Collaborative Spaces

Singapore Offices See Bigger Collaborative Spaces, Less Partitions

SINGAPORE – Experts revealed that office properties here are getting larger collaborative spaces and smaller dedicated spaces, like private cubicles, reported the Singapore Business Review on Thursday noon (20 April, SGT).

“Creative, collaborative spaces are getting bigger and they tend to take up more space within an office. Fixed offices or fixed work desks, I find those features on a decline,” said Kelvin Hon, General Manager at ISG, a construction, fit-out, and engineering firm.

He also added that hot desking and the use of height adjustable stations are on the rise.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s (JLL) Executive Managing Director for project and development services in Asia Pacific Martin Hinge concurs with Kelvin’s observation. As a matter of fact, a recent research by the real estate consultancy indicates that 56 percent of businesses intend to have open and collaborative office spaces with zero dedicated areas by 2025.

“As evidence of the trend to shift offices toward more collaborative environments, we see a reduction in spend on traditional office elements such as partitions,” he added.

Moreover, Hon noted that office occupants now want meeting and discussion rooms to cater to video conferencing tools, like as Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

“Basically, the new philosophy is to facilitate better communication among teams, rather than working in silos or stations,” he said, adding that office tenants now want the finishes of new workspaces to create a “collaborative” vibe given their focus on effective group communication.

Also, Hon said that businesses now favour office furniture that are functional. That’s why there’s a growing preference for ergonomic chairs.

In terms of location, many would-be office occupants are still targeting office properties located in central business districts (CBD). Nonetheless, Hon observed a “decentralisation” trend as some companies are relocating their “back office functions” out of the city centre.

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