WORQ partners Pelaburan Hartanah to reach 100% occupancy at Menara 1 Sentrum

  • Attracting co-working spaces a key metric for overall building success
  • All of WORQ’s Klang Valley locations are located at train stops

(L2R): Christophe Vicic, JLL Malaysia Chief Growth Officer;  Stephanie Ping, founder and CEO, WORQ; Mohamad Damshal Awang Damit, PHB Group Managing Director; Andrew Yeow, founder and CFO, WORQ and Ian Charlesworth, Transition Manager, Datacom Systems.

[Correction: An earlier version of the caption mistakenly identifed Christophe Vicic, left, as Sameer Saigal.]

WORQ, a leading coworking space provider, expanded the footprint of its largest coworking space at Menara 1 Sentrum in KL Sentral, the Klang Valley’s main transit hub, by taking up space on a third floor of the building, having already seen consistent full occupancy on its two existing levels. WORQ launched at Menara 1 Sentrum a year ago taking up the entire 17,000 sq ft on Level 20 and 21 while taking up 7,200sf on Level 28.

[Ed: Para updated with information on exact floor space taken up by WORQ.]

The expansion was done via a strategic partnership with Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd (PHB) and marked the successful 100% occupancy for the entire building.

According to JLL, a global real estate services firm, 2.5% of Grade A office space in the Asia Pacific region is now occupied by flexible space operators. Yulia Nikulicheva, Head of Research and Consultancy of JLL said, “This is due to stronger economic headwinds and evolving market dynamics, as more Asia Pacific occupiers have adopted hybrid work models and flexible spaces into their real estate portfolios. The pandemic has accelerated the trend for companies to offer greater flexibility to their employees, including hybrid work styles that are now getting popular with larger corporations who are viewing coworking spaces as an effective solution towards this goal.”


Landlord partnerships with best-in-class coworking space, key to capture flex demand

As of 4Q 2023, the total existing flexible space stock in Kuala Lumpur is approximately 1.3 million sq ft, translating into 2.2% of total Grade A office space and 1.1% of total office space.

WORQ's ambitious plans include expanding to 450,000 sq ft by 2025 and 1 million sq ft by 2028. "The latest expansion at Level 28, Menara 1 Sentrum is part of our continued plans to expand WORQ locations at transit hubs and train stations,” said Stephanie Ping, CEO, and co-founder of WORQ. “We are aiming to elevate the commuter’s experience by linking up Klang Valley’s transit systems with a series of flexible offices. This infrastructure will prepare our population for a hybrid work future that has become the norm in many developed nations,” she added, emphasizing that WORQ’s goal is to develop a local culture of public transport usage, similar to that in Japan and Singapore.

In line with its vision, WORQ will continue to develop its cloud office infrastructure to provide seamless flexibility for companies to scale their operations without costly financial commitments. This will enable local and foreign companies to easily set up and hire Malaysian talent across multiple locations.

PHB Group Managing Director and CEO, Mohamad Damshal Awang Damit, highlighted the demand for coworking spaces in Malaysia. Expressing confidence in this trend, he said, "PHB aims to incorporate more coworking spaces in our properties across Malaysia, following the success stories of our buildings, like Menara 1 Sentrum, in partnership with WORQ." Highlighting the success of coworking spaces in attracting tenants, Damshal sees it as a key metric for overall building success.

He emphasized the significant role PHB plays in meeting the growing demand for green buildings, noting that sharing space in a LEED Silver-certified building like Menara 1 Sentrum contributes to environmental sustainability.


Enterprises and MNCs incorporating flexible spaces into their real estate portfolios

According to WORQ, coworking spaces continue to offer an ideal solution for businesses exploring new ventures or setting up project teams for new products or regions, providing a collaborative environment without the need for long-term commitments.

This is clearly shown by WORQ’s customer base expanding from primarily startups in its early days to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and now to large corporations. Today, 70% of WORQ customers are enterprise clients and multinational corporations (MNCs), as more international firms set up their operations in Malaysia.

The growing demand is also apparent based on stronger pre-bookings, especially from these international companies, as WORQ’s metric to achieve full occupancy for their new locations has improved drastically to just two months after launch, compared to industry average of 12 months. Two global companies such as Datacom Systems (Asia) Sdn Bhd, a New Zealand based IT services company and WithSecure Sdn Bhd, a Helsinki based IT security company, pre-selected WORQ as their office space provider in Menara 1 Sentrum, to meet their evolving office needs.

“At WithSecure, we prioritize the well-being of our employees. Our strategic decision to relocate to a well-maintained building at Menara 1 Sentrum, combined with efficient space planning offered by WORQ, has not only created a more comfortable work environment but also significantly reduced transit time, leading to enhanced productivity. We're pleased to have chosen WORQ as our office space provider. Their ability to tailor the space to our specific needs has greatly simplified our transition and setup process,” shared Sameer Saigal, Director of CIO office of WithSecure Sdn Bhd.

Ian Charlesworth, Transition Manager of Datacom Systems (Asia) Sdn Bhd said, “As an existing member of WORQ, Datacom continues to place its trust in WORQ's ability to accommodate our requirements for expansion. This confidence has been a pivotal factor in our decision to expand our premises to Menara 1 Sentrum. This decision aligns with our expanding operational needs and our commitment to environmental responsibility. The new location offers advanced facilities that support our team's productivity and collaboration, which are essential for our continued growth and innovation in the industry.”

WORQ’s collaboration with PHB underscores the landlord’s commitment to adapting workspaces to meet evolving market demands and to increase tenant satisfaction. A survey conducted with tenants revealed a significant increase in overall satisfaction from 71% in 2021 to an impressive 92% in 2023 following the opening of WORQ into Menara 1 Sentrum. WORQ claims that this substantial increase serves as a testament to the tangible benefits coworking spaces offer, proving advantageous not only for landlords but also for its traditional tenants.


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