WORQ partners PHB to reach 100% occupancy at Menara 1 Sentrum and to develop the transit hub for Klang Valley

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 JANUARY 2024 – WORQ, a leading coworking space provider, proudly announces the expansion of its largest coworking space to date at Menara 1 Sentrum. This was marked with the grand opening of Level 28 at its landmark site, which is situated at Klang Valley’s main transit hub, KL Sentral. Launched a year ago, the outlet has already seen consistent full occupancy on the two existing levels. The expansion of this outlet is a strategic partnership with Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad (PHB) which marks a significant achievement of securing 100% occupancy for the entire building. This KL Sentral outlet acts as the hub for connecting WORQ’s growing office space infrastructure throughout Klang Valley.

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 stated, “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 1,000,000 sq ft by 2028. Stephanie Ping, CEO, and co-founder of WORQ, stated, "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. 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. With the latest Employment Act 1955 incorporating flexible working arrangements, workers can enhance their productivity by choosing where and when to work. Our goal is to develop a local culture of public transport usage, similar to what we have seen in Japan and Singapore.”

In line with their 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 talents across multiple locations, bringing job opportunities to local communities.

Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad (PHB) Group Managing Director and CEO, Mohamad Damshal Awang Damit, highlighted the surging demand for coworking spaces in Malaysia. Expressing confidence in this trend, he stated, "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, he sees it as a key metric for overall building success. He further emphasized the significant role PHB plays in meeting the growing demand for green buildings and acknowledged the tenants' commitment to ESG, noting that sharing space in a LEED Silver-certified building like Menara 1 Sentrum not only contributed to environmental sustainability but also fostered a more dynamic on-site community.

Enterprises and MNCs incorporating Flexible Spaces into Their Real Estate portfolios
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 targets 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 continued “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 revolutionizing workspaces to meet evolving market demands and to increase their tenants’ satisfaction. A survey conducted with building tenants revealed a significant increase in overall satisfaction from 71% in 2021 to an impressive 92% in 2023 following the integration of WORQ into Menara 1 Sentrum. 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. With an emphasis on building vibrant communities and promoting sustainable practices including financial resiliency, WORQ remains at the forefront of shaping the future of flexible workspaces.

Posted January  26, 2024 In Media Release 2024

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