How to Create Connection and Community in Remote Teams

Looking for effective strategies to shape up your remote team? Building a community with a strong connection can be a challenge in a remote work setup. What efforts should you administer to keep the group connected and prevent them from getting the feeling of detachment?

A recent study has proven that people need social interaction to maintain a high level of efficiency and productivity. It’s easy to focus on the tasks, but isn’t it better if your people feel fun and rewarding environment that could make them love their job even more? 

As a remote team, having each member look forward to another workday is already an awesome achievement. But how can you do that? By trying out effective ideas and hacks to build a culture of trust and connection. 

Having Coworkers is Different from being a part of a Community

If you are getting a little confused about whether or not your team has achieved the level of community, this is what you have to take note of: Having coworkers is different from being a part of a community. Coworkers only mean working the business processes together, sharing resources to complete the tasks, and earn. On the other hand, the community is all about having a strong connection with each other, having shared visions, and doing activities as a team with unity and camaraderie.

How Does a Community in a Remote Team Improve Business?

A remote team is more likely to be productive and efficient when there is a sense of community. Some of its benefits to businesses are the following:

  • Higher employee retention rate
  • Higher productivity and efficiency rate
  • Reduced conflicts in the workplace and within the team
  • Increased collaboration and innovation
  • Healthier work culture, and many more

All of these helps create a better impression and drives your business towards growth.

10 Keys to Build a Great Culture and Community in a Remote Team

The future of work setup now looks different from how we imagined it before the pandemic started. Today, at least 1 out of 5 workers is a part of the distributed workforce, but this will not hinder people from interacting with others. We always seek ways to connect, learn and grow. 

Here are the effective and top hacks for remote teams to stay connected and foster a sense of community: 

1. Communicate Honestly with Clear Expectations

Communication will always be at the top of the list for an effective remote team. One way to do this is to set a schedule for weekly team meetings. An effective virtual team meeting allows you to discuss challenges, brainstorm processes, and celebrate successes together. 

Moreover, setting clear expectations will boost productivity. Take some time to talk about the goals of your team including the specific target per task. This way, you can achieve both building a strong group connection as well making your team high-performing.

Nowadays, there’s no way for you not to connect as remote communication is now easier. As a result of the continuous development in technology, many sites and applications have emerged to keep us connected whether through chat, video calls, or emails such as Gmail, Slack, Viber, WhatsApp, Zoom, and many more. 

2. Create a Dedicated Random Channel

A non-work-related group chat would greatly help create a lighter aura within the team. It is more important than it may initially seem. Remote work can sometimes make employees feel lonely. This channel can help improve team collaboration and workflow.

Here, each individual in your group can ask questions and share thoughts, stories, and random things they want to share such as everyone’s favorites, new movie releases, pets, kids, celebrities, and many more. 

A dedicated random group chat helps create connections and community in remote teams. It can make you feel as if you are all together in the same room, eliminating the barriers of working and having conversations virtually. Just a tip, promote a positive vibe within the channel to encourage everyone to read and get along. 

3. Show Up and Smile for the Camera

Human leadership is what impacts the most during challenging times. Your presence as a leader and your effective strategies to properly manage the team are what your people need in a remote work setup. When they see how dedicated you are, it significantly influences the way they work. This is why you must show up with a positive aura and attitude towards work and colleagues. 

Weekly video calls, seeing everyone’s faces also create a different level of connection and belongingness. 

4. Facilitate Fun Engagement Activities

Take a few minutes of team break at least once a week. Use this time to have some fun games or any non-work-related activities that can hype everyone like a trivia session, quick bingo, and many more. Make use of the collaborative tools you can find online. 

There is nothing wrong with infusing a little fun into everyone’s day. Keep in mind that a team that laughs together, innovates together

To get the energy up high, reward the winners with something useful or in demand. A gift certificate in an online shopping platform for instance. Even simple prizes could go a long way. This could boost motivation and get them ready for the tasks.

