A well-stocked pantry, a social environment, coffee breaks spent at a counter waiting rather than in front of your Nespresso Machine you forgot ran out of capsules a month ago. As freelancers, let’s face it; some things we still can’t help but envy our full-timer counterparts. Unless you’re already successful enough to have a studio, or blessed with enough space to not have to work inside your bedroom, the alternative generally falls into two options:
Firstly, working at cafes, where the ergonomics are usually poor, it is noisy, and power outlets, wifi, and seat availability are unpredictable.
Secondly, co-working spaces.
Now while co-working spaces may seem like the perfect solution, not all co-working spaces are created equally, and many seem to be better for SMEs, startups, and specialised teams rather than individuals like yourself. Thus, Friz has collated a list of 7 Singaporean co-working spaces for freelancers of all shapes. Here they are, in no particular order:
- The Work Project
The Work Project is for the conscientious. While remaining affordable with hotdesking rates at $295/10 days a month to $395/month for a full-time membership, The Work Project makes carefully, beautifully-designed working and meeting spaces in prime districts available to all.
They’ve been included in Forbes’ “5 Most Beautiful Co-Working Spaces in the World”, and Huffington Post’s “20 Best Co-Working Spaces Across the Globe”, all due to their no-expenses-spared attitude to workspace design. From the acoustics of individual spaces to ergonomics and unique features like green walls and panoramic city views, the 6 locations each have their poise.
Particularly known for their meeting rooms, The Work Project is a great space for freelancers who frequently conduct meetings with clients. Not to mention the well-stocked pantry and cleaning staff.
The only downside with The Work Project Singapore is that currently, due to government ruling, events, networking, and cross-office hotdesking have been paused, meaning freelancers looking to hot-desk are, for the moment, restricted to one “home location”.
The Work Project is available at 6 locations including offices at OUE Downtown Gallery, Bugis, and Great World City
JustCo should need no introduction. As the largest co-working network in the Asia-Pacific region, it has a whopping 17 locations in Singapore (and one more at The Metropolis opening Q1 2022) alone, each location uniquely designed by their in-house Interior Design team.
The immediate difference between JustCo and the other entries on this list is the comparatively brighter and more instagrammable nature of JustCo, and behind the fun exterior of JustCo’s outlets are dedicated teams for member support and useful benefits like on-premise server rooms, meeting rooms, in-house entertainment systems, and regular events.
JustCo locations are also accessible 24/7 for membership holders, and herein lies another of JustCo’s main strengths; their coverage. JustCo not only has locations within the Central Business Districts, but they also have outlets in commercial headquarters such as OCBC, Razer, and Samsung, as well as many in malls such as Westgate and The Centerpoint.
Their hotdesking rates start at $398/month, which is on the pricier side if you don’t intend to be using their facilities all of the time. If you’re always on the move, JustCo’s flexibility and the established support network are well worth it.
For the Slightly-Eccentric
- The Hive
The Hive is a coworking space with two radically different locations. The Hive at Carpenter Street is a 6-storey, beautifully furnished office. Just like The Work Project, they have two membership tiers for hot deskers: $250/10 days per month and $400/month with 24/7 access and doubled printing and meeting room credits.
The Hive at Carpenter Street also boasts a unique rooftop Cafe with a triple-high ceiling and a view of Marina Bay Sands for a lovely, aromatic working experience with fresh coffee brewed by their in-house baristas.
The Hive at Lavender is more suited for creative professions with its design workshop, professionally-equipped photography studios, and its large, well-lit central working space. The Hive Lavender, although without the views afforded by their other location, also have an in-house coffee lounge serving freshly ground coffee.
That’s not all. The Hive’s signature lies in their events. For example, at their Carpenter Street location, they regularly host Rooftop Yoga, and at Lavender, Unplugged sessions, and Neon Art Jamming sessions. While partial monthly membership at The Work Project means giving up membership perks, if you just need to work 10 days in a month, the $250/month option will also give you discounted access to all events like this.
- The Working Capitol
With a facade like that you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is some upscale hotel housing executive suites and a fusion restaurant, but in fact, located on Keong Saik Road is The Working Capitol, a modern co-working space set in a heritage building.
