Flexibility is now the key to success in the modern workplace. In Singapore, according to the Conditions of Employment Report released by the Ministry of Manpower, 53 percent of the businesses questioned provided at least one flexible working option, such as teleworking, flexible hours, or part-time employment.
On the other hand, many of the MNCs and government offices in Singapore are now turning to co-working spaces to improve their flexibility.
Klook Singapore: Building family-friendly workplaces with flexibility
The Business Times speaks to three firms to learn how these programs have benefited their workplaces and what advice they would provide to other businesses considering adopting similar programs.
Cary Shek, vice-president of people and culture at Klook, mentioned the company’s position on hybrid work, and the accommodation for staff who are keen to work from home on a regular basis.
At Klook, we are maintaining hybrid work arrangements and we empower our people managers to assess and provide additional flexibility to employees with family or other personal commitments.
The pandemic made us rethink the meaning of the physical workplace and how best we can empower local teams subject to their restrictions. We have to strike a balance, and the hybrid-working model gives us the best of both worlds, in terms of flexibility and human connection.Cary Shek, vice-president of people and culture at Klook
Over the past two years, Klook has been renting one floor from a coworking space here. Additionally, employees are permitted to utilize desks at all of the co-working chain’s locations, which Klook asked not to be identified.
When Klook first joined the Singapore market a few years ago, according to Ms. Cary Shek, staff were housed in a shophouse. However, as the squad grew, that proved impossible. Klook sought a location that would better encourage employee interaction and collaboration, and discovered that a co-working facility may also provide more flexibility than rented office space.
As a fast-moving company, efficiency is so important to us. Time (is) required to set up a new office and … maintain it. We do need to make a call – where do we want our people to focus on.
A co-working space provides us with the scalability … (and) allows us to optimise the space, like when our business keeps expanding.Cary Shek, vice-president of people and culture at Klook
Multinationals use co-working spaces for hybrid working
Apart from Klook, Standard Chartered has already implemented flexible work and believed that flexible work can help them retain its talents. The reason for implementing flexible work is that base on the understanding of Singaporeans’ preferences, spending time with family is more important than work.
The 10,000 workers of Standard Chartered Business in Singapore have access to workplaces that are closer to their homes thanks to flex space supplier IWG, even though the bank still retains its main headquarters in Changi Business Park and Marina Bay Financial Tower 1.
The head of resourcing for Standard Chartered in Singapore, Mr. Brian Richards, said he meets up with coworkers at the bank’s main headquarters and occasionally utilizes coworking spaces as a substitute for working from home and for off-site team meetings.
I appreciate the availability of diverse conducive spaces to support my various work needs, and the change in environment is refreshing and boosts productivity.Mr. Brian Richards, the head of resourcing for Standard Chartered in Singapore
Decentralization, Flexibility, and Cost Reduction
“This is clearly a reflection of the increasing popularity of work-from-anywhere.” Mr. Darren Rogers said, country manager for IWG Singapore.
There is an increasing trend for having workplaces near residences, according to co-working spaces.
Between February and August of this year, more people visited IWG centers outside of the city center than within, according to Mr. Rogers. Since launching in April, visits to its newest Regus center at Balestier’s Hiap Hoe Building increased by 240%.
Flexibility is a key advantage as it allows co-working space users the option to scale up or down, while traditional office leases lock a tenant down for a minimum three years, coupled with the consideration for a longer amortisation period for their fit-outs.said Mr Desmond Sim, CEO of real estate consulting firm Edmund Tie
Smaller businesses may have easy access to a desirable location through a flexible co-working facility, which is essential for talent acquisition.
When asked to compare the expenses of using a co-working space with renting an office, Mr. Desmond responded that they depend on the location and level of use, but that employing a subscription model has lower upfront expenditures.
In general, a typical cost plan for a co-working space may be quite even and spread out, paid on an annual basis, while a traditional lease will have to incur higher setup costs … at the lease commencementsaid Mr Desmond Sim, CEO of real estate consulting firm Edmund Tie
Learn more about Singapore Working Culture: https://ones.software/blog/category/singapore-work-culture/