5. Create a Sense of Stability

The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainties. Reassuring your people at this time is what they greatly need. However, being transparent as possible about the business performance and the future market forecasts would also be ideal. We need to face the fact that in business, it’s not always good times, but there are also downtimes, and this is what will inspire us to keep on working hard — to create a strong sense of stability. 

6. Establish Frequent Professional and Personal Check-ins

Amidst the global crisis, you must put your people first. Tap on each of your members from time to time and ask how they are doing. A simple message would also be appreciated like, “Hey, if you need anything, I’m here to help.”

Always have the ears and the heart to listen to them. There’s no other way to authentically connect with others than relating to their stories. Let them know that you are always there for them professionally and personally when they need you, even for the pettiest reason. Be there, especially when they least expect it. 

7. Eliminate Isolationism in Your Remote Team

One way to fight isolationism within your group is to build a buddy system. This could be based on their interests like books, action figures, food, and many more as that is where you can strongly bring out their best side. 

Moreover, an article in Harvard Business Review stated that 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with employees. From this, we can assume that when the roles are reversed, the rate would be higher. Make them feel that you are not the typical superior they think you are — but more of a friend to whom they can have conversations and do activities.

8. Have an Appreciation Platform

If you want to keep your people and have them enjoy an active and rewarding community, make each member feel valued by you and the other team members. Recognize their good works in front of others to encourage everyone not just to keep hustling, but to congratulate the person. This creates a happy air within the team, bringing each other closer.

9. The Cupcake Principle

Even when your people are working remotely, make sure everyone gets a piece. This is easier nowadays as many food delivery services are within your reach. This is a great idea, especially each time the business achieves a milestone. Your people did their special parts for it. Let them feel that they are a part of the success even through simple gestures. 

10. Coworking Spaces

When working remotely, there are times when we are longing to be around other people, especially our colleagues during work hours. It makes us feel an overall sense of connection in various aspects of our lives, may it be personal or professional. 

Satisfy the longingness by considering offering coworking space for your staff who need a workspace or those who want to work with others in the same place. 

Another great idea would be to get a meeting hub where you and your people can gather at least once a month to discuss the important business activities while enjoying the presence of everyone.

Communication for a Productive Team of Remote Workers

When you have a strong connection and a solid community, a remote work setup will never be a hindrance to achieve the goals of your organization. You can empower each other and unleash your team’s full potential. Try these practices to provide support and different opportunities for connection and building a community within your team, no matter where they are.

Looking for great coworking places and hubs to meet and connect with your team? Arch Serviced Offices got you covered! Get in touch with us to learn more about our coworking and meeting spaces.

Holiday Virtual Gift Ideas for Your Remote Work Colleagues

Looking for easily-available presents for this year’s holiday season can be a challenge because of the global crisis, but even this pandemic will not stop us from spreading the love! As they say, if there is a will, there is a way. And it is a fact, especially nowadays when most of the things you need are just a few clicks away. Whether you want to express your gratitude towards your colleagues for being such a great help to you or you just want to make them feel remembered, you can get something to give even when you are on a work from home set up. 

20 Virtual Gifts for Your Coworkers this Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly! Don’t stress yourself out trying to find the most ideal presents as we are here to help you. We have listed some of the great finds to choose from for your holiday virtual gifts:

1. E-Card

If you want to give your workmates something to brighten up their day but on a short budget, an appreciation letter or an e-card will do. Who said gifts should always be material? Aside from it’s safer as it is digital, you can also write your heart out, especially the kindest things you’ve been wanting to tell your colleague. Send it through email or other messaging applications. Remember that the remarkable presents are the ones that can bring out the receiver’s emotions.

2. Book

virtual gift book

For your bookworm coworker, this is the perfect gift. Take note that you don’t have to go out to buy one. There are many online book stores where you can purchase a book and have it delivered to their doorsteps. To make it more relevant by finding a book related to the current situation such as how to keep yourself motivated on a remote work set-up. Another option you got is an e-book. Simply get one and hand it as a gift through email. They will surely love it.

