Kyiv IT Cluster news

An interview with Rafael Yucha, co-founder of Platforma coworking spaces.


KITC: Why is it better for large and small IT companies to work in coworking rather than renting offices?
Rafael: First of all, coworking is about convenience, ease and savings. 
And savings are not just about saving funds, but also about saving time. When an IT company rents an office, it has to spend time and money on its arrangement, to purchase the necessary furniture and office equipment, to configure the Internet, to arrange delivery of water, coffee and sweets, to find a cleaner and to solve a bunch of other minor issues: from light bulbs to extension cords. The coworking space has it all - all you need is to "move in"! In addition to all the technical conveniences, the coworking space has a variety of work areas: comfortable team rooms, comfortable kitchens, a rooftop and balcony with a beautiful city view, meeting rooms and lounge areas. Here you can combine and enjoy the work process. And a cool place to work means a more efficient and productive workforce. There are many more opportunities for informal team meetings if you choose Coworking Platforma.
KITC: What's the benefit for business?
Rafael: Many people think that renting a coworking space will be more expensive than an office, but in fact, this is untrue. The costs of setting up the whole office and its daily facilities can be much higher than renting space in a coworking. Just imagine: purchase of furniture and office equipment, internet and security, cleaning services, water, coffee machine, microwave, napkins, toilet paper etc. - absolutely all costs are already included in the rental price in the coworking space. And if your company grows, a flexible office is a better option, because all you need to do is expand your headquarters within the coworking space. It's super quick and easy! In contrast, it can be a problem in a regular office.
KITC: What is your core expertise in building a coworking space for IT residents?
Rafael: We immediately notice and understand all residents' needs and try to respond to them quickly. We set everything up, even in case of sudden changes in needs. Stable electricity and Internet connections are important for IT, as well as the availability of Skype rooms. IT people often use 'meeting rooms', they like comfort and good coffee. Despite being considered introverts by a vast number of people, IT professionals love our resident Friday night get-togethers.
KITC: Platforma is not just an office space: what kind of loyalty and benefits are you offering to your residents?
Rafael: Platforma is more than just an office space, it's a super comfortable and convenient office space. Platforma also has many different areas where you can just relax, distract yourself or change the atmosphere for greater productivity. Our coworking space includes a variety of lounge areas, an open balcony, buzzer rooms and a rooftop.  Platforma takes care of your comfort! And let’s not forget the fun part of the work: team building activities and more informal socialisation within the team. Platforma Coworking not only has plenty of stuff for forming a great team, but it can also help with preparations.
KITC: Is Platforma Coworking oriented for big companies only? How do smaller IT companies feel about themselves?
Rafael: There is a room for everyone! Platforma has large and small conference rooms, different sized workspaces and open spaces. Any company and even just a small team will be able to choose the perfect size for their headquarters. On the other hand, smaller IT companies can enjoy benefits of the coworking space. Generally speaking, you may not even know who else works near you, because all the headquarters are placed in a way that all companies do not disturb each other.
KITC: What is your secret of success during crisis?
Rafael: Firstly, it is flexibility, especially concerning residents. To communicate, to negotiate, and to find those conditions and solutions that will be optimal for both parties.
KITC: What changes have happened to Platforma since 2017?
Rafael: There have been several changes in the overall concept of Platforma. Quarantine restrictions dictated their own rules, so we’ve reformatted some things in our approach. But everything that has been done is done for the better! We have managed to grow and opened 2 new locations already.
KITC: What is a “coworking space” in 2021?
Rafael: It is your ideal space for work and leisure. It is a community of progressive and successful people. And it is a place where you are inspired to create and where you want to come back.
KITC: What is your outlook for 2022? Any developments?
Rafael: The number of large and high-quality coworking spaces in Kyiv is not great, though demand for them is growing because it is profitable and convenient. So our dream is to create more coworking spaces so that every company can have its ideal office and an atmosphere of productivity and comfort.