COVID-19 Fuels Demand For Flexible Workspaces

COVID-19 Fuels Demand For Flexible Workspaces, Including Mall Booths

SINGAPORE – Nearly 30 soundproof work booths have been installed across 9 shopping centres in the city-state since end-October, as the COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for flexible workspaces, reported The Straits Times on Thursday morning (17 December).

To use these workplace booths, clients just need to fork out S$3.60 per hr (users pay by the minute) and use an application dubbed as Switch, which was developed by homegrown coworking space provider JustCo. Apart from the proprietary booths, Switch users can also book flexible workspace at JustCo centres or non-JustCo shared office locations.

JustCo stated in a press release that 60 Switch booths have already been installed at its coworking centres and at 9 Frasers Property malls in the central business district (CBD) and fringe areas.

“Customer adoption rates have been overwhelming, particularly in suburban locations where users want an alternative to working from home. Plans are underway to introduce more Switch booths in Singapore and across the region in cities that JustCo has presence in,” said the coworking space operator during the recent launch of its Digital Future of Work Platform.

The two key innovations powering the digital platform is the app Switch and SixSense, an AI-powered tool linked with sensors that analyse how office space is being utilised.

For instance, it can help workers prevent crowdedness as it can monitor safe-distancing compliance. Designers and architects can use data gathered via SixSense to continuously enhance office design and construction. At present, the AI-powered tool is being used across 10 Justco coworking centres.

The launch of the Digital Future of Work Platform was held at the firm’s newest coworking location at The Centrepoint shopping mall, which houses its global HQ and its “Smart Centre”.

All of the facility’s primary entrances are equipped with facial recognition that currently only allows entry to masked users. All of the meeting rooms and private suites there can be access via a mobile app. Moreover, there’s a fully-automated robotic café and bar, from which clients can order beverages remotely via the RATIO app, and have the beverages ready upon arrival at the coworking space.

The changing workplace trends has led to a new market where Singapore companies can innovate, commented Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, who attended the launch of JustCo’s platform.

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