No more cafe hopping: This startup allows employees to work at MRT stations
Founder Jane Toh said Staytion seeks to address the lack of “work near home” amenities.
Working from home was never an option for Jane Toh who lives with elderly parents, two young kids, a dog, and a husband who is frequently on Zoom calls. This is why she opted to work in cafes instead. However, cafes would often chase her out for doing work there.
Tired of this situation, she decided to start “Staytion,” a co-working space situated in MRT stations.
“The concept of Staytion was borne to allow working parents like me to have the cake and eat it too. I need not go to the office to enjoy enterprise-grade facilities and I get to do my work in a productive zone,” Toh told Singapore Business Review.
“Staytion is a connector and a lifestyle enabler. We alleviate the demands of employees in multi-generational families and people living in tight spaces,” she added.
Toh said she put up co-working spaces directly at MRT stations because having a space located in a transport node will allow its users to get the “best of every world - a caffeine fix, catch-up with friends, or a conference call.”
“We are not five minutes away from the MRT, we are at the MRT. Staytion is at the forefront of the 15-minute city concept, and we are flying the flag high in support of the work-near-home movement as it significantly lowers the carbon footprint,” she said.
“Convenience is a key factor as a lot of our members are very much in favour and support of our sustainability efforts, hence we want them to be able to easily work in our spaces before they get on a train, or immediately after they hop off a train,” she added.
The first Staytion was opened on 28 September 2022 at Marsiling MRT Station. Two more Staytions will open soon, one at Paya Lebar MRT Station on 14 December 2022 and another at Woodlands MRT Station in February 2023.
Toh said that Staytions are located in stations outside the central business district or in the urban areas to cater to people who want to work in decentralised locations.
Booking a ‘Staytion’
Hybrid workers who wish to work at a “Staytion” can book through its Web App platform, gostayiton.com, where they will need to sign up for an account.
After signing up, users can select their preferred work desk and location. Those who booked a space will receive a confirmation email of their booking.
Workers can stay at Staytion spaces for as low as $4.90 per hour. Users can also gain one month of access to the spaces for at least $49.
When staying in the Staytion spaces, Toh said users must comply with house rules which include basic co-work etiquette to clean up after each use and to take calls and/or meetings in dedicated phone booths.
Toh said most of Staytion’s users are from small-medium enterprises and large corporations with staff residing near their centres.
Amongst Staytion’s users is renowned literary artist, Shelly Bryant, who said that the startup has given her a place where she can focus on her work without disruption, helping address the challenges she faces with the temptation to overwork and/or over-commit.
“Having the space to really focus allows me to be more productive whilst working, which means I can put my work away at the end of the day feeling it has been a fruitful day, and now it is time to rest. It is a good feeling,” Bryant said.