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

 

Revenue

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.

Offices

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.

Corporations

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.

Banks

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.

Shopping

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.

Nightlife

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.

Transit

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.

Budget

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.

Expansion

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.

 

 

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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.

3 Ways On How Workplace Environments Affect Productivity

A workplace environment is not something you just can ignore. No. In fact, it plays such a big factor when choosing an effective place for work.

Your workplace environment must veritably be a sanctuary for focus and concentration. Whether it’s a virtual office or a coworking space in the Philippines – it must be a domicile for dynamic learning and prolific work. There are office spaces for rent in the Philippines as well as office spaces for rent in Makati that can serve as sound spaces for productivity and efficiency.

Here are some of the ways in which you can make your space a friendly, rewarding and fruitful environment for work, work, work!

1. Know the significance of privacy

At times, brainstorming and open plan spaces are beneficial especially for growth and constructive criticisms, for the continuous flow of ideas and concepts – yes. But ultimately, every single employee is entitled to their work privacy. Employees, when overheard or interrupted can result in a less productive work. They all need time on their own, time to hear no one else but themselves and their creative juices. They all need a certain space where they can breathe, relax and not feel pressured to talk or voice out there opinions and ideas. Whether it is a virtual office in the Philippines or an office for rent – privacy provides productivity. Employees need a place where they are definitely alone and can think to themselves. That interestingly adds productivity and positive work attitude.

2. Realize that loud music and an even louder chitchats equal to distraction

A noisy environment can never qualify as a sound workspace. You will never be able to concentrate and focus on whatever you have to do, on your responsibilities if there are constant noises surrounding you. You cannot dedicate your full mind in your presentation if your colleague’s gossip is louder than your thinking, or if that party song keeps playing at the third row. Yes, millennials have grown up in such high sensory environments, they can multitask but still, they are not immune to loud distractions. There is a study in cognitive control that furthermore suggests that habitual multitaskers find it harder to gain their focus back after being distracted or interrupted. So, a workspace must be an environment that doesn’t curate distractions and interruptions toward focused employees. It must be a place where they can freely finish their to-do lists and attend to their workload in a quiet and serene space.

3. Allow your employees creativity and control

Give importance to the creativity, energy, and wit of your workspace. Striking wallpapers, adjustable desks, lighting options, temperature control and variety of workrooms – all of which tremendously help and bring improvement to efficiency. Keep in mind, nobody wants to work in a closed cubicle. Employees nowadays want fresh air and space to inhale good vibes, that’s why some employees prefer to work outside, in a coffee shop perhaps or at home where they can control their space. Allow your employees mobility when possible and the ability to design the space they would stay in for 8 hours or more. Allow the resources as well in order to reach their maximum productivity.

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.