5 things to look for in office space in Singapore for startups
You’re growing your idea into a viable business. As you bring in new team members to build the business, working from home or at the local cafe just isn’t cutting it anymore. You’re ready for a professional environment to support your idea, and a network to grow your business.
You’re typically at the launch stage of operations. Your business has a positive outlook. You’re still risk conscious and cautious as you’re stretching every dollar.
Top 5 priorities to consider for your startup’s office space
#1 Convenience of your office space
You want a convenient office space where everyone on your team to get to work, get lunch, get to clients, get to the airport and get home – easily and quickly.
Startups work hard and have long hours. Convenience is the number 1 key factor to consider. If most of your employees spend a 2 hour commute to get to the office, you might want to reconsider the opportunity cost. Convenience also fosters employee engagement.
#2 Office Space lease flexibility
The age-old adage of “Location! Location! Location!” is only partially true for startups.
For startups, it’s all about “Flexibility! Flexibility! Flexibility!”
Office space location flexibility:
You may want office space in a number of different locations. Eg: a “back office” at One North and rent meeting rooms or a partial use of coworking in the CBD.
Office space duration flexibility:
This means don’t tie your business down to a lease term of longer than 1 year. Your business may look very different every 6 months. As an early stage business, get a short term lease of six to twelve months. Give your business the option to have a grow or scale down.
Office space size flexibility:
Pick a space that allows you to grow within the space, or portfolio of spaces or within the building. Ask for a “no penalty” consideration should you scale up or down, with some notice period. Some of the coworking and serviced offices on GorillaSpace allow you to scale up and down without penalties, within their portfolio of spaces, or if they could not accommodate your growth/ requests.
#3 Office Space efficiency
Startups need an efficient environment that promotes productivity but doesn’t break the bank.
So, what’s efficient? What’s efficient to others may not be for you. But there’re a few considerations here:
- Comfortable chairs (c’mon – you’re working long hours!)
- Size of tables (Do you need space for 2 monitors? Adjustable tables?)
- Lighting (Are you squinting?)
- Meeting rooms and breakout areas for brainstorming, phone calls
- Do you need a receptionist to sort your mail and receive packages?
#4 Identity or branding of your office space
Having the right address can help to legitimize your business, your brand.
How much convincing would it take for your client to trust a payment gateway operating from Sengkang? Robinson Road?
Would you be receiving clients and partners? What kind of image do you want them to have?
How are the toilets?
#5 Networking opportunities of office space
Every startup has a different need for networking. Spaces are geared to different levels for:
- Networking (for partnerships, business)
- Learning (learning new skills)
- No fuss, head-down time to work
- Support to kick-start your business.
You’ll define the level of social connectivity you need for your business. Do you need head-down time to work? Do you need to network and get more business?
Here’re some of your options:
Connections with others are a big reason why you would want to work in a coworking space, as opposed to working from home. Each coworking space has its own vibe. Managers of many coworking spaces go to great lengths to connect members and cultivate networking according to the needs of their members.
Every coworking space has different populations and different levels of social connectivity
Renting extra office space from another startup or business gives you head-down time to work. Social connectivity is variable as it depends on the way the office space is set up. You generally get the space and opportunity to work closely with your employees and build your own company culture. Because you share the space, you will invariably “network”.
Serviced offices give you the best head-down time, as the space is private only to your company. They are generally well located. You have access to many administrative services, such as mail and phone answering services, which can free you up to just work.
Social connectivity is not strongest at serviced offices, as most businesses operate behind closed doors, in private offices. Many businesses have their signage at the reception and office, and welcome business connections.
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