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Flexible workspaces have become commonplace in our world today. The concept of flexible work and coworking has become more recognised over the last few years, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as a cost-effective alternative business networking model.
As productive and collaborative working environments, these workspaces are often occupied by dynamic entrepreneurs and larger corporations alike, and in general, those who are looking to replace traditional, corporate offices with their tailored services and memberships that meet business and personal requirements.
We now have a large number of flexible workspace operators for companies to choose from, alongside traditional office spaces. A single service provider might even provide multiple offerings, making it hard to find the right office space. With so many options, it’s important to make sure companies make an informed decision.
Here are a few points to consider to make the right decision.
First things first: companies need to choose between coworking, serviced offices or traditional offices. With an increase in the popularity of flexible working arrangements, it’s important to note that with their strict terms and contracts, traditional offices might not be suited for those looking to be agile and flexible.
Coworking operators on the other hand offer more flexible and reasonable rates for tenants. They feature a range of different spaces from hot desks to private office areas for focused work, as well as large, comfortable communal areas for networking. However, nurturing professional and personal relationships between members can mean that there is less privacy.
On the other hand, serviced offices, at more expensive rates, offer complete privacy as well as dedicated storage spaces and customisable options on top of the flexibility.
Flexible workspace operators across Singapore are priced at different budgets, depending on their lease period, location, amenities and offerings.
Defined as the period in which a contracted lease is in place, the lease term establishes the duration to both the lessee and lessor. In this aspect, it is better to ensure leases are flexible as it gives your business the ability to respond quickly to changing world events. This is something flexible workspace and coworking operators offer. Compared to a traditional office space, a coworking centre can often save you money in establishment costs, which can then be used to generate new business leads and growth, allowing companies to not be tied down and ensuring more flexibility over their finances.
Offering both short and long-term contracts as well as flexible payment terms, flexible workspace and coworking providers work with each member on an individual basis, giving them the option to move to a smaller or larger space depending on their growth.
With so many workspaces located around Singapore, location is one aspect that companies need to prioritize. A good location can add value to a business, providing intangible benefits such as impressing and attracting clients and talent.
A convenient location is also integral for companies, especially in a post-pandemic world that is increasingly more receptive to remote working arrangements. Providing employees with a collaborative and dedicated workspace with good commuter links is key for talent attraction and retainment. These days, employees are not excited at the prospect of travelling upwards of two hours in packed trains and buses just to get to their workplace and back!
In an age where work-life balance is becoming a higher priority than ever before, companies should be looking for locations that are nearby a myriad of lifestyle haunts. Restaurants, bars, gyms and other attractions give employees the flexibility to enjoy their spare time and lunch breaks outside of work.
It’s important to opt for an office space that’s economical for you and at the same time can provide for your business and employee needs.
Flexible workspaces provide a variety of amenities. Depending on their offerings and price points, centres can be fully equipped with everything a working professional might need for the day. Most flexible workspaces provide refreshments such as tea and coffee, snacks to indulge in throughout the day and state-of-the-art technology for members to enjoy at their convenience.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen that offering amenities and extras to employees is an ideal way to attract and keep talent. Tech giant Google offers endless food options for staff in a range of cuisines for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as an unlimited number of drinks and snacks. Coworking centres have adopted this approach, often partnering with food and beverage companies that provide options from coffee to peanut butter for toast in the morning. As well as collaborating with these businesses, flexible workplace operators normally offer tenants a variety of other benefits outside of the workspace at facilities nearby, like local fitness gyms and wellness centres.
Of course, amenities are not just about the glitz and glamour. You need a workspace provider with plenty of business facilities with modern technologies in meeting rooms, private office spaces and breakout areas. High-speed internet should be a standard in every coworking space, ensuring a fast and smooth connection so that work is not interrupted, and virtual meetings can take place without hassle or stress. Other business utilities such as phone booths, printers and office supplies should also be offered alongside spaces that are outfitted with ergonomic and comfortable furniture. These provide tenants with not just comfort but also help lower business costs. Taking the hassle out of organising these integral amenities, coworking spaces manage everything for their members.
Today, health and wellbeing are becoming more of a focus, and coworking spaces are prioritizing them in their approach and offerings.
It has been proven that a wellness space can help improve productivity and maintain concentration, as well as look after the mental health and wellbeing of each working professional to ensure a balanced work routine. According to The Center for Workplace Mental Health, 60-70% of our adult life is spent at work or thinking about work, and so companies are now looking at ways to help alleviate employees’ stress levels. Thus, it has become increasingly important for companies to rely on support from coworking staff that have their best interests at heart, looking after them fully to ensure a comfortable, friendly and premium workspace.
Many coworking operators have started incorporating wellness programs into their office spaces with dedicated wellness rooms for individuals to escape to throughout the day and relax, away from emails or colleagues. Hospitality-led flexible workspaces feature five-star, hotel-like services that ensure members receive a warm welcome every morning and a friendly goodbye at night, as well as ready assistance to meet their personal and professional needs.
Not only are flexible workspaces a place to work in, but they must also have ready-made business ecosystems to enable professionals to build relationships and expand their networks for long-term value, both personally and in a work capacity. Unlike stark, traditional offices, coworking operators and serviced offices are human-centric spaces, with events and initiatives to foster an environment for members to engage and collaborate with other tenants, even acting as a catalyst to further businesses’ growth.
When it comes to making the right decision, it’s all about experiencing in-person what’s on offer. By visiting flexible workspaces and coworking operators and engaging with existing tenants and internal teams, you will be able to find out about the centre’s culture and members. Each location can attract a particular type of person depending on the workspace environment. For instance, some will prefer centres that are close to the Central Business District, whereas others will look for more avant-garde destinations. Surrounding yourself with similar minds in an aligned environment could boost your business.
Using these tips can help you to evaluate your workspace options – and knowing what to expect will allow you to make an informed decision on the best provider to meet your new workspace needs.
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