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Colony - A Coworking Space that Redefines the Working Experience

Coworking spaces have been a popular choice for working professionals for over a decade now, with the COVID-19 pandemic only serving to accelerate the growth of this space. Like many other sectors during those trying times, the coworking space industry was hit with challenges, but survived thanks to the affordability, flexibility and the novel experience these locations offer to today’s workforce. Even after the pandemic, they have continued to flourish as Malaysians who have successfully negotiated hybrid working terms with their employers continue to seek a third space where they can comfortably do work, socialise, and even spend some time on self-reflection. In fact, a 2021 report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and TalentCorp Malaysia (TalentCorp) found that 80% of Malaysian employees prefer WFH weekly, with nearly half of that number preferring to do so for at least 3 days out of the work week.

As such, as Malaysians become more dependent on these spaces, the industry has shifted, with many players striving to redefine what a coworking space offers and what it is. One company that is leading the way in this regard is Colony.

It all began with a run in the park…

In 2017, Colony Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Timothy Tiah was doing his daily run in KLCC park, when he noticed people walking to work. They were proceeding to their offices in a zombie-like fashion, holding onto various smartphones and barely noticing the flora-filled landscape surrounding them. Timothy was thus struck with the realisation that technology, in the form of devices and other amenities has changed our lives forever, making our daily routines more accessible and convenient.

However, one thing that it has been unable to change is the workplace – these people in front of him were walking to a building that still promised a daily experience that wouldn’t seem out of place in the 1990s. The same cubicles and fluorescent lighting as well as the same pantry stocked with an espresso machine awaited these individuals once they had swiped their pass key and taken the requisite elevator to the designated floor. It was this sobering thought that inspired Timothy to create Colony.

His goal in establishing Colony was simple – to create a location for professionals to do work that would simultaneously feel like a vacation at a five-star hotel; it would be a beautiful place which came with high-quality facilities and amenities, as well as a concierge that would cater to all of an individual’s pertinent needs.

The 3RD SPACE, as defined by Colony

Since that humble start, Colony has grown to four locations across the Klang Valley, each strategically placed to serve the working community. However, Timothy’s vision for his business goes beyond simply being a hub for work; he wants to make it a third space.

This is because for him, a third space means a place that is separate from the usual locations of a person’s day, but still feels like a home. He sees shopping malls or cafes as unsuitable to serve as third spaces because they don’t feel like home and a person wouldn’t spend more than a few hours at each venue. However, a coworking space could be that third place, provided that it offered its patrons features that echo what they have at home, such as a quiet place to work, plenty of food and beverage options, as well as lush furnishing to sink into while balancing a laptop on their lap.

With this idea in mind, Colony’s ultimate goal is thus to create a locale that gives people a reason to return often, one that is as comfortable as a home away from home, and even serves to complement a home. Additionally, this coworking space can also be a gathering place; instead of meeting friends or colleagues at home or a cafe, meetings or social calls can be held at Colony, as it provides not just the requisite facilities and a comfortable experience, but also great service and hospitality.

Colony’s next chapter begins at 3RD SPACE at The MET

Always on the lookout for his next location, Timothy came across The MET in 2019, and immediately noticed the proposed feature of a glass box in the building, which he instantly knew would serve as an amazing event venue. This unique feature, together with the architecture of the building and the marble flooring he saw when he visited the lobby, prompted Timothy to approach property developer Triterra for a chance to open a new Colony branch within the building.

Today, Timothy is looking forward to opening this new Colony, which he feels is his most anticipated branch yet; while all of the company’s current locations are unique, this particular Colony will be a special place for him, as it will truly be a third space. As a rule, the company focuses less on the physical aspects of a location and more on the experience of its patrons as they walk through the coworking space’s doors. As with all their branches, the actual look and feel of the place will be beautifully designed, but also feature a bit of quirkiness and character. In terms of the furniture, Colony strives to break office norms by incorporating softer furnishing such as a plush sofa and a rounded seating layout – elements which can make the standard meeting experience drastically change to one that is modern and relaxed.

Additionally, what sets Colony apart from other players in the coworking space is that each location has a different theme and concept; none of their branches look remotely like one another. As such, Timothy has grand plans for Colony at The MET, which will also have a unique interior design and a one-of-a-kind layout.

With this vision in mind, Timothy’s aspirations for Colony at The MET are clear – to build a location that not only offers a different working experience, but a third space for folks that are seeking to change up their daily routine and indulge in an environment that calls to mind a fancy staycation in the heart of Mont’ Kiara.

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