BY DELLE CHAN

Start­ing your own busi­ness? Amp up your pro­duc­tiv­ity and save costs with co-work­ing spa­ces. Or if you want to liven up your work area, check out some cool new stand­ing desks and gad­gets.

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If you’re a free­lancer or an en­tre­pre­neur who finds it less than con­ducive to work at home, co-work­ing spa­ces might be right up your al­ley.

Co-work­ing spa­ces are es­sen­tially shared of­fice en­vi­ron­ments that fa­cil­i­tate in­de­pen­dent ac­tiv­ity, mak­ing them ideal for small busi­ness own­ers, free­lancers and re­mote work­ers. And their pop­u­lar­ity is grow­ing, with more than 25 such spa­ces in Sin­ga­pore at last count.

Be­sides pro­vid­ing ameni­ties such as desks, break­out spa­ces, meet­ing rooms, Wi-Fi and cof­fee, many such spa­ces are open 24/7 – per­fect for those who pre­fer work­ing at odd hours of the night. Membership is usu­ally on a monthly ba­sis, although some spa­ces of­fer day passes (upon re­quest) that will suit those who need them on an ad hoc ba­sis.

“Co-work­ing spa­ces en­able users to get their work done with­out the dis­trac­tions of the laun­dry pile, the TV or the door­bell. Users also en­joy the so­cial as­pect of co-work­ing, as it of­fers them plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for col­lab­o­ra­tion,” shares Michaela An­chan, founder of Woolf Works.

“You’re sur­rounded by a group of in­cred­i­bly mo­ti­vated and inspiring peo­ple. It’s like a phys­i­cal so­cial net­work,” adds Jonathan O’Byrne, CEO of Col­lec­tive Works. “Be­sides, a co-work­ing space saves you money due to economies of scale, so you get bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties than you can af­ford on your own.”

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