COLABs is Pakistan’s largest collaborative workspace. Located in the heart of Gulberg III, it is home to entrepreneurs and well established businesses, providing shared office space, meeting rooms, hot desks and private offices.
NAVEEN doesn’t have a base in Lahore and so COLABs was my saving grace. I needed a place I could work while bouncing around different family members’ homes. COLABS has all the facilities you need under one roof and that flexibility meant I could work to the best of my ability despite a slightly chaotic daily schedule.
COLABS provides a perfect eco-system for start-up ventures to grow; it is a space where people can come together effortlessly in an intellectually curious and hardworking community.
Having spent 10 days there, at the cost of 20,000 PKR (£100), here are the 10 reasons to join COLABS.
1. Attentive Staff
The staff were so thoughtful, they listened conscientiously, and made my life easier every day; even when I made last minute requests for printing. The receptionist would always check that I had what I needed before I left. Small details like this make a huge difference to the experience.
The staff were also always two steps ahead of me in my pre-caffeine state. You could tell they have an intuitive understanding of how their clients work.
2. Professional service
When I work in Pakistan I often get annoyed by questionable customer service, or frustrated if I am treated as a fool because I am a foreigner. At COLABS, the team are respectful to everyone equally, it created such a lovely atmosphere. Some days I needed to get to my desk for 7am, and security let me in 2 hours before opening. Part of receiving top quality service is being receptive to customers' circumstances.
3. Variation in co-working spaces
COLABS provides a variety of stylish and purposeful co-working spaces. Whatever fits your personality, budget and mood is available. I can work independently and collaboratively.
High end, classic, modern, inclusive, minimal. They have it all.
4. Meeting room availability
I try to avoid meeting new faces in the hustle and bustle of a coffee house or restaurant and COLABS always had a room available.
Each meeting room is stylish, clean, and has all the tech facilities necessary to impress. They clearly understand that the old adage ‘dress to impress’ extends to the decor.
5. High-speed internet access
Who doesn’t love high-speed internet access? Pakistan has an electricity shortage meaning you have no access to internet for a couple of hours a day. In some parts of cities internet access is dwindling. If the internet is your primary tool then the situation is problematic. Not so at COLABS.
6. Uninterrupted electricity provided
If you haven’t been to Pakistan then you may not know we have an electricity shortage. Many businesses and homes use a generator to cover gaps in grid supply. For those who work too hard to get a full days use out of one charge this can be enormously frustrating. Sometimes sudden power outages can cause technical problems and work gets lost, I weep when I lose work like that, it is so frustrating.
No longer a concern at COLABS. They’ve got me covered.
7. Meeting like-minded and intelligent individuals
To say I’m elated is an understatement. I met people who gave me great professional advice and connected me with others who were only a few seats away. Shout out to Propergaanda and GramIt.
Travelling around Pakistan independently always leaves my parents and family members concerned. When I showed them where I was working they were immediately worry-free. Security at the gate meant that I could come to COLABS in the early hours and leave in the late evening.
9. Centrally located
Co-working spaces are popping up all around Lahore. COLABS outshines its competitors because it is centrally located. In the heart of Gulberg III, a stone throw away from day’s filming location and my favourite lunch spot.
10. You want to return
High praise - right! A business wants to see its customers return. I can’t wait to be back in the building sitting alongside familiar faces. A place full of good memories, moments of success and growth.