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Rise of the shared workspace

By Samuel Chan | The Straits Times | 29 May 2017


These facilities are expanding to meet shift in workplace culture towards collaboration.

Co-working spaces are expanding to accommodate a growing shift in Singapore's workplace culture towards collaboration.

While these shared working environments have long attracted freelancers and start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and even large firms are beginning to recognise the benefits and taking up membership.

The days when companies could operate or even thrive in silos are long gone, say many co-working players; collaboration is the new way of working.

In addition, the casual atmosphere in these spaces, which is commonly associated with creative freelancers and hipster start-ups, may also serve to increase productivity and innovation among workers.

Mr Kong Wan Sing, founder and chief executive of co-working operator JustCo, said: "Work already piles up stress on employees. Working in a fun place definitely increases productivity by reducing stress. Members may also gain new ideas for their own lines of work in the process."

As more companies become convinced of the benefits that come with these spaces, co-working players have seen a healthy rise in demand in recent years.

"We have been receiving increasing numbers of inquiries compared with last year. Members who were trying out our spaces are now deciding to stay for the longer term. In total, we now have around 11,000 members," Mr Kong said.

The optimism surrounding the co-working industry's prospects has given players enough confidence to expand their businesses both locally and abroad.

JustCo expects to add two new local spaces in the coming year and Mr Kong believes that as operators continue to add value for their members, the shift towards collaborative spaces will continue.

"While it may be difficult to convince older and more traditional bosses, it's only a matter of time before they realise such spaces are about integrating into a community while improving capabilities at the same time," he said.

"Co-working spaces are the future. Collaboration is the new way of working."

Read the full article here



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