenses like office rental that make it much harder for fledgling companies to become successful."
Amarit's space targets entrepreneurs who need both an affordable space to work and a supportive community. In addition to a place of work, Hubba will be home to support groups and workshops for members such as its "new entrepreneur creation" group and business tuneup clinics.
This month is also graced with the opening of a new office, called The Sync. Similarly, The Sync is a coworking space started by Change Fusion a company which incubates social entrepreneurs and their altruistic businesses.
While the space will be a new home for many social entrepreneurs, it's not exclusive to these types of businesses and hopes to also attract Bangkok's tech community. The Sync is located in Bangkok's Lad Prao area and is also accessible by public transportation.
Let's hope these new places sprouting up around the city are the harbingers of change in Bangkok. While there are many other factors impeding Thailand's rise as a thriving hub for startups, the emergence of flexible coworking communities are welcome steps in the right direction.