As commercial space for renting in Kigali gets complex in terms of affordability, proprietors of buildings have come up with impressive ideas.
One can only pay for space they need to place a laptop. It means a single room can accommodate staff from various companies working in the same office at a given time.
This is the latest trend known as office co-sharing. Several companies share a single room, washrooms and utilities.
“It’s like a hotel business because everything is taken care of by someone else. You just come and find an office ready and start doing your work,” Gerard Gatete the General Manager of Regus an office co-sharing company told KT Press.
“All you need to do is hire an internet router with us and we do the rest because we know it can be difficult to set up an office when all you need is a small space. Otherwise you may exhaust yourself doing the work that’s not really your core business.”
Gatete says that Regus which has been in the country since 2013 has growing occupancy as time goes by.
“In the beginning occupancy was at16% and we’re now at 83%. By our predictions, we believe we shall reach 96% by end of this year,” Gatete said.
At The Impact Hub, another office co-sharing space, clients are offered lockable filing space is offered to members and a private meeting room where conversations and phone calls can be carried out privately.
Diogene Iradukunda, a Kigali based consultant for an international non-government organisation said he begged his supervisor to allow him work in those shared spaces.
He says it is where he feels comfortable to explore more.
“Working in such a place you have chances of meeting people that you would not have networked with. You can easily connect with co-tenants and create partnerships,” Iradukunda said.
Nimie Chaylone, Operations and Marketing Officer of Collaborate is optimistic that Rwandans are gradually embracing this.
“When we opened five months ago I never thought we would reach 50% occupancy in such short time,” she said.
Those going to The Impact Hub say it’s been a busy place and Stever Jonathan who operates this business is confident that Co-working is growing with the economy.
“As startups, small businesses and freelance professionals increase, so will the market for co-sharing. The business is dynamic, with lots of in-out,” he said.
According to a recent KT Press survey big commercial buildings in Kigali’s Central Business District (CBD) and in the suburbs, rental space price quotations range from $14 to $25 per square meter.
An average office measures about 24 square meters thus a tenant would part with between $336 and $600.
For the three co-working spaces, a client could for example spend $200 for a desk per month with free coffee and water, or a space for $4 per hour, $15 a day or $80 a week.
For others, you even have a Rwf5000 offers per day.