3. Gift Certificate

One of the popular surprises this year is the gift certificate, most especially for companies. Since people cannot just go here and there as a result of the pandemic, you can resort to digital GCs. Purchase from a trusted gift certificate site and send it to your teammate via email. What’s great about this is the endless options. It can be on a gas station, grocery store, online selling platform, restaurants, and many more. 

4. Supercards

Another awesome timely gift! Many employees are on a remote work set-up and the only way to successfully communicate and do meetings that will make you feel like you are in the same place is through video calls. However, we cannot fully eliminate the minor problems that may cause setbacks. With this, supercards can be greatly useful at this time.

5. App Subscription

Yes, it is challenging to choose which app to subscribe to, but here goes how well you know your colleagues. It can be a lot of help when you choose this type of holiday virtual gift considering that there are a lot of applications out there. A few examples are if they love movies, pick Netflix. For music lovers, Spotify would be nice. 

6. House Cleaning Service

virtual gift house cleaning service

A part of the list that would go a long way is the house cleaning service. Since the pandemic is still not over, having a tidy home could somehow make you feel better for a safer and more homey vibe that could encourage you to stay at home. Moreover, it will help eliminate the bacteria causing the virus to spread. This works simply by contacting a house cleaning service provider and set the most ideal schedule for your remote work teammate. Sometimes it’s nice to have someone do the cleaning.

7. Gift Basket

This may seem a bit cliché, but who wouldn’t love to receive a basket full of joy? Some of the well-known types of gift baskets are fruit basket, cocktail kit, and grocery basket. Check some online selling platforms and you will definitely find some ready-to-deliver gift baskets. With the wide variety to choose from, you might feel dizzy, but you can also go with something more personal such as a customized package consisting of the things you know they love.

8. Food Delivery

With all the useful apps being introduced today, especially the mobile food delivery platforms like Foodpanda, total convenience is in your hands. In just a few clicks, your cravings will be delivered right to your doorsteps. Why not do the same to your coworkers? Send them something to delight their day like a cup of coffee, a full meal, dessert, and many more. 

9. Flower Delivery

Make it a memorable day for your workmates with a flower delivery from an online flower store. This may be the sweetest and most thoughtful present they will receive this holiday season. 

10. Tech Supply

The work from home setup can sometimes be challenging, especially if you lack the materials needed. This is where you can get inspirations of what tech supply your colleagues might need, which are commonly tech accessories. You can also purchase this from online selling platforms or directly to the brand store.

11. Office Supply

Yes, you are not working in the office, but just like you, your workmates will definitely need at least one of the office supplies such as a ballpen and a notepad to take down notes if they do not want it to be digital. Buy the most used office supply and have it delivered to their home. 

12. Virtual Gym Membership

virtual gift idea virtual gym membership

Remind your teammates that this holiday season is not the time to just sit and chill. Encourage them to stay fit and start a healthy and active lifestyle to fight against the virus by giving them a virtual gym membership that they can use at home. To make it more fun, ask them to do it together through a video call. It will surely motivate them more.

13. Stress Reduction Kit

The situation nowadays can be a little stressful. Help your coworkers survive the roller-coaster of emotions with a simple stress reduction kit. This may consist of aromatherapy oil, stress balls, fidget spinners, massagers, scented candles, and many more. This can also be purchased online and have it delivered to their home. 

14. Tea or Coffee

Back to the normal times before the pandemic, going out for a tea or coffee break is one of your favorite pastimes. Even if you are on a work from home setup, you can still do it together. Send them a package of tea or coffee as your holiday gift and tap them to spend a coffee break together through a video call.

15. Virtual Health and Wellness Program 

virtual gift idea health and wellness program

This is quite a delicate time for everyone and helping your workmate maintain their well-being would be one of the perfect presents this holiday season. Get them a virtual health and wellness program that they can use at home.

16. Printed Socks

Make them feel the warmth of the holiday season with a pair of printed socks. You have the option of whether to buy a readily available design or have it customized with their favorite style and characters with the help of a printing shop, which you can also find online. 

