The second wave of co-working spaces is even more useful, practical and curated. Need childcare services, lounges for presentations or 3-D printers for your mini projects? All sorted.
Levels 3 & 13, 111 Somerset, 111 Somerset Road
WHAT: A co-working space with an international membership.
WHO: Travelling workaholics. Or working travelholics.
WHY: Do a one-time sign-up for access to co-working spaces in 44 countries. Members can also access the company’s Business Clubs for private meetings or little get-togethers. And Spaces knows you can’t work hungry: It collaborates with popular F&B places so there’s always a legit cafe selling great coffee within the compound – Spaces at Robinsons has Sarnies on board. Its latest launch at 111 Somerset covers 3,200 sq m; operations will commence in mid-2019.
HOW IT’S USEFUL: Dani van Houten, 48, doesn’t let different time zones affect her productivity. As an investor based in Singapore who also owns several Airbnb homes in the Netherlands, she’s constantly travelling to and fro. Because her membership allows her to access any co-working Spaces, she always has a comfortable working environment in Singapore and the Netherlands.
“Sometimes, when my homes are all rented out back in Amsterdam, I head to Spaces in the daytime to get my work done because I don’t want to disturb my guests. And in Singapore, working at Spaces is comfortable and familiar. You get similar coffee and a quiet space with one membership,” she explains.
Dani adds that the coffee served at Sarnies here matches the brew she gets back home – always a plus.
Reserved co-working spaces are $578 monthly; private offices are from $938 a month.
#03-01 Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road
WHAT: A co-working space with childcare.
WHO: Busy mums and dads with no babysitters.
WHY: Hot desks and private offices are de rigueur in co-working spaces, but here, the in-house childcare centre is a boon for working parents. The Kids Atelier, on the same ﬂoor as the work zone, provides lounges, reading and play areas for children. Infants and toddlers have separate areas. The childcare facilitators, handpicked by co-owner Elizabeth Wu, are all trained in early childhood studies. The ratio of one facilitator to a maximum of six kids means your child gets attentive interaction while you give your work the attention it needs. Bonus: If it’s been a rough day, just go over and get a hug from your kid.
HOW IT’S USEFUL: Ah, the working woes of a boss mum: Dilek Akca Haskan, 37, vice-president of Asia Paciﬁc at Talmix – a recruitment service for tech ﬁrms – says that Trehaus has been a lifesaver. Having her son near her and still being able to get her work done is a plus. Her son, Henry Alp, has been a student of the Kids Atelier for slightly over two years. The teachers keep tabs on Henry’s development, and Haskan can check in with them regularly.
“The mixed-age group and social environment because of the presence of Trehaus staff and parents helped him to be the social and conﬁdent kid he is today. We got to experience all his ﬁrsts together, from crawling and walking to starting to talk and being a chatterbox,” she says.
Your membership, $800-$1,600 a month, allows your child up to seven days of childcare classes a month while you use the co-working space.
The General Room
#07-07, 111 Somerset, 111 Somerset Road
WHAT: A multipurpose co-working space.
WHO: Networkers and event hosts.
WHY: They take “multipurpose” seriously here. This co-working space occupies only half a ﬂoor and has hot desks, a cafe and meeting rooms that can be transformed into event spaces. The decor is luxurious – warm-light chandeliers, pull-chain table lamps and sturdy leather sofas – so you get that cigar-room vibe. It also has private offices for small teams. If you book the main room for an event, the staff here can turn it into one heck of a soiree space (projectors and roll-down screens included). And the meeting rooms are divided by partitions that can slide open to hold more guests.
In a Sonos survey, 58 percent of respondents said that music helps boost their mood at work. (Use your buds!)
HOW IT’S USEFUL: Nothing is better than hosting a fun office party when your business is doing well. For ﬁnancial planner Lim Yu Xing, 33, The General Room’s convertible aspect has contributed to client relationships. Compared with a traditional office, The General Room’s luxe interior makes a great party venue. And it has a bar that serves drinks in the evenings. Having just invited future clients to a party to start off the ﬁnancial year, Yu Xing is optimistic that she will continue hosting similar gatherings: “It’s new and it doubles as a great event space. I’ve held a mini office party here for my colleagues. We are a small group of independent ﬁnancial planners, so having a nice space to invite future clients to is great.”
