Words By Rithy Odom

Srey Sonarita, a 33-year-old young architect and interior designer, now deals with clients like MadMonkey, Urban Hub, Intercontinental hotel, CAMED Business School, residences and resorts, after setting up an office with Workspace 1 since June 2018.

After working in the field for 8 years, and as her reputation grows, especially with stronger competitions and more big clients piling up at her doorstep, Sonarita understood the importance of setting up an office to build firm trust with potential customers while keeping the cost down during early operation stage.

That is when she decided to start Core-Elements, an interior design and architect company. Sonarita decided to set up her operation at Workspace 1 which she believes has something special other venues don’t have. The space offers an environment that she describes as the opposite of “inside the box”.

To her Workspace 1 is something between an indoor office and a community park where she can focus on her job and at the same time open her door to different people occupying the space, build up network and even help to match her friends with potential employers.

She said, “I feel very inspired to work here because of the unique architecture, openness of the space and the diversity of people working here.”

So, what exactly is this Workspace 1?

This co-working ‘community’ strives to create a work-life balance home-away-from-home for professionals, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and freelancers in Phnom Penh to bond and cooperate so to develop, learn and grow together beyond a simply shared office.

The roomy co-working space is designed with overhead opening, members can choose from a variety of hot seats and fixed seats or even an air conditioned, well furnished rooms. People can freely grab cups of free coffee, move about to mingle with other occupants and feel the inspiration of the unique design of the space.

Its facility occupies a large chunk of the Factory’s campus. To create the friendly and productive working space it strives to achieve, Workspace 1 even hold monthly breakfast and additional weekly lunch to create more opportunities for its growing community to build more network and exchange ideas.

For Sonarita, Workspace 1 serves just this purpose. The community of innovative minds has allowed her to be connected to new people, who has large networks and eventually lead her to her potential clients. Since setting up her office here, Sonarita has achieved her goal of building confidence with her existing businesses and connecting to new ones.

Workspace 1’s large facility also enables the space to provide bikes for occupants to get around the campus easier, and even has its own café. Regular visitors would be acquainted to the many events this lively space

holds every month, if not weekly ranging from Nerd Nights, Business Innovation Expo, Education Convention and countless art displays both by local and foreign artists.

Sen Keomony, a recent graduate in business and a former intern with Workspace 1 was very pleased with the experience, network and inspiration that she has obtained during her time there that she decided to apply for a post as an event coordinator.

When asked how she would describe the community in three words, Keomony said, “Inspired, diverse, and friendly.”

She believes that the space embraces differences and channel that to its members’ advantage. “This is a space where you can be yourself. We define our community based on individuality.”

For those curious about Workspace 1’s rates, co-working seats begin at $45 per month (part-time) for hot desks, slightly more for dedicated desk and goes up to $450 for private office. For those who want to try it out before deciding, the space is currently handing out a one-week pass for its co- working desks.

There is also special rate for day-pass option for regular workers and students. Available amenities and features also include meeting rooms, 24/7 access, a spacious relaxation area, and recreational spaces in additional to the aforementioned facilities and activities.

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