Remote work setups and locations are not always the idyllic and exotic beach settings popularised by “digital nomads.” The reality is that most of the time, remote work is done in makeshift work-from-home offices with distractions and challenges to productivity. That’s why co-working spaces were conceptualised to bridge the gap between the traditional office space and the home office setup.
In this flexible work environment, people are free to independently work on their own projects while sharing the space with other entrepreneurs, professionals, and students. The result is a relaxed, comfortable workspace with like-minded people to interact and share ideas with.
In Singapore, the demand for co-working spaces increased by 62% in the second half of 2022 compared to 2021. With continued projections of an upward trend, the co-working workplace setup is becoming a permanent alternative to traditional offices.
Who are benefitting from co-working spaces? What sort of individuals—from which industries and professions—fit these types of flexible working spaces? And how are they making co-working spaces work for their particular needs? This short guide will aim to answer these questions.
Tech Startup Entrepreneurs
In previous decades, startups that are now major tech companies began in garages and basements in their own houses. These days, startups are often incubated in co-working spaces where they are offered better support and opportunities.
Co-working spaces are the perfect place for startups to grow and thrive, as they won’t have to worry about renting a large office space for their team of pioneers. Moreover, compared to working from home individually, working together as a team in a space fosters innovation and better collaboration.
Entrepreneurs from a variety of industries may find greater chances of success by opting for co-working spaces instead of establishing their own facilities. In Singapore, niche co-working spaces such as life sciences labs are now available for startups and innovators in the field of biotechnology. Co-working labs that are at least BSL 2 certified open up opportunities for aspiring biotech entrepreneurs who want to pursue their own ideas and business goals.
In a co-working lab, biotech entrepreneurs and researchers won’t have to start from scratch. A BSL-2 certified co-working lab can provide the right equipment, such as biosafety cabinets, centrifuges, thermocyclers, and more, ensuring researchers have everything they need to start their projects. Even regulatory permits and compliances are taken care of so entrepreneurs and researchers are free to focus on their main goals.
Freelancers working for multiple companies often suffer from a lack of structure throughout their workday. This can be a serious challenge to their overall productivity, as there’s a tendency to jump from one task to another, which could end up in an unproductive day.
Meanwhile, in a co-working space, freelancers can simulate a normal office environment, giving them structure and work boundaries. This enables them to focus on their goals and tasks for the day as if they were in a normal office.
Undergraduate and graduate students stand to benefit from working near professionals who belong in the same industry.
Working in the same space with professionals in their field provides students with valuable opportunities to learn and grow. For example, they can gain practical insights into industry trends and best practices, expand their professional network, and even potentially land internship and even job opportunities. The collaborative environment can also foster inspiration and creativity, with students possibly even deriving mentorship from more experienced individuals. Overall, working alongside professionals in a coworking space can be an excellent way for students to enhance their skills and prepare for future success in their chosen fields.
Alongside remote work, working vacations are also on the rise. Busy workers who travel with their laptops will often require a stable Internet connection and a quiet space to do intensive work while on a holiday. With their flexible hourly and daily rates, co-working spaces provide the perfect solution for working vacationers.
Travelling businessmen may also use the co-working space for conferences or meetings. For instance, if their company has no office in a certain location, executives and staff can quickly set up shop in a professionally styled co-working space that can accommodate their needs.
It may seem odd, but some office workers may find that working in a co-working space (if such an arrangement is possible in the first place) will make them more productive and motivated to complete their work. The idea behind this is that there’s no office politics or competition that may affect the worker’s state of mind. With less stress and pressure from their peers or potential rivals, they can concentrate better on the task at hand without worries and anxieties.
There are specialised co-working spaces with daycare facilities to allow working parents to be near their children while they work. These workplaces give them an incredible opportunity to provide early childhood education for their children while also allowing them to work—all without missing much time together as a family.
Co-working spaces are becoming an integral part of most people’s professional lives. But beyond the aesthetically designed interiors, fast internet connectivity, and complete work equipment, co-working spaces attract professionals because of the collaborative atmosphere and camaraderie that makes work more fun and interesting.