Co-working spaces to grow 42% to 1.4 million sqft in 2018

To increase their competitive edge, some co-working operators have incorporated unique themes and services, like The Great Room's lavish interiors and custom-made furnishings.

Singapore’s co-working spaces market is booming. With more project completions in the CBD, a report by Edmund Tie & Company (ET&Co) revealed that by the end of 2018, the total amount of co-working spaces will grow by around 42% YoY to around 1.4 million sqft. Some 372,000 sq ft of co-working spaces have been confirmed for the next two years, out of which, approximately 59% are planned in the CBD.

Multinational corporations (MNC) are now subscribed to over 50% of co-working memberships, according to ET&Co. “Co-working spaces offer companies flexibility in lease terms, which in turn help corporates manage the fluctuating staff members amidst economic uncertainties and project-based work.” 

As an example, Lendlease has moved about 100 of its staff into The Work Project at OUE Downtown to prepare for their new co-working space in Paya Lebar Quarter. “Cost savings from using a co-working space is the most apparent in the CBD, where savings can amount to approximately 50% as compared to a traditional office space,” ET&Co added. 

As of the end of May 2018, there are about 110 co-working spaces in Singapore, amounting to around 1.1 million sqft. Around 21% of these are in the central business district (CBD) whilst about 10% of the spaces are in the area of Shenton Way/Robinson Road/Cecil Street/Anson Road/Tanjong Pagar, whilst 8% are in Raffles Place, and 3% are in Marina Bay.

Also read: Inside WeWork's first Singapore coworking space

One of them, Spaces by IWG, will occupy around 35,000 sq ft in One Raffles Place when it commences operations in 2019. “A unique aspect of this space will be its ability to host and launch retail and fashion related events within a mall setting. It also aims to support a business community made up of different industries, which will include the creative industry and fintech companies,” the firm said.

Moreover, co-working spaces are gaining a competitive edge with targeted markets and services. “Co-working spaces differentiate themselves in various ways. About 67% is operating under major operator networks, with some targeting specific industries.” 

An example is one of the largest co-working spaces in the CBD, the Singapore FinTech Coworking Hub 80RR in 80 Robinson Road. “Occupying 100,000 sqft, this hub offers the technological infrastructure and environment that fintech companies can tap on. By focusing on an industry, operators can organise events and training sessions to cater learning and networking opportunities for members,” ET&Co added. 

To increase their competitive edge, some co-working operators have also incorporated unique themes and services, the firm noted, such as The Great Room, a hospitality inspired co-working space that has lavish interiors and custom-made furnishings.

“Many landlords are beginning to recognise the importance of innovation and creativity in workspaces and have begun to introduce co-working spaces in their developments,” ET&Co said, citing Collective Works at Capital Tower which is 50% owned by CapitaLand.

It is around 22,000 sqft with a mix of private and open spaces designed to encourage collaboration. In addition, there is an integrated media studio with recording facilities.

City Developments Limited and Chinese co-working operator Distrii have also joined forces to open a 62,000 sqft tech-driven co-working facility in Raffles Place. This is Distrii’s first overseas location outside of China.

Besides office spaces, there is also a multi-purpose hall and a café run by German burger chain Hans imi Glück. The space is equipped with a customised mobile application for members to unlock meeting or conference rooms and share files. 

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