Ascott turns apartments into work suites amid telecommuting trend

lyf Funan Singapore is one of The Ascott's properties offering a "work in residence" package for working adults and students looking for an alternative to work from home or study. Rates start from $70 a day for a work suite there, and it includes a w
lyf Funan Singapore is one of The Ascott's properties offering a "work in residence" package for working adults and students looking for an alternative to work from home or study. Rates start from $70 a day for a work suite there, and it includes a workspace, high-speed Wi-Fi, a private en suite bathroom and refreshments. PHOTO: ASCOTT

Working adults and students looking for an alternative to work from home or study can book fully furnished suites that are equipped with high-speed Internet and other amenities, as part of a new business initiative by The Ascott to counter the Covid-19 outbreak.

CapitaLand's wholly owned lodging business unit has converted selected units at more than 60 of its properties across 10 countries into work suites, which can be booked on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

The launch of this "work in residence" initiative is aimed at "seizing opportunities on the rising telecommuting trend to offer a comprehensive solution for guests to live and work in a safe and private space", said Mr Leong Teng Wui, Ascott's chief development officer.

lyf Funan Singapore is one of the properties that offers this package.

Rates start from $70 a day for a work suite there, and it comes with a private workspace, high-speed Wi-Fi, a private en suite bathroom, a stationery kit, as well as coffee, tea and snacks.

The rates vary depending on the duration of use and location, said an Ascott spokesman yesterday.

Ascott is also optimising the use of space in its properties to offer new services in what it calls "space-as-a-service". It has joined hands with multinational corporations, entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises to explore the different possibilities.

These range from cloud kitchens and Starbucks coffee kiosks, to parcel collection hubs and venues for live-streaming events and fitness activities.

In Singapore, Ascott has partnered a food tech company to set up a cloud kitchen in lyf Funan Singapore's shared kitchen to provide in-house guests with more dining options.

Ascott has also partnered Nestle to set up Starbucks self-service kiosks in the lobby of its Citadines properties around the world.

Citadines Balestier Singapore and Citadines Fusionopolis Singapore are the first in the serviced residence industry here with these kiosks. They will be rolled out to the rest of the Citadines properties, starting with China, Malaysia and Japan by the end of this year and Europe next year.

 

In China, some apartments equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi have been converted into studios that can be used by long-stay guests - who include Internet celebrities and those from new media and e-commerce companies - for live-stream events and photo shoots.

In Vietnam, selected apartments have been converted into yoga studios, which can be reserved at special rates by instructors who want to conduct classes.

Mr Kevin Goh, CapitaLand chief executive for lodging and Ascott's chief executive, said: "Ascott's strengths in the long-stay segment have bolstered our resilience against headwinds from the Covid-19 situation. We are evolving our lodging products and services to cater to new customer segments, uncover alternative revenue streams as well as deliver greater value for our guests and business partners."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2020, with the headline 'Ascott turns apartments into work suites amid telecommuting trend'. Print Edition | Subscribe