As one of the newest coworking spaces in town, one of the things that made us curious about GoWork is its location: It is located at the prime central business district (CBD) area of Sudirman-Thamrin, within a walking distance to Jakarta’s landmark Bunderan HI.
As far as e27 is aware of, the only other coworking space in the area is government-run Jakarta Creative Hub.
Most coworking spaces are located in either South or West Jakarta area, with some located in the high-end residential area of Cikini and Menteng.
“Some visitors were surprised to find out that there is a coworking space in this area … When we first look at locations for this coworking space, since this is our first project, we really want to make it different than other coworking space,” said Xavier Chang, one of the co-founders of GoWork.
Located in the ninth floor of a skyscraper, GoWork offers all the features usually found in most coworking spaces: Lounge, open area where members are working, and open pantry.
It also features three meeting rooms which are named based on the different stages of startup funding rounds: Series A, Series B, and Series C.
It was one day before the space’s launching event when we came to visit, and workers are busy preparing the place. Many of them were focussed on finishing a giant mural of the world’s map on the wall.
GoWork was founded by Renee Tang, Peony Tang, Donny Tandianus, Richard Lim, and Xavier Chang. Though the space had only been launched in early April, the idea has been developed since 2015.
The coworking space is looking up to WeWork as a model, where a bigger percentage of the space is dedicated to private offices, instead open office plans where walk-in user can just pick up a seat and work for a day.
The arrangement also has something to do with the Indonesian work culture, where even in the most open office plan, people still expect an element of privacy in their day-to-day activities.
GoWork currently has 18 private offices that are available in different sizes; from a two-person corner to something big enough for a team of ten.
“The ratio is 70 per cent private offices and 30 per cent coworking,” Chang explains.
The coworking space has only been opened for two weeks by the time we were there, but GoWork has managed to secure up to 40 per cent of occupation, thanks to the space’s pre-opening marketing efforts.
A room to improve
Running a coworking space in Indonesia possesses its own challenges and opportunities, and GoWork is fully aware of this.
“I think people love the idea [of coworking spaces], but are still lacking in certain components … They got modern-looking furnitures, they try to put some colours here and there, but that’s all. There is lack of attempt to build the community, and the mood of the space is just not there,” Renee Tang says.
“For such a big market like this, we thought that there is still room to improve. We have to grow together as the market. The coworking community in Jakarta is still very small, so it’s good to have more new players in,” she adds.
So how does one build a community in a coworking space?
“We kind of curate the community that is joining the coworking space … It already began from our choice of location for the space. This area attracts expats, people who businesses with corporates, startups who want to be close to VCs. And we don’t put a super cheap price point, because that’s no who we are targetting,” Tang explains.
“We want to attract entrepreneurs who have the drive to take their business to the next level,” she stresses.
GoWork itself already has plans to set up the second and third coworking spaces in the country.
“Maybe by early next year we will go to another city outside of Jakarta. We still haven’t decided where,” Tang says.