The lounge of The Work Project at OUE Downtown Gallery
This June, Tjin Lee, founder and managing director of the Mercury group of companies, is moving her public relations and marketing & communications (M&C) teams to the co-working space at The Work Project at OUE Downtown Gallery.
For the past four years, the 26 staff of Mercury PR and Mercury M&C (which handles Singapore Fashion Week), occupied a 4,000 sq ft shophouse on Telok Ayer Street in the CBD. “I think co-working spaces will be the work space of the future,” says Lee. “The vibrant community and dynamic environment will allow my staff to network and interact with people from different fields and industries. I love the buzzy ‘Google campus’ feel of a co-working space. Hence, after 16 years of having an office of my own, I decided to move into a co-working space.”
Incidentally, Lee herself is the co-founder of a co-working space called Trehaus, which is said to be Singapore’s first family-friendly co-working space as it offers child-minding facilities for parents while they work there. However, she is not moving her PR and marketing teams into Trehaus as it does not have the space to accommodate them, she says.
Even though she continues to maintain a second office on Henderson Road for her events company, Mercury Live, which has around 25 staff, Lee estimates that she still enjoys cost savings of 40% by moving into the co-working space.
Artist's impression of the pantry at The Work Project in OUE Downtown Gallery
‘A real shift’
“The way people are working is changing dramatically,” notes Junny Lee, founder of The Work Project. The real shift in co-working is that the big MNCs are moving into co-working space, alongside professional services firms such as Mercury PR, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as fast-growth companies, he adds. “It’s no longer about small start-ups moving into co-working space, but the big MNCs.”
The Work Project’s Lee cites CBRE’s Occupier Survey in March, which said that 52% of MNCs in Asia-Pacific consider workplace strategy their No 1 priority and are seeking to invest more in space efficiency programmes.
For example, Australian-listed property group Lendlease will be moving 100 workers in its Asia-Pacific headquarters, including its CEO for Asia, to the co-working space at The Work Project at OUE Downtown Gallery.
This co-working space has expanded to 24,000 sq ft, from 20,100 sq ft last December. The space — with a capacity for up to 350 members — is already more than 60% taken up ahead of its June opening.
The Work Project is located on OUE Downtown Gallery’s fourth floor, where the lifts leading to the higher floors of the office tower and the Oakwood Premier serviced apartments are located. “And it’s a high traffic zone,” says Lee.
Lee: The way people are working is changing dramatically