SoHo is the new Malaysian Bohemian heart

SoHo is the new Malaysian Bohemian heart

With the Generation Y taking over as the primary workforce in Malaysia, they are moving away from corporate mind-sets and mundane office lifestyle with a reason that conventional offices stand in the way of a truly progressive lifestyle.

Kuala Lumpur is not just known for its creative industries but its creative abilities to make the best out of small spaces. Advancement in technologies such as high-speed broadband has enabled enterprising individuals to work from their comfort units.

Today’s entrepreneurs, such as Mubashar Aftab, Urbanify Sdn Bhd’s Business Strategist, and CEO will not stand for reactionary ways. Tired of uninspiring work spaces, he started his own business from a SoHo. He shares with on why SoHo is the new way of doing business.


SoHo-based businesses appear to be growing in attractiveness as it favours flexible working hours as opposed to the restricted nine-to-five conventional office. Being a home office, it enables employees to work, live and play at the same time.

Gen-Ys prefer less structured working hours and SoHo’s allow the convenience of working and living at the same place while preserving discretion to a certain degree.

For start-up companies which are more leisure based than corporate businesses, dress codes such as uniforms, corporate clothing or suits do not really apply. Mubashar allows his employees to work and rest at any given time, only priority given is to get assignments done before the deadline.

“Sometimes my employees and I will work past midnight, but I always allow my employees to have enough rest before coming to work the next day. Most of the time, my employees will just sleep in the office,” Mubashar said.


SoHo encourages work, live and play in the same area.


Unlike traditional office space, SoHo’s are not bound to the 70% loan-to-value ratio as specified by Bank Negara. SoHo’s are technically termed as a residential property hence – it is entitled to up 90% financing, which in turn can generate more capital for businesses. Mubashar’s office which is based in Avenue Crest at Shah Alam was priced at approximately RM380,000 for a 614 sq ft space.

The security features provided by the developer, such as CCTV, security personnel, access card system as well as its comprehensive concierge services is an added value to minimise business risks and costs as compared to having to install your own security systems.

“Recurring costs such as electricity and electric bill are also reduced as they are billed under residential tariffs and businesses can enjoy abridged operating costs,” Mubashar commented.

“As SoHo units have a smaller built-up area of between 400 sq ft to 800 sq ft, the question arises as to how much electricity does a unit need? Even with the maintenance cost of RM0.30 per sq ft, it is still affordable.”

Perhaps this is why SoHo units are trending among young entrepreneurs and fresh graduates who are looking for a place to stay and work at the same time.