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Productivity is no longer measured by face time or how many hours one is sitting behind their desk. Roles have evolved to allow people more flexibility in choosing where and when they work.
“Work has become a lifestyle and people are gradually looking for offices that are able to foster interaction, collaboration and idea exchanges,” said Michelle Woo, general manager of The Co.
The Co is one of many shared working spaces that have popped up in Singapore, as the concept of third places gain traction.
These shared offices allow employees from various companies or start-ups to work remotely – and among other people – and are often provided with full office amenities such as WiFi, printing, meeting rooms, security and even food and beverages.
“For home and mobile workers, distractions can abound in both the home and cafe settings, whereas a co-working space can provide a more structured environment that is designed for work,” Woo said.
However, for all the advantages shared working spaces provide, there are certainly set-backs mobile workers have to keep in mind.
Professor Wong Poh Kam, director of the NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, which manages the shared space of Plug-In@Blk71, said some of the disadvantages include privacy of information, security of equipment and the lack of stability or a set working space.
“However, most technology entrepreneurs who are based at Plug-In@Blk71 thrive on working in a dynamic environment,” Wong said.
Grace Sai, co-founder and CEO of The HUB Singapore, agrees, adding a shared working space helps build networks and collaboration opportunities.
“You can accelerate your growth by learning from others ahead of you, brainstorming together, and honing your entrepreneurial skills through events and programmes that take place in the co-working space after hours,” she said, adding these spaces to really benefit those working there, respect for others is very important.
“You have to strike the balance between feeling at home, because it’s a casual environment, and being sure that other people’s needs are respected, too. This might range from being sure to wash your glasses after use, to being mindful of a conversation going on at the next table.”
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