Joining a co-working space has become an attractive and viable alternative to renting an office in many urban centres such as Singapore. These shared working environments typically attract freelancers, independent contractors, work-at-home professionals, frequent business travellers, startup companies and small businesses.

When deciding on joining a co-working space, weigh the advantages and disadvantages that the working environment may present first. Most co-working spaces in Singapore require membership but still try to inquire whether you can drop in for a short visit to see the facilities firsthand.

Co-working Space Analysis

Pro: The collaborative environment provides opportunities for networking.

A co-working space gives you access to a vibrant community. Compared to a home office or a private office, a shared environment presents more opportunities to meet people from different fields. From this pool of interesting people, you can easily find potential business partners or sources of referrals. Aside from having a great network of professionals, a co-working space typically has a collaborative, rather than a competitive, atmosphere wherein each person works within his field of expertise.

Con: The lack of privacy can be a serious issue.

Many co-working spaces feature rooms dedicated for business meetings, conferences and even phone calls. However, they may be limited or may cost you a few extra dollars. If you need to make a lot of private phone calls or video calls, then a co-working space may not be appropriate for your business.

Pro: Most co-working spaces are located at a strategic spot in the city.

Most co-working spaces are conveniently located within the central business district. From these spaces, you can have easy access to dining establishments, shopping centres and public transportation. For example, HiredTurf is only one minute away from the Lavender MRT, and The Co is five minutes away from the City Hall and the Clarke Quay MRT.

Con: The facilities may not meet all of your work requirements.

Think about how you work best before choosing your work environment. A co-working space with an open plan may not be suitable for workers who are most productive in quiet pockets of areas. It may not also be appropriate for people who are easily distracted by conversation or random chatter.

Pro: Shared spaces are affordable.

One of the most obvious perks of joining a co-working space is its affordability. The rate for membership in a co-working space is often more affordable than the rate for an office lease within the same vicinity. Moreover, many co-working spaces already provide access to common office equipment such as a scanner and a photocopying machine.

Con: The space is not your own.

One of the most gratifying parts of establishing a business is building an office culture that you enjoy being part of. Since many different businesses share the same area in a co-working space, you will not be able to control the office culture in it. This can be disappointing for some entrepreneurs and employees who are looking forward to building a culture appropriate for their business.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva



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