You want to start a business and you need a space that is conducive yet cultivates a sense of community. Why not jump onto the bandwagon of the latest trend in office spaces: a co-working space! Unlike conventional office spaces, co-working spaces is a space that involves diverse companies and members working in the same environment.
In this space, there are usually start-ups, freelancers, work-at-home professionals who want a separation from home and work. In addition, we are seeing more well-known companies such as Line messaging app and Dropbox taking up these spaces.
So what are the benefits of co-working spaceS?
#1: Lower cost and no fixed cost commitment
The main benefit of co-working spaces is flexibility. In this case, flexibility is found in its cost structure.
Most of the co-working spaces charge on a daily or monthly rate as compared to fixed office spaces which are usually tied down to a mid-term to long-term contract. This is especially helpful when you are just at the early stages of your startup journey and still testing out the feasibility of your idea.
It is seen that people who work at co-working spaces are more productive. This is supported by a study done by Georgetown university. In their research, they found that people thrive better with co-working spaces compared to those who work at regular offices. This may be due to the fact that most co-working occupants cited that they have more job control due to the flexibility of working late nights to going back early to work from home.
The ability to rotate their work station and not be fixed to one work station also gives people new perspective due to the change of the environment.
#3: Help from community and potential partnerships
In each of the co-working spaces, you will see a diverse group of people from different industries coming together.
This might be one of the most useful resource for your start up as there is a wealth of knowledge around you to tap on. Most of the members are entrepreneurs like you and they will be more open to help and provide advice. In addition, startups could lead to collaborations and partnerships for certain projects and needs.
One example is Cloudflare, a web performance and security company, which has been in discussions with a recruiting firm on the same floor for their expansion plans. Therefore, time in sourcing for solutions could be reduced as help could be solicited without much effort.
#4: Support services
Many co-working spaces have basic facilities catered to the members’ business needs. Most of them have printing and mailing services. However more established co-working spaces go the extra mile and provide additional services like childcare services for working parents.
One example is JustCo, Just Co houses an in-house IT team, which means that entrepreneurs can save on IT expenses and spend on other critical areas of their business. I recommend that entrepreneurs look out for the support services each co-working space provides as it may saves you precious operational cost for your start-up.
#5: Professional space
Most of the co-working spaces in Singapore have proper work desks and have meeting room and conference rooms for members to utilize.
Now you can say goodbye to unconducive café environments for meetings with clients and suppliers and have a professional space to do your dealings. The professional environment will also leave a more lasting impression on your clients and increase your credibility.
Most co-working spaces host events from industry talks to networking sessions for members from the same space to know each other better.
This can create great opportunities to know individuals from different background and gather business contacts for future reference.
In addition, industry talks allow new start-ups to keep abreast with the industry and gain expert knowledge on the field that they are on. This can be useful especially for new start-ups who just started entering the industry.
Many of the co-working spaces are nested at prime locations at a fraction of the price of fixed office rentals. One great example is The Great Room which is located along George Street and nested at the heart of the CBD. This brings about convenience for entrepreneurs when meeting business contacts or possible investors in that area.
The trend for such co-working spaces in Singapore started in the last couple of years and now we have more than 20 co-working spaces and more to come. So what are some of the co-working spaces you could consider for your business? We categorize some of them here below for you based on their main offerings:
Co-working spaces in Singapore:
#1: Industry specific space – The Refinery
Credits: The refinery
The refinery is a wonderful space which focuses on hosting craftsmen and designers. It seeks to provides a community for creatives to exchange design ideas. In addition, it also boasts a food establishment that combines a café, restaurant together.
With that you need not worry about hunger pangs or finding your next after-work hangout! A good note to add is that the outlet does not charge service charge which reduces the damage to your wallet! Here to a satisfied meal for your stomach without the pain!
#2: Supportive environment – The Impact Hub
Impact hub provides something more than just space. It prides itself as a place where entrepreneurs can be mentored and supported along their start-up journey.
1. Mentoring support
Their Investor-in-residence programme brings in 8 selected venture capital funds to help entrepreneurs get funding. Recently it just launched a $1 million seed fund to invest in early-stage startups therefore entrepreneurs can tap onto this fund for their financing needs.
Furthermore, start-ups founders can arrange a meeting with their in-house mentors for pitch deck review and pitch rehearsal. The mentors will be able to provide guidance and advice for:
- Business models
- Growth plans
- Market trends and market directions
- Investment thesis
- Fundraising terms and strategy
2. HR help:
The Impact Hub’s internship programme helps match highly qualified interns from various local and overseas university to startups. These university students will be a good help to tide over any short-term manpower shortages or expansion of the start-up at low cost
3. Well known advisers in the field:
Impact Hub houses key advisors such as include Monk’s Hill Ventures managing director Ong Peng Tsin, Cocoon Capital managing partner Michael Blakey, NSI Ventures founding partner Hian Goh and KK Fund general partner Kuan Hsu. These advisors would be able to provide valuable advice to start-ups along in their journey.
#3: Family-friendly environment – Trehaus
If you are an entrepreneur that’s juggling both your career and family, a childcare facility within the workplace would be a welcomed addition and an added comfort as parents.
Trehaus prides itself as Singapore’s family friendly workspace with its child-minding facilities. Kids Atelier, the centre that offers these services, also provides various lessons and programmes which will definitely keep your kids occupied.
According to Channel NewsAsia, Parents take up to 70% of the workspace at Trehaus therefore it might be a good community for you and your employees to work in and to share parenting tips along the way.
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