Coworking spaces provide flexibility for a new company. You can acquire good quality working space for your team without making a long-term commitment. Coworking has now become a large segment in the real estate market. According to the Statista website, 18,700 coworking spaces were operating worldwide in 2018 and this number is expected to reach 22,400 by the end of 2019. CoworkingResources’ research shows that the number of coworking spaces worldwide is projected to reach 25,968 by 2022.
So, what exactly is a coworking space? Generally, it is a shared workspace for people working independently on different projects – and in most cases, for different companies. Some of them are freelancers, some are working remotely for their employers, while others might be working for a start-up. A range of amenities are provided by the coworking space provider, including high-speed internet, desks, chairs, lamps, filing cabinets, copiers, kitchen area, lounges, reception area, and even sophisticated equipment, such as 3D printers.
The main attraction of the coworking space is its flexibility; you can join and leave with very short notice periods. Another benefit of such a work environment is that it provides a community of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses an opportunity to network and form business relationships organically.
Is coworking for your?
Coworking spaces were a response to the booming demand for simpler alternatives to the “long-term commercial leased” office space. Entrepreneurs, tech startups, distance workers and freelancers often prefer quick working solutions that do not require them to make multi-year commitments. If this is your situation, coworking may be a good option for you. But before you go down this path, you should be aware of its advantages and drawbacks.
Coworking spaces create an upbeat, positive, working environment. Working side-by-side with other startups, entrepreneurs, and freelancers can boost your productivity and creativity. Besides networking opportunities, you can also take advantage of events, consultations, and advising sessions that are organized by the coworking managers.
Flexibility is another advantage; particularly, if you anticipate a fluctuating number of employees. If you plan to start small but grow soon, coworking spaces will provide a platform to scale up.
Low startup cost is another advantage. The low onboarding cost facilitates the launch of a start-up because the firm can save the capital that would otherwise be required to rent an entire office.
But there are challenges too. Among the most salient is the lack of privacy as you will be working with many others who you may or may not know well. Coworking spaces can become crowded during certain days or hours; it may influence your productivity. Likewise, networking events and activities may be extremely distracting for the work that requires a high level of concentration. Finally, coworking spaces are not cost effective in the long-term. If you plan to be at a location for several years, you will do better by acquiring the office space directly.
Overview of the coworking industry in Singapore
Singapore, Luxembourg, and Ireland are the top three countries with the highest density of per capita coworking spaces. Singapore is one of the most active markets in the Asia-Pacific region for coworking spaces. This is due to its thriving startup culture and the numerous government incentives that encourage innovation and enterprise formation (if you are thinking of launching your startup, read our Singapore company registration guide). More than 120 flexible workspace centers are operating in the country and coworking space providers compete to differentiate themselves from their competitors. In fact, the coworking trend has impacted the office design of large firms too. For example, the new office of Prudential Assurance Singapore, PRU WorkPlace, is designed as an open amphitheater and contains collaborative work zone for employees.
Though the coworking industry is flourishing, there are growing concerns around the sustainability of coworking demand. In particular, WeWork – one of the principal players in this segment – is confronting serious problems due to its aggressive growth and management turmoil. However, even while WeWork is shutting down locations across the world, it is expanding in Singapore. So, if you plan to use a WeWork coworking place in Singapore, please evaluate it cautiously and do not sign a long-term agreements with WeWork.
Coworking Spaces in Singapore
To choose a coworking place, you should consider several factors, such as opening hours, subscription type, location, and price. Note that coworking spaces generally charge a per month fee. You will pay approximately S$250 to S$500 monthly for a hot desk in Singapore. The price for a dedicated desk normally starts from S$600 per month.
Below are some of the coworking spaces in Singapore that our clients have used with success. Please note that the information is accurate as of October 2019 but may change subsequently. Also note that we do no promote any specific coworking space; you should check them out and choose the one that best suits your needs.
