Some big companies in Admiralty are seeking co-working space as part of contingency plans to prevent any disruption to their operations in case of prolonged protests in the central business district, but such talks are mostly exploratory, say market observers. “We have received inquiries from big corporates in Admiralty to rent flexible working space as their plan B,” said Thomas Hui, chief executive of co-working space operator theDesk. He said that companies were looking at anywhere between 10 and 500 desks, depending on their existing operations, adding that most of these companies want to remain in Admiralty but away from areas affected by the protests. TheDesk operates five flexible workspaces in Hong Kong – two in Causeway Bay, and one each in Admiralty, Sai Wan and Sheung Wan. Kai Tak sale: Hong Kong government postpones land tender for the first time as protests throw city out of gear John Siu, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield, also said companies were studying the co-working option “but not on a big scale”. He said that most companies, including Cushman have internal plans in place in case of emergencies, allowing staff to work from home or from other office locations. “Companies had drawn up contingency plans after the Occupy Central event in 2014. But this time, the protests are a bit unpredictable,” he said. Admiralty is an area with high risk of disruption, as hundreds of protesters involved in Occupy Central camped in Admiralty for three months from September 26 to December 15, 2014. Now, for the past month since June 9, the city has seen massive protests against a controversial extradition bill, with millions marching to the Legislative Council in Admiralty. This has resulted in road closures and transport suspensions almost every weekend to protest sites in the heart of the city’s shopping and financial districts. And even though protests on June 12 turned violent with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the protesters, businesses continued to operate normally. But Siu said it's not practical for finance companies like banks to move to a co-working space as their operations need highly secure communications network. He added that Cushman has two office locations – Jardine House in Central and The 1063 tower in Quarry Bay. “As the public accessibility of Jardine House was unaffected by the recent protests, we did not find it necessary to deploy some of our staff to Quarry Bay,” he said. As it happened: Hong Kong police and extradition protesters renew clashes as tear gas flies Denis Ma, head of research at JLL, said his company had received some inquiries about the availability of flexible working space in the past month as businesses became increasingly unsure about the protests. “Companies are probably gathering information about the costs and where can they go in case of further chaos in Admiralty area,” Ma said. Monthly rents at Admiralty Centre stood at HK$80 per sq ft, and HK$150 per sq ft at One and Two Pacific Place as of June, according to CBRE. According to Colliers International, rents for co-working space in Hong Kong were the most expensive in Asia-Pacific, averaging US$741 per month for a 60 sq ft desk space.