I consider the term “freelancing” an oxymoron. It doesn’t give anyone a freedom at all, not directly, especially if you don’t treat it as a business and scale it as a business. In order to win the freelancing game, you have to lose a little freedom.
I have worked as a “freelancer” for years now, and have received quite a mix of reactions every time someone reads it on my credit card. They must, to some extent, understand that “freelancing” doesn’t necessarily mean “free”. You have schedules you strictly follow, deadlines you dread, and expenses you have to settle.
One of those expenses is workplace. While it is true you can work at the comfort of your home, at a certain point you also lose your humanity. You need human contact. Social interaction. More importantly, your productivity is dwindling, whether you notice it or not.
Frustrated then that I was, in essence, running my own freelance business but having no workplace or office to speak of, I turned to the cheapest and most logical solution: Becoming a coffee shop nomad.
For weeks on end I’ve scoured coffee shops aplenty and found the best spots to work, distinguished the ideal one—it should high-speed internet, plenty of outlets, and, of course, supreme coffee—and decided that the very best coffee shop still wouldn’t fit my needs. I needed a proper workplace. An office.
Of course, having no extra money to shell out, I couldn’t get one. This is when I got introduced to the concept of co-working spaces, offices for-rent that you could use for a whole day at a small premium. I tried one in Makati, and up until the point that I got beckoned by the arms of an amazing site called Typist, I got hooked.
If you’re looking for the best co-working spaces in Manila, here’s where you should turn your attention.
Best bang-for-buck co-working space
You can drop by the Bitspace office anytime, pay for the time you’ll work while on the space (rates start at 250/day) and enjoy a chill workplace free from the clamor of pesky loud-talkers in coffee shops.
Coziest co-working space
O2 Space Manila
O2 Space is a personal favorite. I’ve worked in this gorgeous-looking office a few times before, and every single time, I get smitten by the gigantic bricked window. There’s enough sunlight coming through to get your creative juices flowing. And speaking of flowing, there’s free-flowing coffee. There’s also a host of friendly employees who will help you with anything you need. It’s an awesome, awesome space to work in.
Most feature-rich co-working space
ACCELER8 is by far the most feature-rich co-working plan I’ve encountered. There are shared workspaces, lockers, phone booths, office facilities, and other tools that you’ll need to bust your ass into work.
Best co-working spaces for creatives
If you happen to be a creative like myself, you’ll love ASPACE as much as I do. The space is cozy, well-lit, and is populated by people as creative and passionate as you. My favorite part? The free-flowing liquid and the frequent events that go on in their in-house events space.
Best co-working spaces for students
47 East makes a perfect spot for students and freelancers. Granted, it’s located far from the hectic haze of Makati and BGC, but it also offers a host of features that makes it convenient for Iskos and Iskas. For one, it’s cheap. Also, it has its own suite should you decide to burn the midnight oil and take on additional work.
Best co-working spaces to meet new people
Co.lab is centered on building communities, and so far, they’ve been successful. There is always an event you can attend once you’re done with the day’s work.
Best co-working spaces for startups/solopreneurs
Regus is, no question, the best co-working solution for startups and solopreneurs. They have a great selection of workspaces to choose from, and a wide selection of customizable plans and packages.
Best co-working space overall
With a plethora of workspaces to choose from, I say it’s the best co-working solution for any online professional. It’s cozy, it’s creative, and it’s backed by a great community who will eventually become part of your network. If you have the money, go jump in on this one.