Renting meeting rooms by the hour and engaging administrative help to be on call at all times at convenient locations in the city - this is how all companies could potentially operate in future.
It is possible that implementing versatile space solutions in order to raise productivity and creativity among employees can become the norm for companies in the next 10 years.
73,000 additional jobs in “flexible” offices are expected to be created by 2030 in Singapore, according to a 2018 analysis conducted by independent economists and commissioned by Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workspaces.
The demand for flexible workspaces is constantly increasing. PHOTO: REGUS
Mr Ian Hallett, group managing director for Regus, says: “Flexible working is a powerful tool that has the power to benefit not just businesses, but societies and whole economies. This has become possible due to the accelerating adoption of flexible working as a standard business practice for millions across the globe.”
Affordable and efficient
The appeal of different companies sharing common spaces to carry out their work lies in cost-saving benefits.
Flexible office spaces usually come with the necessary facilities and amenities, such as high-speed Internet and printing services. Without any long-term contract in place, a company can book a space as and when it is required, thus saving on maintenance and operating costs of running its own physical office.
Centennial Tower’s business centre is in the heart of the central business district. PHOTO: REGUS
Such flexible working arrangement also benefits individuals. By cutting back on time spent on commuting, it is projected that people in Singapore will save 4.7 million hours of commuting time each year.
New co-working spaces
Regus, based in Switzerland, has been operating in Singapore for over 20 years. There are currently 33 workspaces situated mostly in the central business district here, with five more slated to open later this year.
According to the company, the rising demand for flexible workspaces will continue to increase due to the rise of the mobile workforce. This means people such as working parents and part-time workers now have opportunities to work more flexibly and gain access to these locations no matter where they are.
For instance, Regus can help to create virtual offices for frequent travellers who can set their own local numbers and business addresses for mail to be sent to. Depending on the package, they can also get free business lounge access to offices located all around the world. This provides them with informal drop-in meeting spaces with free tea and coffee, secure Wi-Fi service, and access to a printer, scanner and photocopier.
Regus business centres like the one at One Fullerton come with complimentary refreshments. PHOTO: REGUS
Another cost-effective solution that Regus provides is helping companies to set up a co-working site. Companies only have to indicate the number of desks they need by the hour. All utilities are provided in the co-working space, thus alleviating the need to set up.
One of Regus’ new co-working sites launched in Singapore this year is in the heart of Tanjong Pagar, ideal for like-minded people to link up and share ideas. Located at 77 Robinson Road, the site sits at the top of a 35-storey building and has views of the central business district. It is also a short distance from Changi Airport via the Pan Island Expressway. Multinational tenants in the building including Adidas, Dentsu, Rabobank Group and Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance, among others.
Mr Hallet says: “It’s hugely exciting to consider the ways our society could benefit as a result of increase flexible working. Businesses must seize the opportunity to become part of this workspace revolution.”