17. Cable Organizer

At some time, your work from home colleague might find it quite annoying for the cable of their computer or mobile phone charger to keep on cluttering around the house. Help them organize it through a set of cable organizers as your holiday gift. 

18. Online Interior Design Service

Considering that we are all staying at home because of the pandemic, why not spruce up the space of your teammates by getting them an online interior design service? There are a lot of packages to choose from. To get the most of it, ask them which one is the best for them.

19. Virtual Cooking Class

For foodies, especially those who love to make their own food, sign them up for a virtual cooking class they can attend during free time. This not only helps them have a better type of meal instead of having the regular unhealthy instant food, but can also be entertainment for their pastime.

20. Coworking Membership

virtual gift idea coworking membership

If you have a remote coworker who can’t work at home, this is probably the best gift there is for them. 

Yes, this is the year of the remote work setup, but believe it or not, some do not have the luxury to work properly and peacefully at home because of the many factors affecting the way they work. Some of these are the noise and mess of the whole family and pets, especially if there are children. They do not have control over these. 

Instead of making them stay at cafes and other public places, gift your colleague a coworking membership. Fortunately, there are businesses today like Arch Serviced Offices that offer this type of service wherein your teammate will be given flexible access to workspaces and savor the most out of the office amenities and all at an affordable price with different plans to choose from.

At Arch Serviced Offices, your teammate will get to enjoy the premium access card, fast internet connection, secure storage, reliable utilities, clean and safe working space, access to conference rooms and meeting pods, complimentary refreshments, break out area, and the service of friendly onsite staff. There is nothing more they could ask for once you give them this one-of-a-kind holiday gift.

There are many other things that your remote colleague would want to get for the holidays and these are just a few on the list. And what’s awesome about this digital age of gift-giving is seeing that the internet is full of possibilities. Remember that no matter what you give, it will surely cheer them up and maintain a good rapport. 

It’s just great to think that amidst challenging times, we still find ways to bring the team together and show appreciation to each and everyone this holiday season. Get in touch today to know more about the services and get on with the purchase!

WATCH OUR VIDEO: Local Artists Create Unique Mural for Arch Offices Ayala

The Arch Offices team tracked down two Manila-based street artists, JP Pining and Maud Villanueva and invited them to work on a collaborative piece to spice up our new office space at Ayala Avenue.

The two cities, Seattle and Manila, became an instant design vision for the mural pieces as the founders are both former Seattle residents and wanted to bridge the gap between the Seattle and Manila office environments.

JP and Maud brought the perfect combination of fine art and graffiti art to the project, teaming up and successfully melding the two cities, just like their art styles, into one vibrant piece. Enjoy watching our video!

Video Credits:

Mural Artists:
JP Pining
Maud Villanueva

Marti Pascual Salva

A Video Project by ARCH Offices


Ultimate Business Guide to Makati CBD: All You Need to Know + Tips

An office space can be viewed as a validation of a company’s success and growth. In an office setting, it’s a lot easier to monitor employees and their work every day, while meetings with potential partners can also be done in the company’s own space for a personalized feel.

Office location is also essential. You want to be in an area that will benefit your business, partners, customers, and employees. You wouldn’t want to set up in a place where you know the company won’t thrive.

For a time, Makati Central Business District (CBD) was the go-to location for companies, both locally- and internationally-based. And while many other CBDs have sprung up over the years, Makati continues to prosper and is even getting regular upgrades to accommodate its ever-growing corporate population.


I. What is the Makati CBD

The Makati CBD was developed around 1960, including the construction of Ayala Avenue. The town that once contained a small airport became a cosmopolitan hub over time. Corporate buildings were constructed, and soon, different businesses opened.

Both start-ups and large companies choose to start out in this city for different reasons, but mainly because it’s a very progressive location that is open to diversity and different facets of life—not just employment—like culture, entertainment, food, retail, technology, arts, and a lot more.


Makati CBD at a Glance



In 2015, Makati recorded P14 billion in revenue, half of which came from business tax. The good news is, despite competition from other business districts, it is still able to reach the revenue target each year.