- The Workshop is probably the cheapest coworking space in Singapore. It offers several affordable price plans and other flexible add-ons. A hot desk with high-speed Internet, dedicated locker, and business address goes for just S$220 per month. This space is suitable for new startups, SMEs, and e-commerce businesses. In addition, small companies can rent a work pod with 3-6 hours of the meeting room usage included for free monthly.
- The Working Capitol is located in a gorgeous historical place. Surprisingly, it is also one of the most affordable coworking spaces. You can book a work spot with all amenities and access to member events from S$255 per month. Here you can enjoy inspiring designs, curated food, excellent beverages, and the perfect mix of events and programs. The Working Capital also has an in-house cafe, a rooftop bar, and a magazine library.
- The Hive is a workspace in a city-centre location that is away from the bustling corporate skyscrapers. The main peculiarity of the Hive is a special rate for young entrepreneurs, virtual members, start-ups, and early-stage companies. The price of the hot-desk membership starts from S$210 per month.
- Another coworking space is located in Katong Point. Mox is a three-story facility that has a retail space, workshop rooms and working areas that can accommodate up to 200 people. It is a unique working space with a lot of advanced facilities, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, an art gallery, and specialized working stations equipped with design software. Here you can even find a napping room. A flexible desk with 24/7 access costs S$300 monthly.
- Level3 is one of the most vibrant coworking spaces in Singapore. It is a hub for experimentation and innovation. The location of Level3 is right in Mapletree Business City. Apart from the traditional package of amenities, this collaborative space offers access to Unilever Foundry’s events, mentorship programs, business strategy advisory and other opportunities to prototype your ideas in a real-world business context. The price of a hot desk in Level3 is S$300 per month.
- Trehaus in Orchard is a mix of a coworking space and a childcare center. There is a dedicated kid zone with childcare facilitators and educators, so you can enjoy the proximity to kids while working. This family-friendly coworking space has dedicated spaces with child-friendly services and adult-only workspace zones, meeting rooms and event spaces where you can get your work done while still being close to your child. A fixed desk costs S$580 monthly.
- Situated in the Central Business District, Distrii comprises six levels of workstations and team spaces. It is the largest tech-driven coworking facility in Singapore. The distinctive feature of Distrii is a mobile application that allows all members to walk into the center, book a desk in any of Distrii’s locations, unlock meeting rooms and lockers just by scanning a QR code. In addition to over 900 work stations, private offices and customizable team spaces, Distrii offers a flexible multi-purpose event hall for up to 200 people, an in-house cafe and spaces with exercise bikes and foot massage mats. Distrii can accomodate bigger startups and medium-sized enterprises as well. The monthly rental cost of a hot desk is S$550.
- NuSpace is the only free coworking space in Singapore. Besides its attractive location at Changi Business Park, NuSpace offers free WiFi connection, football table and plenty of networking opportunities with free tech talks, workshops, and other events. However, it is free just for one year and solely for Nulab account member sign-ups.
To sum up, the demand for coworking spaces is driven by flexibility, affordability, and a desire to network. Singapore offers a flourishing market for coworking spaces. Of course, coworking has its pros and cons, so the best way to understand whether it is a suitable option for you is to check out a place before you sign up. Many spaces offer free trials to test out how well they would work for you. Finally, you should keep in mind that you may not need an office, but just an address. For example, you may be required to have a Singapore registered address to comply with the ACRA requirements. We offer company registered address service at very affordable cost that may be all you need.
Headquartered in Singapore, CorporateServices.com, empowers global entrepreneurs with information and tools necessary to discover Singapore as a destination for launching or relocating their startup venture and offers a complete range of company incorporation, immigration, accounting, tax filing, and compliance services in Singapore. The company combines a cutting-edge online platform with an experienced team of industry veterans to offer high-quality and affordable services to its customers. Contact Us if you need assistance with setting up a new Singapore company or if you would like to transfer the administration of your existing company to us.
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