From an old biscuit factory, co-founders Ben and Saranta Gattie opened in 2015 in an attempt to revitalise working spaces, and create a vibrant environment for companies and individuals to grow and challenge conventional working life.
As far as lifestyle options go, The Working Capitol tops the list for having the most “fun” location. With food options like Italian deli Puteca Abate, Vietnamese craft beer brewery Heart of Darkness, and Korean-Japanese fusion Michelin-starred restaurant Meta to name a few.
The Working Capitol has three plans. Firstly, Workconnect where for $79/month you get access to a Business Address, mail handling, member events, and a One-day hotdesking pass. Next, Workspot, their equivalent of hotdesking, costs $255/10 days or $350/month.
You can get a discount on the Unlimited monthly rate by committing to a period of 6 or 12 months instead of on a monthly renewal. The Workspot membership gives you access to Meeting Room Credits, Lockable storage cabinets, 24/7 access, and other amenities on top of the perks offered to Workconnect members.
Good for their Network/Resources
Found8 is a co-working space focused on building co startups and freelancers. In Found8’s growth-focused environment, you’ll find a sense of belonging with like-minded and motivated people. Their extensive and well-supported membership network means members can make connections through Found8’s designated community executives (CEs) who will direct them to relevant people, forming key networks both for independent contractors and startup entrepreneurs.
Found8 consists of three locations: Amoy Street, Tanjong Pagar office, and High Street Centre. Each Found8 space lends a different vibe – from the bright and laid-back Amoy shophouse, dynamic and spacious Tanjong Pagar office, to the inspiring High Street Centre space.
To top it off, Found8 has best-in-class informative resources and community events. Resources like their Knowledge Blog are available on their website, as well as the Cut the BS Podcast, available wherever you get your podcasts!
Found8 is offering all Friz users a Hot Desk Unlimited membership plan for only $299/pax for 3 months at any location. Find your spot in conducive workspaces that are perfect for coworkers to connect and achieve ultimate work productivity.
Singapore’s first independent workspace and community for creatives, Mox calls themselves a “co-making” space, which is easy to see why. With laser cutters, 3D printers, carpentry machines, workstations with design software, a sewing room, and a photo studio, there’s almost no alternative in Singapore, especially if your work is mainly multidisciplinary.
Featuring 2 locations, Mox@OXLEY and the newly-opened Mox@ASSEMBLAGE, Mox is not only a fully-decked co-working space with private offices, meeting rooms, and hotdesking options, Mox is also, for freelancers working in crafts and other makes, a stockist and a storefront.
Their co-retailing features include consignment in their retail shopfronts including Makers Market, and kómma social cafe, front of house helpers, pick-up and drop-off services.
Other Interesting Options
Last year, we wrote an article on how students can explore freelancing to supplement their allowance while gaining meaningful work experiences. With as much as 9.7% of Singapore’s population identifying as self-employed, many students might look forward to finishing their studies not to slot into a low-level executive role in a massive company, but rather to build and maintain their own business.
For students studying or working, footing even the entry-level hotdesking rates might not be possible and with their part-time freelancing nature, perks like member discounts on F&B chains, meeting room credits, and mail forwarding end up racking up unnecessary expenses.
Syte.sg is a local startup recently founded by students offering a booking service for cafes. How it works is that they partner with cafes both in the Heartlands and in the Central Business Districts to allow, for a small fee, booking of the premises solely for work. What you end up paying for is the certainty that a time slot will be available, that you won’t be chased out for using your laptop, and not to mention a coffee and a cake!
Surviving in the current hustle culture means maximising your time, and syte helps you reserve a spot as immediately as a few hours before!
Hopefully, with these examples, we’ve changed your mind on co-working spaces away from the common perception that they are inaccessible, out of the way and pricey.
In the third year of the pandemic, it’s important for our mental wellbeing that we safely find ways to be around and interact with others, especially since these networks will most probably be fellow freelancers or startup employees.
Time and attention are our most valuable, and sadly, scarce resources. Co-working spaces make scheduling meetings and finding places to focus, whether for a few hours or entire workdays, much easier. Equivalently, In 2022, the freelancer no longer has to be at home constrained to a desktop, an Excel Sheet, and chasing your clients through text messages. You can liberate yourself from financial matters with Friz and stay creatively charged. That matters.