As early as October 2017, Makati already surpassed its P14.5 billion revenue target for the year, with earnings of around P15.5 billion. Business tax was again the most significant factor, with collections of up to P8.2 billion.


Many of the buildings and skyscrapers in the CBD are filled with offices. And being a prime location, it’s no surprise that companies from different industries live within these structures, ranging from telecommunications and finance to creative agencies and e-commerce.

Another industry that has enjoyed success in this city is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). As of 2015, there are 274 BPO offices in Makati. IT-readiness is cited as one of the reasons why BPOs choose to have offices in this city.

While medium-to-large companies get to enjoy their own huge workplace, small businesses, start-ups, and freelance workers also get to work in Makati thanks to the emergence of coworking space in Metro Manila.

Common businesses

According to Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO), there were 4,211 new businesses registered for 2015. Commercial and retail establishments and private companies earned an estimated Php1.1 trillion combined gross sales the same year, making Makati an excellent location for both conglomerates and start-ups.


There are more than 2,000 local and international companies that made Makati CBD their home. Some of these names include PLDT, SGV, Intel, Microsoft, Syngenta, Shell, Convergys, and Accenture.


Both local and multinational financial institutions choose to have head offices or branches in Makati CBD due to its long-running economic activity. There are around 472 banks in the city as of 2015—BDO, BPI, Security Bank, and RCBC have their headquarters here; while HSBC, Deutsche Bank, and Standard Chartered have branches.

Embassies and Consulates

Because of its expat-friendly environment and facilities, Makati houses around 80 embassies and consulates, including Indonesian, Italian, Greek, Australian, Saudi Arabian, Korean, Uruguay, and Nepalese, to name a few.

In addition, international governmental organizations and humanitarian institutions like the International Committee of the Red Cross and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund are in the city.


The expansive shopping complex of Makati CBD will cater to everyone’s needs. Located just stone’s throw away from each other, Greenbelt, Landmark, Glorietta, and SM Makati have become a lifestyle and cultural hubs for locals and visitors alike, especially with the Ayala Museum just nearby.


Makati employees work hard but party harder, and that’s why each street is brimming with restaurants and watering holes that are as awake as call center agents during their shift.


Buses, trains, jeepneys, taxis, shuttle services—there are lots of ways to reach Makati CBD via public transportation, making it very accessible to both commuters and car owners, although the roads are almost always congested especially during rush hours.

Traffic rules are strictly enforced—public transportations are only permitted to load and unload on specific areas. The district is also very walkable. People often opt to walk around to reach their destination. Makati has an extensive underground and elevated walkway structures, some of which are complete with escalators for easy access.

Important information

Fire Station: Makati’s Bureau of Fire Protection is located at the intersection of Ayala Avenue and Gil Puyat Avenue

Healthcare: Makati Medical Center is touted as one of the best healthcare facilities not just in the city. There are also a lot of clinics that accept different Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) for employees who have one.


II. What You Need to Open Your Business in Makati

Make sure to secure these documents before going to Makati City Hall for a streamlined, hassle-free application. And, as always, bring lots of patience.

  1. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Business Name Certificate; Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Articles of Partnership; or SEC Certificate of Incorporation
  2. Barangay Clearance/Permit
  3. ID and Authorization letter of owner
  4. Contract of Lease or Land Title/Tax Declaration
  5. Sketch of Location
  6. Occupancy Permit
  7. Locational Clearance
  8. Public Liability Insurance
  9. Community Tax Certificate/Cedula (available at the City Treasurer’s Office)
  10. Fire Permit (can be applied and paid to a Fire Department personnel)
  11. Sanitary Permit (will require Microbiological water analysis, Pest control, and Health certificate for all employees)

Application for Locational Clearance

Application form for Locational Clearance is available at the Zoning Division. The notarized form, along with other documents (DTI Business Name Certificate; SEC Articles of Partnership; or SEC Certificate of Incorporation, Barangay Clearance/Permit, ID and Authorization letter of the owner, Contract of Lease or Land Title/Tax Declaration, Sketch of Location, and Occupancy Permit) is required upon submission.

