Growing Coworking Spaces in Tokyo Amid Pandemic

Thanks to the Internet and various social media, we are no longer bound by the limitations of having to work at the office; we can work at home, in a café, or practically anywhere.

But on the other hand, working from home can be lonely; and at restaurants or cafes it is usually difficult to obtain connections to a power source and high-speed Internet access. To overcome these problems, recently in Tokyo places called “coworking spaces” have been springing up.

Most of their users are sophisticated professionals, such as freelance web designers, programmers, illustrators and also independent consultants. Many other users are like social entrepreneurs who tend to work in an unconventional style.

The aim of these new spaces is mainly to provide a quiet and relaxing space with power sources and Internet environment and give users a chance to chat with one another for a change of pace. In addition they also have an intention to offer a venue where people who aspire to work independently can exchange information or ideas for new production concepts or possible collaborations on joint projects.

In principle they adopt a large open work area, which makes them different from the previous type of small rental offices. It is common for them to offer conference rooms and event areas. These photos were shot at a facility in Tokyo's Shibuya district called PoRTAL.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the movement to work from home has accelerated. Even as people are able to work from anywhere with an internet connection and a computer, the demand for these communal working spaces is likely to increase. This is because working from home inevitably results in a lack of communication with real people.

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