Written by Georgina Wilson (2016 Scholar)
On Friday, the 13th of October, Yenching Academy students went on a site visit to Urwork’s co-working space community in Jiuxianqiao, one of China’s foremost shared working spaces. The visit began with a tour of the shared working community, which is a large, open working area more reminiscent of a cluster of cafes and lounge areas than of a traditional working space.
The students learned about the design vision of the office grounds, and witnessed first-hand how employees of different companies would work side by side in the shared spaces and thus facilitate the exchange of ideas and the natural innovation than arises from such easy cross-industry interaction and idea sharing. In addition to shared working spaces, UrWork also provides private work rooms, shared dining spaces, and many other facilities to makes the daily needs of the employees who utilise the space as seamlessly integrated into their work environment as possible.
Following the tour of the grounds, students later attended a presentation by Josh Zhang, the Chief Strategy Officer of UrWork. Mr. Zhang gave a detailed talk on the company’s visions, how it was started, developed, and grew over time, as well as his own personal career trajectory and how he became a member of the UrWork family. After the talk, he took several questions from the students. This Q&A session helped deepen their understanding of the UrWork business model as well as some of the challenges faced by the company in its operation and expansion.
The UrWork site visit provided Yenching scholars with real life experience in one of the foremost shared working spaces in China, as well as an understanding of how this model of work and office space fit within the more traditional idea of an office space.