Over the last decade, coworking spaces have ballooned in popularity across the African continent. As the COVID-19 spread, this accelerated a dynamic increase in flexible working and the use of shared offices.
“Each year, the coworking movement in Cape Town steadily gains momentum with no sign of slowing,” says Louis Fourie, Founder of Venture Workspace.
A pioneer in the local coworking community, Venture Workspace operates three innovative spaces dotted throughout the city’s highly sought-after neighborhoods of Constantia, Claremont, and Somerset West.
“Cape Town is brimming with entrepreneurs, innovators, creatives, movers and shakers,” Fourie adds. “The coworking scene has become a lifeline for remote workers both locally and those visiting from abroad.”
But what is it exactly that sets Cape Town’s coworking scene apart from the rest of the continent and the world? As our local insider, Fourie offered a few factors that give the city a certain edge.
It’s all about the ‘vibe’
With shimmering beaches, culture, mountains, wine, and bright lights, the stylish city of Cape Town has everything and more.
“Coworking here is very much an extension of that laidback Capetonian lifestyle,” Fourie explains. “The professionals you’ll bump elbows with are eclectic and adventurous, filling each space with innovative ideas and an infectious energy.”
Do a little digging and you’ll quickly discover a range of coworking options throughout the city. Each space varies in its offerings, but generally provides an integrated environment conducive to productivity, and of course, a bit of mingling and some lekker (great) coffee.
“There’s no two ways about it. Coworking spaces in Cape Town are just simply very cool,” Fourie adds. “At Venture Workspace, we’ve worked hard to strike the right balance between functionality and fun, ensuring our members can get down to business but still feel part of a community.”
With this in mind, South Africa’s beloved ‘Mother City’ has become a mecca for the ultimate work-life balance. Just imagine it: hitting the grind for a few hours after a gym or yoga session. Striking up a conversation with a potential client in the coworking kitchen. Rallying the team for a catch-up meeting, just before heading to your favorite sundowner spot (complete with views over Table Mountain).
All the bells and whistles
With bright, fresh, and relaxed interiors, Cape Town coworking spaces are a welcome respite for working professionals at the tip of Africa, worlds away from strict dress codes and eight-to-five shifts.
The sign-up packages are also varied and bespoke, hitting the sweet spot for freelancers who come and go, small to medium-sized businesses, and visitors dropping in from abroad.
“One of the selling points for our members is that they only pay for the time and space they need instead of being locked into a long-term lease. We have hot desks, assigned desks, private offices, and meeting rooms,” Fourie says.
“Through our Venture Workspace expansion, we also carefully considered trendy suburban areas instead of the CBD. That way, our members can feel closer to home, international visitors can experience a new area, and no one has to deal with traffic congestion,” he adds.
In terms of amenities, all the crucial elements are available across Cape Town’s coworking spaces: fast and reliable connectivity, air quality (air-con), comfortable desks, relaxation areas, communal kitchens, printers, scanners and on-site support teams. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“In our case, we even have backup generators when the electricity cuts out,” Fourie notes. “Overall, Cape Town coworking spaces are just as well-equipped as those in global cities like London or New York. Each space differs, but generally, you have complete freedom to choose how you want to work.”
The spirit of Ubuntu in business
With more coworking spaces cropping up across the continent, the African coworking ecosystem has created a valuable network for global community-building.
“Coworking provides the space and value system upon which local entrepreneurial communities can develop, not just in Cape Town, but all across Africa,” says Fourie.
But thinking of South Africa in particular, what seems to make this coworking destination stand in a league of its own is the overarching spirit of Ubuntu, a local Nguni Bantu term meaning ‘humanity.’
“Ubuntu is a core value we as South Africans, and Africans, have ingrained in our collective DNA. It’s about fostering togetherness and genuinely caring for one another,” he adds. “It’s hard to explain, but it’s as though this feeling naturally flows through Cape Town’s coworking spaces. You really have to be here to experience it for yourself.”
With the world craving connection, and the desire to explore the world reignited, it seems there’s no better place to go this year than Cape Town, South Africa — passport and laptop firmly in hand.
Ready to find your ‘space’ in Cape Town? Get in touch with the Venture coworking team here to find out more.