While there is an increase in the popularity of the co-working trend, a fresh office space idea is starting to occupy a bigger share of the market. Those days when freelancers, solopreneurs and people with similar occupations were fine with either staying home or competing for space at their local cafés to complete their tasks are gone. Likewise, those working for firms do not anymore intend to work in small enclosed rooms. It is just the way we work has altered over the last years.
While the transformation of the way people work marks the birth of the co-working trend, that, generally speaking, stands for any circumstances wherein two or more people are sharing the same place and working together, but not usually for the same corporation or organization. As the co-working ideas form momentum, the necessity for assigning common space has become more requested. Thus the increase in particular co-working spaces. Throughout the second part of our article on flexible and shared workplaces, we analyze co-working spaces and the new office space idea that has arisen.
A list of Co-working spaces in Singapore.
Over the past few years, the co-working space business has transformed from being a niche market to a complete alternative to traditional working spaces, as demonstrated by the increase in the shift to flexible working. It has changed drastically since the first “hackerspace” — known as one of the early types of co-working spaces — was presented to the market in 1995.
With the increasing popularity of flexible working and the increase of start-up businesses, the global office market is witnessing, all the more so, a necessity to respond to a growing demand for shorter-termed flexible and shared offices.
In Singapore, the call for spaces for working together throughout the island has been persuasive enough for an increasing number of space suppliers to form a business in the city-state. Co-working spaces in Singapore are run by a wide variety of entrepreneurs, from micro, single-space suppliers to local and global co-working space firms.
Source of Growth
As with any small and startup business, as well as a free entrepreneur, arranging ahead the same fashion more firms and institutions carry out is more problematic. This is the ground these firms, when it comes down to workspace lease expenditures, are often reluctant to make long-term agreements and thus have caused the difference between what conventional workplaces can provide and what these businesses require.
Conventional workplaces are often made available on a lease term that remains a few years. For instance, a common method in Singapore when renting out workspaces is for periods of a minimum two to three years. These long-term lease periods do not let much flexibility for minor actors in acquiring better control over their rental expenses.
Kong Wan Sing, Founder and CEO at JustGroup’s co-working space business, JustCo expressed that those parties were inclined to be very cautious about spending and worried (about) being engaged in for a lengthy lease duration.
The reason for the rise in the co-working space business is a disparity between small businesses and individual workers and traditional practices of office space rentals in Singapore. Sarantha Gattie is a co-founder of The Working Capital located at Keong Saik Road. According to her, the basic of the shared working spaces is the possibility of having a short term lease.
As in a case of services offices, these spaces function on the basis of a rolling renewal. Nevertheless, in the first case, the basis of charges is offered service or size of office space, whereas in the second case the basis is a singular unit, namely, a desk. Accordingly, the contractual commitment before a landlord and a client is simpler.
Shared Office Space
Mainly very small businesses and individual workers use shared office space. The reasons are flexible lease tenures and various membership packages, including different types of desks and a use frequency. There are two main types of desks, hot and permanent. A hot desk is used by different people in different periods, whereas a permanent desk has only one user and thus there is no assigned schedule. There are also different packages in terms of frequency of use. Although in general there is a monthly renewal of the desk usage, co-working space desk can be rented for a certain number of hours and days within one month,
A rise in demand for co-working office space for rent in Singapore caused diversification of service offered by office providers, as they increasingly need to accommodate the demands of professionals in different fields. “How We Work” report published by the DTZ argues that business centres spread out their offerings to provide co-working spaces as well. Furthermore, it is noted that co-working rental spaces are no longer only shared communal workspaces. Now, they offer also meeting rooms, boardrooms, and private offices. Hence, the once clear distinctions between business centres and co-working rental offices have become blurred.
There are additional advantages apart from the flexibility and cutting the costs. According to Head of Business Development at The Hub, Fiza Malhotra, the greatest advantage is being a part of the community that creates space for personal and professional growth and on the other hand, being able to work in isolation if preferred. The Hub facilitates the growth of its users, as well as guidance. It is not just space, but rather a platform allowing members to access events, mentorship, and networking. The Hub incorporates the Hubnet, a digital connection platform through which a user can connect to more than 11,000 other members in 49 countries. In addition to the Hub, The Co. and The Working Capitol also provide more than space. They organize networking events and programs dedicated to the enhancement of skills. What is more, the specialty of JustCo. Is to connect users to relevant companies for mutual benefit.
The phenomenon of having shared and flexible office rental space is not limited to Singapore. Such arrangements exist worldwide and it is estimated that their number will increase ten times in the upcoming years. Singapore is the most business-friendly country in the world and many new businesses are established every year, including local start-ups and foreign companies. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs often note office rental as a major expense. Therefore, Kong argues that co-working rental spaces will continue to grow. Gattie agrees with King that the main users of co-shared spaces are start-uppers and taking into account that there will be more and more new start-ups, the demand will certainly increase at an unprecedented rate. The DTZ expects that there will be around 50,000 co-working rental spaces in Singapore by 2018.