Sluggish economic growth coupled with a business appetite for only a narrow scope of university degrees have led to local underemployment. These days, it seems easier—not to mention more exciting—to turn to the surging gig economy to find meaningful employment, and there’s no shame in that game.
If you’re part of the veritable crowd of freelancers, contract workers, incubators, or just an entrepreneurial startup with loads of ideas, coworking spaces are great. For one, all co-working spaces I’ve been to have been beautifully turned-out. Additionally, they host culturally-diverse crowds—networking! Also, management is, as far as the eye can see, left to approachable, youngish upbeat receptionists. Lastly, they seem to routinely organise “WOKE” events (we happen to hear about Jazz Night going ons come Feb 28) and as competition rages on, these spaces evolve to provide for beyond functionality.
Charges vary, including day passes, team rates or even monthly commitment plans. Decide what’s best for yourself.
Tanjong Pagar Area/ Cityhall/ Raffles Place
Collective Works dubs itself the pioneer of coworking space in the CBD, to provide office space for high-performing entrepreneurs amidst rocketing CBD rents. As part of their bespoke services, they have even offered a built-to-order private office for rent. Late last year, it was acquired by CapitaLand, signalling that far-sightedness and first-mover advantage have paid off.
When they first started, the aesthetics were streamlined, airy and open, screaming somewhat of liberation. Now its all dark-panelled and rich tones and triumphs your attic office space. Prices are from ($240) a month for 40 hours; and depending on your plan, perks include printing, lockers and a direct telephone line.
Capital Tower, 168 Robinson Rd., #12-01;
Not sure if Amazon’s the first office to kick off lush, plush and green foliage in office spaces. Anyhow, the seven-storey Distrii most certainly has taken a leaf out of the book because here, greenery forms quite a bit of the backdrop. Founded by a distinguished architect, the company is headquartered in China but operates shared office rentals dotted around Asia. Here, subtropical greenery and spiralling wooden stairs communicates luxury and comfort. Interestingly, businesses can host their processes and solutions on Distrii’s own app to streamline workflow too. For 2019, hotdesk starts from ($288 monthly) and rental for a boardroom—that would fit 20—starts at ($60) an hour. PS: they’ve even got a 200-seater auditorium.
There must be a reason for Justco’s roaring success that saw an expansion to 15 other locations in Singapore. Maximising their economies of scale, Justco provides no-frills commitments of ($98 monthly) for a hot desk or ($800 monthly) for access to a studio. This one’s at Robinson Road, all high ceilings, natural light flooding in and exhilarating city views, replete with meeting rooms, event hosting and your own business add. Aside, there resides an in-house dedicated partnership team that actively fosters innovative projects and organises collaborative events for enterprises to network. Reviews have shown Justco to be extremely responsive and affable, even to disgruntled ex-members.
120 Robinson Rd., #15-01;
Wanna know what it’s like working from tallest building in Singapore’s CBD? That would be the Guoco Tower at Tanjong Pagar). In all, a mixed bag of residential apartments, retail space and an international city centre. If you’re more a virtual office digital nomad get your own virtual office with Regus. That would include calls-answering, mail-handling and your very own professional business address. Best part? Their flexi options of a 5-day or 10-day package.
Guoco Tower, 1 Wallich St., #14-01;
Located smack in Cityhall, Spaces is yet another international coworking operator. You’ll find eight meeting rooms; 120 dedicated desks alongside long, bar-like tables. Spaces looks to be more homey and casual than other places you’ll find on this list. Think low-slung furniture, couches upholstered in cheery colours, wood-heavy features and natural lighting. A vibrant aesthetic no doubt appreciated in, and possibly even imported from colder temperate climes. Perks though include a discounted Gym membership rate and access to the Sky Terrace Pool at the Robinson branch. Private office membership are priced from ($825, monthly) that comes with locker storage and the going rate for meeting rooms? ($30) an hour.
(Robinson) 140 Robinson Rd., 4th Floor
(Cityhall) 410 North Bridge Rd.,
God only knows why District6 swapped its name for a vanilla-sounding “The Company” (what company?!) but let’s hope this rebranding works wonders for them. Tucked away in Odeon Tower with a modest reception facing the lift this one’s a 10,000 square footage of working space. With an international presence—in Japan, Hawaii, Thailand and even the Philippines—but a single space in Singapore for now, they offer up annual contracts that give more bang for the buck (call ahead to check). Otherwise, a fixed desk sets you back ($750 monthly); a studio for up to four is from ($2500) and an exec office for a team of up to 12, ($4500). Additionally, members will delight to find the specialty Japanese coffee shop, Kurasu, an in-house installation.
PS: finally found tables low enough for comfort (ergonomics is important).
Odeon Towers, 331 North Bridge Rd., #02-01;
Competition is stiff and the need to differentiate is painfully clear. The Work Project has cultivated itself an air of luxury with a vibe throwing back to the 30s. You leave the airiness of OUE when you step into this glamorous art deco space fitted out with leather seats and potted plants. There, it’s also all dark wood panelling, soft jazz playing throughout, hushed business chatter, firm handshakes and plush rugs. Other perks like a gourmet pantry, Omotesando Koffee and a nursing room are casually thrown in, because The Work Project is just that considerate, progressive and luxurious.
Whilst this space may feel like its out of your wallet’s league, be pleasantly surprised, a day pass goes for ($45); a part-time hot desk at ten days a month from ($295); full-time desks from ($395) or book a private office (from $800 monthly). Pretty reasonable.
OUE Downtown Gallery, 6A Shenton Way, #04-01;