Research shows that we are more productive when we have a pleasant environment. In a review of the scientific literature, N. Kamarulzaman lists temperature, noise, lighting (natural and artificial), colour, office layout as a few of the factors affecting productivity. The best coworking spaces, like the best offices, afford users a sense of space, variety of visual stimulation (plain surfaces and textured to ameliorate boredom and fatigue), availability of private and open spaces.
David Radcliffe, VP of Real Estate and Workplace Services at Google, is responsible for everything from conference room colour to ski gondolas in the Zurich meeting room. He has said that “The idea behind this is the employees should own their individual space, be as creative as possible and we shouldn’t get in the way.”
While HR policies have to be sorted internally, even startups have the benefit of being able to afford beauty with these standalone boutique coworking spaces in Singapore.
The Great Room
Styling itself as “a hospitality inspired co-working space“, The Great Room is easily one of the most classy coworking spaces in Singapore. Brass and wood polished to a shine are the impressions that greet you upon entering TGR for the first time.
If you have a meeting, just move over from one of the high marble tabletops over to the spacious leather sofas for a chat and coffee in style and comfort. Prestige is the name of the game.
Tribe by TEC
Early Google would have had an office in this style. Unvarnished wooden cabinets, exposed brick walls and non-matching sofas are just a few of the quirky highlights that you’ll discover at Tribe. Owned and operated by The Executive Centre, a serviced office chain operating in Australia, China and Singapore, there is plenty of industry experience that went into the creation of this whimsical, almost gleefully campy space.
The wall paintings and liberally sprinkled decals may look “busy” at first, but visual “texture” and variety is a well-understood design rule to prevent and overcome visual fatigue and boredom, the same way that people enjoy looking at landscape paintings.
Additionally, there are playful cubicles, meeting rooms and niches of varying colours for one to work from. Minimalism is over-rated. A workplace that lives and breathes brings with it a welcome injection of energy that we can all use from time-to-time.
Space Works is also owned and operated by a corporate parent, this time it’s Regus the global office space provider. With the financial support of their global parent, Space Works has plumped for a contemporary modern chic aesthetic.
Colours are varied but muted. Chairs and sofas have adequate rather than generous padding. To that end even the floor is brushed concrete. Potted plants are understated, nonetheless illuminated by generous indirect lighting. The overall effect is of high professionalism and focus.
If Tribe was all about t-shirts and skinny jeans, Space Works is all pressed white shirts and Dockers khakis.
The space age office has arrived, and it’s The Co. It isn’t hard to imagine a science fiction movie ala Gattaca being filmed here. Painfully stylish and impeccably dressed, with nary a hair out of place.
It feels fitting that a conversation about blockchain or artificial neural networks would take place within the bowels of The Co, as if the future itself is more possible when spoken within these walls.
Fortunately not every room is as intimidating as the pictured foyer. Many of the spaces also feature plain, brushed concrete walls, with frequent use of black and white accents.
Whereas The Great Room reminds one of a 5-star hotel in swanky downtown, The Co’s esoteric blend of high tech and low-key permeate the space. Browns, blacks and whites coexist with grey, dotted with green.
Workstations though are nothing controversial. There are open areas as well as quieter ‘focus’ work desks separated by low partitions. Perhaps surprisingly, both tables and chairs are on roller-wheels. The only way to know if this suits you is to visit.
Collision 8 gives the impression that no expense was spared to create the most conducive work environment possible. In addition to the wide, comfortable leather sofas in the lounge area, the common work area pictured above has comforting brown and green tones everywhere. Chairs are ergonomic and care was taken to have power access points easily accessible on the table surface instead of under the table.
Elsewhere, there are little alcoves and niches for impromptu meetings and calls, as well as remarkably spacious activity rooms. Particularly noteworthy are the array of work desks facing the windows, and the fixed table lamp that illuminates your desk on gloomy days and dusk.
The handsomely-appointed pantry, and even the soothingly decorated washrooms were obviously remodeled extensively. They feature the thoughtfully designed goodies that one often spots on sites like awesomestuff365. At Colllision 8, you feel that you are in the best office possible, but then visually the office just becomes background and you are just left with your work.
The Working Capitol
The Working Capitol is hipster-chic personified. You would expect that this means a focus on good design, and you would not be disappointed. Meeting rooms are spacious and beautiful. They may have murals or a curtain running along one side of the room concealing additional chairs. There are also several common areas where tenants can work. This is a big boon for combating visual fatigue, and just plain boredom. There are tables along the windows, near the pantry, and even a beer garden.
In more ways than one, Working Capitol feels like the best of a design agency office. The kind that you visited once and wished that you could actually work at. Of course people don’t change jobs purely for a beautiful office, but at this space perhaps you could indulge that sentiment just a little.
There is an irresistible thrill of working in a space dedicated to artisanal craftsmen. The Refinery is one such place. Above the bustle of the stylish cafe / grill bar downstairs, you can find yourself in a charming space where you’re as likely to witness woodworking as wordsmithing.
There are high and low tables and chairs all wooden with black iron supports. Framed paintings and posters dot the work area alongside artfully placed bottles of Hendrick’s. Though the contents of the Hendrick’s bottles can’t be verified, the atmosphere is authentic.
If a one-of-a-kind boutique coworking space is what you’re looking for, it doesn’t get more so than typing up your blog post between sandpaper and acrylic paint.