Singapore to launch Smart Work Centers in telecommute push

To encourage remote work and cater to mobile employees, a Call-for-Proposal has been launched to offer community spaces with professional office facilities--potentially offering an untapped pool of talent and boosting the economy.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

Singapore is planning to introduce community spaces offering shared office facilities as part of wider plans to promote telecommuting and meet the needs of mobile workers.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) launched a Call-for-Proposal (CFP) for Smart Work Centers (SWC), in a statement Thursday.

"Several emerging trends contribute to the changes of how and where we work: with technology advancements, people are more connected and information can now be accessible anywhere; companies are seeking avenues to overcome constraints to grow with limited office space; and changes in expectations of the workforce with the shift in demographics," said IDA.

The agency noted devices for work have also been moving toward laptops, smartphones and tablets. "The notion of work hours has also moved from stipulated duration to almost any time," it added.

The Smart Work Centers could open up an untapped pool of talent for companies.

Potentially more talent, time-effective

By working close to home at a SWC, employees can reduce travel time and help gain better balance to work-life commitments, noted IDA.
The facilities also allow companies to grow without constraints of space. A network of SWCs located in the residential areas across Singapore could help companies reach an untapped talent pool that was not available to them previously due to the physical location of the office and the travelling time required, it explained. This could also benefit the economy from the increased level of labor force participation.

Offerings of SWCs include workdesk-as-a-service, and other complementary office services such as printing, meeting room and video-conferencing services, possibly on a pay-per-use model.

The initiative involves collaboration with the National Library Board (NLB) and People's Association, which will be offering a total of five community spaces, for the SWCs. These spaces are located in Jurong Regional Library, Geylang East Public Library, Toa Payoh Public Library, Kampong Ubi Community Centre and Kolam Ayer Community Club. Interested applicants to the CFP can propose alternative locations.

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