theDesk: FOSTERING A COLLABORATIVE WORK CULTURE

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One factor has immensely contributed to the growth of startup culture in the Asia Pacific: Co-working spaces. And if we really want to comprehend how it has helped the young engineers and business graduates to break into entrepreneurship, we have to look back at its humble beginnings, a decade ago.

Co-working culture started in the early 2000s at a time when people were looking for a space where they can utilize resources and basic infrastructure that working from home could not provide. Soon it became a space where people came in to collaborate, exchange, and generate ideas. As their ideas came into fruition and their businesses grew, the novel concept of co-working spiked into popularity. And today, people see co-working space as a place that can contribute much to the growth of their business.

theDesk, a co-working space service provider in Hong Kong, is one such company that is at the forefront of providing the best-in-class co-working space for businesses. theDesk started out its journey in May 2016, as Thomas Hui and Adrian Yap, the co-founders of theDesk, saw a potential market growth of the sharing economy. With the goal of addressing the rising need for flexible office plans and spaces, Thomas Hui and Adrian Yap embarked on the journey to build a flexible co-working space that could increase the positive effects of a workplace while diminishing the adverse effects of working in an office space, home office or public space. Today, the co-founders have succeeded in their business endeavor as their company has become the catalyst for bringing people together and creating an inclusive community.

Not Afraid to Challenge the Status-Quo

Unlike the other co-working service providers that hire real-estate agents in exchange for recommending new members, theDesk has hired an exceptional team that is driven by professional values and ethics—those who have a fresh perceptive and take on how to manage space and people. “Not tied to an old guard, the Desk team can be bold and adventurous in our methods. Nonetheless, we hire in the Desk’s image—smart, commercially-savvy and relationship-driven people who have since helped broker strategic relationships,” says Thomas Hui, CEO  & Co-founder, theDesk.

While playing an integral role in improving the productivity and fostering collaboration for neighboring businesses, the company has taken the initiative to create a robust content platform named the news Desk magazine, which enables its community members to share stories, events updates, and motivate others to stay, focused on their respective journeys. It has helped its community members to improve brand exposure, leads, and most importantly benefit members and community at large.

The company’s commitment to its community members and neighboring businesses has helped them to grow exponentially within a year of operations.  Today, theDesk  has become the first company to lock in collaboration with an institutional property development group (Hysan Development) to secure with two other sites in one of Asia’s most prime districts—Causeway Bay. “In a span of 1.5 years, we have expanded to three sites — with theDesk One Hysan Avenue opening in December 2017 and theDesk Leighton Centre in March 2018,” affirms Adrian Yap, CIO & Co-founder, theDesk.

Community Members at the Heart of Business

Breaking the paradigms of conventional co-working space designs such as colorful hip designs and ping pong tables, theDesk has created a minimalistic interior design that provides a productive and conductive space to do their best work. This has not just attracted the young entrepreneurs and freelancers but also seasoned entrepreneurs who look forward to building valuable relationships in businesses.

theDesk gives prime importance to providing flexible options for its community members. From having the possibilities to share thedesk’s high-speed and secure WI-FI to installing their own private WI-FI depending upon their business needs, theDesk offers a host of options to optimize co-working space. “We currently have varied companies, which require different magnitudes of IT usage such as production houses, design firms, cryptocurrency strategic firms and many more,” adds Hui.

Determined to work for the benefit of the community, the team at Desk takes time to understand every individual working in its space and ensures it offers all the support required for enhancing productivity and improving social connections. Also, the company hosts regular community activities—be it lifestyle or business related—for the benefit of the business community.

Today, the company prides itself on its exceptional team that takes ownership of their roles and responsibilities. “We hire people with years of experience and smart thinkers of diverse professional background. Several have accumulated practical experiences beyond Hong Kong. We are lucky to have a team where everyone is very community-focus and people-orientated,” explains Yap.  By hiring the right people and ensuring its members are happy with the company’s philosophy and direction, theDesk has built a virtual space and arena which is a complement to human interaction.

The coming years will be no different. The company going forward is working on an innovative growth model with the objective to expand faster and create a more connected community, with the inclusion of integrating advanced communication technology to bring the community closer together. “We are already in talks with various partners for further expansion across Hong Kong, as well as regional expansion into the China and South East Asia in a year or two,” tells Hui. Moreover, the company is investing a lot of time in the research and strategic planning on how to expand on other avenues of a sharing economy beyond the physical space.

QUOTES

“theDesk has hired an exceptional team that is driven by professional values and ethics—those who have a fresh perceptive and take on how to manage space and people”

“theDesk commitment to its community members and neighboring businesses has helped them to grow exponentially within a year of operations”

“theDesk  is working on an innovative growth model with the objective to expand faster and create a more connected community”

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