An officer will assess and determine if your application is for processing or inspection. A processed application means that the locational clearance will be released after three working days, while those for inspection will be released after five working days.

Application for Business Registration/Mayor’s Permit

Once you have filled out and notarized your Business Registration form, go to the BPLO and submit the form along with other requirements (DTI Business Name Certificate; SEC Articles of Partnership; or SEC Certificate of Incorporation, Barangay Clearance/Permit, Locational Clearance, Public Liability Insurance, Community Tax Certificate/Cedula).

An assessor from BPLO will process your application and assess how much is needed as a fee. Once assessed, give the application to a BPLO officer for validation.

Submit both application and assessment to the receiving section of the BPLO; the BPLO staff will then give you a receiving copy. Payment can only be made the day after BPLO turns over the application to the cashier’s office.

Once paid, go to the Releasing of Permits and hand over the paid applications and Fire and Sanitary permits. The Mayor’s/Business Permit will be given shortly after.


III. What to Consider When Looking for an Office Space

There are a lot of factors that come in when deciding what space to choose or whether to rent or own a workplace.


In 2016, office for rent in Makati can go at a rate of about P1,116 per sq m / month. While that may not sound like a lot, every centavo matters when planning out your organizational costs. Make a practical decision when paying off your office space. It should be reasonable and should not cause a dent in your company’s financial resources.

Employees’ Needs

There should be enough space to accommodate the number of employees, as well as the equipment you need inside the office. As much as possible, there should be an area available for every aspect of work (and recreation!) that employees need to do.


No corporation wants to remain stagnant or go down the drain; so, when thinking of renting or buying out a workspace, consider company growth as well. If you’re planning to hire more people, make sure that they can have an area all for themselves.

Clients’ Needs

Business partners are necessary for your company growth, and the best way to gain their trust is to accommodate them with the utmost pleasure. Have an office that is always prepped to receive guests and choose to have one on a location that is the most accessible for them. Consider other details, as well, like parking space availability and security.


IV. What are Your Office Space Options

Depending on your business, take into account these different office space options when selecting the type of workspace you’re going for.

Home Business

For start-ups with only a handful of employees, starting your company at home isn’t a crazy idea. If you already have a condo or house in Makati, the only thing you’ll need to worry about is how to organize your home to fit your office needs. Remember, though, that you still need to apply for a business permit.

Coworking Space

A better but costlier alternative to working at home is getting a coworking space. Here, you can rent out facilities like Internet connection, working areas, conference rooms, and eating areas, among others. You’d also get to share a space with other businesses renting the location, and this may help grow your network.

Virtual Office

A virtual office is an unorthodox office environment, rented through a provider to offer address services without providing actual office space. One or more businesses can rent a single virtual space. This is ideal for start-ups or medium or large enterprises that want to avoid the complexities of getting a traditional office.

Office Space Rental

Rental (or even purchase) is better for businesses that are expecting long-term returns. To save you from the hassle of setting up an internal facility management team, go for a serviced office type of space like those from Arch Serviced Offices. Their office and office building are run by its own facility management company, offering different companies their required workspace resources.


Despite many cities—in and out of Metro Manila—flourishing well to have a business district of their own, Makati is still special for many companies in the country. Those that found their footing in the city have grown and made their way to other places, while there are some that choose to remain and give back to the CBD.



Neighborhood Pins: Arch Offices’ Guide to Food, Lifestyle and Entertainment in Paseo de Roxas

Who are the people in your neighborhood? Discover the best spots where you can chill, dine and train in Paseo de Roxas, Makati City.

Read more

5 Reasons Your Business Should Rent a Coworking Space in Makati

Have you ever wondered how different your business would be like based on the type of office and location you choose to move in to?

Read more

5 Habits To Maintain A Positive Work Culture

People think cultivating a positive work culture is not at all fundamental; that as long as the employees are being paid and attaining benefits – it’s all good. However, that’s proven false.

