Channel NewsAsia

Now you can work out of a library

Workers can now access office facilities in Smart Work Centres housed in three public libraries, which the IDA says will enable companies to implement more flexible working arrangements. 

SINGAPORE: The first Smart Work Centres officially opened their doors to the public on Friday (May 30), based at libraries in Jurong, Geylang East and Toa Payoh.

The Regus Express Centres, part of an Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) initiative to enable people to work closer to home and facilitate work-life balance and productivity, will be operated by flexible workspace provider Regus, in collaboration with the IDA and National Library Board.

These work centres offer a professional work environment designed to cater to different modes of work and are equipped with typical office facilities such as private workstations, meeting spaces and facilities such as secure WiFi, printing and video-conferencing services, the IDA stated.

Employers who offer flexible work arrangements will be able to tap on a more diverse recruitment pool such as homemakers, which may be especially beneficial in light of the tight labour market, IDA noted. Companies can also benefit from more flexibility in workspace planning and be more agile in matching real estate needs to dynamic conditions, it added.

Individuals can choose various payment schemes ranging from pay-by-hour to a monthly membership offering that provides unlimited access to the work centres.

Some start-ups told Channel NewsAsia they found this to be a cheaper alternative to renting a physical office space, at least in the initial phase of starting a business. 

"The Smart Work Centre initiative is useful for large enterprises as well as small tech start-ups, and also helps with talent attraction and retention with a more engaged workforce," Mr Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman at IDA, said in the statement.

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