9 floors of Dutch design, the ins and outs of Ukraine’s largest coworking Spaces
Coworking Spaces was opened in August in Kyiv’s Maidan Plaza, former House of Trade Unions. It sits on the total area of 6,102 square meters spread across 9 floors.
In November all rooms were commissioned and officially opened. Now it is Ukraine’s largest coworking in terms of area and potential capacity.
It was not made by novices. Spaces is a Dutch brand, one of the divisions of IWG Corporation, the world’s largest office real estate operator. In Ukraine, the company previously worked only under the Regus brand with locations across 8 business centers in Kyiv.
Spaces’ spaces are bigger and more affordable. The company puts emphasis not only on attracting large residents but startups as well. Journalist of AIN.UA explains how the first Ukrainian Spaces is organized from within and what you need to know about it.
Organization of space and pricing policy
Kyiv’s Spaces features floor-by-floor zoning.
- The first floor is reserved for general use. There is an area for residents without a fixed workplace, the so-called hot desks. In addition, everyone who pays for offices can relax or work here. There is also a reception, cafes, meeting rooms and Skype-rooms, and a closed coworking.
- The second floor houses a capacious event hall that can accommodate 100 people, meeting rooms (for 10 to 40 people), and only a handful of offices.
- The third floor and above are completely occupied by team offices.
- The eighth and ninth floors are entirely available for rent for one customer. The eighth floor already has a resident – a large IT company, whose names have not yet been disclosed. The ninth floor at the time of writing of this article was vacant.
In total, by early December, the occupancy rate at Kyiv’s Spaces was 40%. The company plans to bring the figure to 100% within one year. According to estimates of the company’s representatives, full occupancy of each of the office floors will be about 100-120 workplaces.
- The price of the offices starts at $700 + VAT. Further rates vary greatly. The price already includes furniture, utility bills, Internet, telephony, daily cleaning.
- There are many offices, as well as planning options: most are designed for teams with 3 to 40 people. The fee is based on the area, not the number of employees.
- If a client is ready to sign a contract for a long period, discounts are possible. If a long-term contract is terminated prematurely, a penalty must be paid.
But permanent residents with their offices are not the only visitors. Below are other ways to work in Spaces:
- Flexible visits. You can work in Spaces for a few days without long-term commitments. You will have to pay $19 + VAT for a day, and $86 + VAT for a working week.
- Business club. It is a member’s card that gives access to all IWG spaces all over the globe: over 3,500 locations across 120 countries. However, you can use it to work only in hot desk mode from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., in other words, you won’t have a fixed workplace. You can buy this card in the Ukrainian Spaces starting $89 + VAT. Residents of offices and coworking get it for free as a bonus.
- Fixed workplace. Spaces has two closed coworking areas. It is an intermediate option between a hot desk and a standard office. There a client is given a separate workplace and a locker, 24/7 access, the ability to register the legal address of the company in Spaces. The cost of this option is $369 + VAT per month.
You need to pay separately to use a meeting room (there are options that can accommodate 6 to 40 people). Price: starting at $27 + VAT per hour.
Anyone can book a meeting room, but Spaces residents can get a small discount. To do this, make a reservation through a proprietary mobile application.
Although, as one of the residents shared in a comment to AIN.UA, the process is not fully automated. If you book later than 6 PM and on weekends, you need to receive confirmation at the reception. If you are busy the entire day attending meetings, it’s not always convenient.
The look of Spaces coworking
Spaces has universal visual standards around the world: light colors, simple furniture, plenty of space and details.
The design of the Kyiv location was approved by the parent company from the Netherlands, furniture was also brought from abroad. Inside there is a lot of free space, greenery, and light wood. And also books in English and Russian, which were selected by the Ukrainian team.
Due to the peculiarities of the architecture of the building, the Spaces on the first and second floors are particularly spacious: the ceiling height exceeds 3 meters, and the ventilation is not covered by decorative panels.
Offices above do not boast that much space – the ceilings are much lower. There are other features that the building dictates. Offices overlooking Independence Maidan and the Central Post Office building are more expensive. Those on the other side face the courtyard and the construction site.
The offices are separated by frosted glass partitions and wide corridors. Each floor has its own small kitchen, print area, and toilets.
In the offices they rent, residents can make minor changes, install new equipment or, for example, attach their logos to walls. To help teams in Spaces there is a dedicated manager, he helps with maintenance and organizational issues.
According to Yulia Litvinenko, head of Spaces and Regus in Ukraine, brands have different positioning. They differ visually and exude different vibe:
Regus is a more enterprise business and shapes a more business style. Spaces also attracts large corporations, but it is especially effective for startup companies that feel freedom to act because they have the opportunity to choose the format of work: a plethora of Skype rooms, sofas, armchairs of various shapes and windows that offer different views, areas for negotiations and meetings.
She also says that Spaces puts a big emphasis on community and communication between residents. In the future, weekly Friday events will be launched for that purpose: traditional happy hours with wine and networking or speeches by inspiring speakers.
Spaces also hopes that their customers will exchange contacts with each other and create new projects together.
Details and prospects of Spaces project
So far, Spaces is working on filling the space. But there remains work on the amenities. Thus, in 2020, the team plans to open the roof for free visiting, as well as make a terrace on the 5th floor.
In addition, Kyiv Spaces collaborates with U-Cycle, the Kyiv Cyclists Association. Coworking is certified by the Bike Friendly Company program and is marked on the pam of bike-friendly locations. There is a bicycle parking, and in the summer they will open a shower, put a washing machine and a dryer.
This will help residents who travel by bike. The parking for cars is already working: there are 13 spaces, a permanent rental will cost $350 + VAT per month.
Yulia Litvinenko says that the company plans to launch other Spaces locations in Kyiv and other cities. They are on the lookout for technically equipped buildings, in which the residents will feel comfortable.