Happiness in the workplace determines an individual’s step by step decisions with regards to their work. Individuals must find maximum joy and satisfaction in their workplace and these can only be provided by maintaining a positive work culture and here’s below are the habits that can perpetuate it:

1. Gratitude and appreciation is everything.

All good works must be recognized and appreciated. Whether it is in simple thank you tokens, small reward system or as big as a salary increase – employees must feel that their hard work and efforts are not in vain but is veritably acknowledged. Let them know that they are important to the company and that there is a certain future for them — that will surely affect their work habits and will result to an even bigger effort exerted from their end.

2. Compassion over criticism.

Whether you’re an influential team leader or an average team member, it is necessary to always put compassion above criticism. If there are mistakes and things that others can further at, voice it out in such a way that it will sound constructive and not destructive. Be generous in encouragement, in motivation and in pushing people to go beyond their limitations. Make it known to them that they can always take one step closer to success, every single day. Be sure to remind them that there will always be room for growth and advancement of their skills and abilities in the workplace, whether it is a virtual office or a physical one.

3. Always allot time to clean your workspace.

Nobody wants to work in a dirty space, in fact, it lessens an individual’s interest towards work. A clean space can invite productivity and enthusiasm in an individual as they face their day to day tasks. Cleanliness is also a sign of respect, to yourself and also to your fellow employees. Cleanliness should always be practiced especially if you’re placed in a co-working office.

4. Politeness goes a long, long way.

Whether you are working in a virtual office here in the Philippines or a physical one, politeness should always be observed. It must be within you every minute of the day, spreading it like a disease. Whether it’s in a simple ‘good morning’ or ‘please’ — it must be said and felt by your co-workers, all the time. It is proven to develop better teamwork and improve the professional and personal relationship with your colleagues as well.

5. Everyone should be aware of their worth and purpose.

People should be reminded that they play a vital role in the workplace. They should be waking up excited and motivated to fulfill their roles and attend to their purpose. Handing out tasks and responsibilities for them is never enough, these workers are not robots in which you can just tell them what to do, they are human with emotions and organizations must stir up positive emotions inside them. They must have a sense of belongingness and purpose in order for them to continue striving and achieving bigger things for the company. This said purpose will surely play an evident role in the workplace.

You see, maintaining a positive work culture is not as hard as it seems. It’s all about understanding people and having a heart full of trust, compassion and of course respect. If you are looking to start your very own corporate office you can start by looking through offices for rent. There are coworking spaces for rent here in the Philippines and office spaces for rent here in Makati which can ultimately kick-start your professional venture.

Arch’s co-sharing offices bring Seattle charm to the Filipino workplace

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Hardwood floors, lush greenery, brick walls, and furry friends are just some sights that wouldn’t be out of place in an office based in Seattle, a city known for bringing the natural vibes of its parks and forests indoors.

Arch Offices in Makati has all of that, albeit with the absence of the dogs (due to building restrictions) and some of the greenery (it was hard to maintain real plants, so fake ones are on the way).

Arch was started in November 2015 by the husband-and-wife managing team of Jamie and Carmen del Rosario Booth with the intention to lease out part of their expansive 20th-floor office space. The former Seattle residents originally took up space to house their outsourcing business, Booth and Partners, but found it to be too large for their team.

Arch Offices lockers

Lockers are installed along one side of Arch’s open floor for the personal storage of the company’s clients and employees. Photo by SONNY THAKUR

Eventually, they came up with the idea for Arch, a business that provides office and staff leasing services to interested clients who need desks to work on or a staff to work for them. The company currently has 52 employees on the staff leasing side alone, with 60 to 70 percent of the office being used by clients who pay to use its private rooms and desks.

Bridging the gap

The Booths struggled to find the creative work environment paired with the technology they required to operate their BPO. In fact, it took the Booths a year to find the right space, which they then renovated to include the infrastructure they needed to run their business.