Day passes are $60; weekly passes are $250. Private room rates range from $1,000-$4,000 a month. Event spaces are charged in four-hour blocks from $1,000-$1,500, depending on the size of the space.
Katong Point, 451 Joo Chiat Road
WHAT: A co-working space with workshop and retail spaces.
WHO: Product designers, artists and creatives who really love their work.
WHY: Don’t let stale offices dry out your innovative mind. Mox has a space for every creative. If you’re a product developer working on a new project, Mox has a 3-D printer for your prototypes; use the photography studio once your products are ready. If you’re an artist, display your work at the Banksy Gallery at level one, or book the Geppetto Workshop Room at level two to teach a class. Even if you’re not a professional, you can sign up for workshops (curated by the guys at Mox).
HOW IT’S USEFUL: Jason Loo, 29, of Tinkermind – a company that hosts 3-D printing classes and services – says that he can’t do without the Makers’ Room at Mox. Its 3-D printing facilities, which can’t be found at other co-working spaces, have allowed Tinkermind to bring many of its creative ideas to life. “The co-making facilities at Mox are easy to book, and the staff are really helpful in making sure that we are able to efficiently access the spaces we need,” he adds.
Don't forget the "co" in co-working. Look around the office and find opportunities to collaborate or combine resources with others.
Day passes are $180 for 10 days or $30 a day; desk rentals range from $300-$400 a month. A private office is $500 a month.
Level 10, Yotel, 366 Orchard Road
WHAT: A co-working bar.
WHO: Freelancers who like bars.
WHY: It’s pretty straightforward at Komyuniti – you get plugs, personal desks, and Wi-Fi. The bar is open to the public from 6.30-10.30am for breakfast, and noon to midnight for lunch and dinner. Caveat: As long as you’ve ordered from the bar, you’re welcome to set up your laptop for a long day of work. The bar is open all afternoon, so you’re sorted for midday martinis. Its signature cocktail, the Kompliment, is a highly recommended, refreshing infusion of butterﬂy-pea ﬂower gin and violet liqueur. After all, that “no alcohol at work” credo is not really a thing anymore.
Co-working spaces offer more private spaces and workstations than open-space offices.
HOW IT’S USEFUL: It’s great to have a friendly bartender reﬁlling your glass as you work on your project late into the night. Aaron Lewis, 43, a businessman from New York who travels to Singapore once every two months, is an “unofficial resident” of Komyuniti. To him, having a working space literally a few ﬂoors down from his hotel room is a workaholic’s dream come true: “Because of Komyuniti, I keep coming back to Yotel. You get the option of a hotel, and if your room distracts you too much in the wee hours, you can go down to the bar for a drink and get work done.”
Order a minimum of one drink.
HOW TO SURVIVE CO-WORKING
DO YOUR RESEARCH
“Finding the perfect spot in a co-working office is difficult. Even before you choose a space, you need to see if it suits your working style. Don’t settle for the first one you see.” – Nasis M. Pap, a software architect, is a member of Spaces
MINGLE WITH THE RIGHT CROWD
“It’s been wonderful talking to other parents and the teachers at Trehaus. I think it’s incredibly important for us parents to support one another.” – Claire Huang, an A*Star researcher, on how members at Trehaus are helping her cope as an expat mum
MAKE FULL USE OF THE AMENITIES
“I spend considerable time in meetings. Knowing that my child is happy and being stimulated by loving and experienced carers has given me such peace of mind.” – Dilek Akca Haskan on how Trehaus’ childcare facilities have helped her
PERSONALISE YOUR SPACE
“I want a space where I can set up a workstation that I’ll want to go to every day. So, having the option of a dedicated desk is important to me. I also love to personalise my space. I have 30 books, five candles and an aroma diffuser at my desk.”
– blogger and host Jemimah Wei on working at The Hive.
PHOTOGRAPHY DARREN CHANG
ART DIRECTION SHAN