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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES/LEGAL | Contributed Content, Singapore
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Callum Laing

Collaboration economy starts with where you sit

BY CALLUM LAING

Singapore, the world's 3rd most popular destination for digital business, is a mecca for co-working spaces. With remote workers and outsourcing on the rise, location-independent professionals are increasingly choosing to work in these shared spaces.

Spaces like Singapore's Collective Works, The Hub, or more than a dozen others with their fast-growing community of entrepreneurs and digital nomads illustrate why co-working spaces are more than just funky decor, ambient tunes, and good coffee.

Co-working is about community, connection, and sharing with focus on flexibility, productivity, and collaboration. So why should you consider using a co-working space?

1. Community

As we fly into the digital age on the wings of mobile computing into the vast interconnectedness of a networked world, business and community are morphing. Whilst you may be location-independent, you still want to be a part of a community.

Co-working space provides a semi-social melting pot for human interaction not found on the Internet. Sharing, collaborating, finding synergies whilst getting a coffee amongst similar types of professionals is what happens in co-working spaces.

Meeting potential clients and partners is highly likely when working in niche co-working spaces catering to similar types of business.

2. Flexibility

Change is a given. Your business needs to be fluid and flexible to the evolving market requirements. Co-working spaces are tailored to this evolving marketplace and understand the changing nature of digital business.

Whether you’re chasing just a few quiet hours with good bandwidth or a legitimate meeting room where you can regularly gather clients or contractors, there’s a co-working space that will fit your requirements.

With this flexibility comes economy. You only pay for what you use. Cutting out unnecessary overheads of the old fixed office space is a good way to free up resources.

More likely these spaces have a more energised ambience than traditional office spaces allowing for better focus and greater productivity.

3. Enterprise

Co-working spaces are gathering points for entrepreneurs. There's boldness sitting right next to you. Highly energised people are magnetic. They attract one another.

Co-working spaces are hives of enterprising individuals alive to opportunity. Creativity and ideas are the natural bi-product of shared experience.

Leveraging the creative energy of a co-working space is good for business and has a far-reaching ripple effect into other areas of your life.

4. Growth

Even if you're happy with the size of your business and not interested in scaling up or out, there’s growth to be found in co-working spaces. Conferences and presentations are regularly run at these spaces and the general open source attitude of co-workers lends itself to an atmosphere of learning.

By sharing, learning, and growing from each other, it makes good business sense to reach out and connect in such environments. Attending seminars, meeting and befriending people with similar interests, and finding new avenues of knowledge that you wouldn't get working at home or in a cafe are what co-working spaces promote.

So next time you consider staying at home to crunch out some work on your own, why not take your laptop down to a shared office and see for yourself? In this digitally, interconnected world, real human connection is still the substance from which real growth arises.

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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Callum Laing

Callum Laing

Callum invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet, a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence, a 40-week training program for business owners and executives.

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