When they found that space — the empty, “funky” one in the penthouse of the Citibank Tower — they knew that they wanted it to have a vibe similar to what they saw when they lived in Seattle. “We wanted to bridge Seattle and Manila office environments,” says Jamie. “The Arch in our brand name is a symbolism of bridging the gap — like on a bridge over a body of water.”

Located right in the heart of Makati’s Central Business District, Arch occupies an entire floor with its six private rooms, meeting room, common room, and open floor furnished with fully equipped workstations.

Heim Interiors, the design firm behind Ride Revolution and Sunnies Specs’s Glorietta store, was responsible for taking the Booths’ Seattle-inspired vision and transforming the former empty space into what it is now. All of the interiors follow the rustic color scheme of brown, green, and black, along with a red-brick finish — a deviation from the usual white, which Carmen explains is due to their desire to keep their employees motivated. “We were trying to insinuate a certain culture with our BPO,” she says. “We didn’t want the standard cubicles and white walls. We wanted something that everyone was really proud of going to work every day.”

One standout example of this is the common room, which doubles as a picturesque lounge. There are modern table and chair sets placed atop the turf grass floor, with a Flying Pigeon bicycle resting by the wall, which makes for a nice backdrop during lunch breaks.

Arch Offices Booths

Arch’s managing partners, Jamie and Carmen del Rosario Booth, with their newborn baby. Photo by SONNY THAKUR

Clean and green

Caring for their employees is definitely big on the couple’s agenda. Naturally, part of that extends to the fields of health and wellness.

Everything at Arch looks clean and shiny, with hand sanitizer dispensers placed in the common room and the reception area. Jamie and Carmen are adamant about keeping their workplace clean, as they used to work in an office building that wasn’t very concerned about sanitation. “I think it’s really important in shared offices because it’s really easy to get sick, obviously,” says Carmen. “If the space is not sanitized and one person has the flu, everyone will get the flu really quickly. So it’s really important that that’s maintained.”

With regard to body wellness, they promote healthy eating and exercise. Aside from encouraging their employees to bike to work, the couple also jokingly say that their location on the 20th floor also helps in that department. The elevator of their building only serves until the 18th floor, which means that all employees have to climb up two flights of stairs to get to work.

Right now, they’re working on a collaboration with the Salcedo-based fresh convenience store Sprout — whose owner, Erwan Heussaff, is one of their clients — to provide discounts for their employees.

Arch Offices shelves

Green is a highly favored color in Arch, from its workstation dividers to the floor of its meeting room. The company plans to fill its shelves with greenery, albeit of the artificial kind. Photo by SONNY THAKUR

Community building

It’s not all work with no play for the people at Arch. One of the advantages of being on the highest floor is that they have exclusive access to an open balcony that overlooks the Ayala Triangle and the rest of the Makati CBD. It’s where they occasionally hold after-work socials complete with beers and house music.

Carmen and Jamie stress that this is just one way for them to let loose and foster a sense of community among their employees. “We wanted to encourage collaboration among our team members as well,” says Carmen. “It’s not like, ‘Raise your hand,’ ‘I have a question for my manager.’ It’s, ‘How can we collaborate with the teammates around us to solve problems,’ etc.”

Arch Offices common room

Arch’s common room doubles as a picturesque lounge, with modern table and chair sets, and a Flying Pigeon bicycle resting by the wall. It leads to an open balcony that overlooks the Ayala Triangle and the rest of the Makati Central Business District. Photo by SONNY THAKUR

In fact, the Booths don’t have their own office rooms. Instead, they work from the open floor’s dedicated work spaces. “We like to feel like we’re also clients of the office and not feel like we’re running it, and like we’re tucked away in some office away from everybody,” says Jamie. “We want to feel like we’re part of the community that we’re trying to create.”

The Booths are constantly trying to find room for growth for both their business and their clients. They’re looking forward to expanding to their new branch that’s currently in the works at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Set to open in the third quarter of this year, it’s designed to have all the same amenities and the same flair as the original Arch — but with a few additions, including a space for standing desks and more meeting rooms to accommodate more clients.