New smart work centre to open in Tampines to promote work-life balance

A person making use of a thinkpod at a Smart Work Centre (SWC) at Jurong Regional Library, where they were launched on May 20, 2014.
A person making use of a thinkpod at a Smart Work Centre (SWC) at Jurong Regional Library, where they were launched on May 20, 2014. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A fourth Smart Work Centre complete with meeting rooms, video-conferencing facilities, Wi-Fi and photocopiers will open at the revamped library at Tampines in 2017 as part of the Government's effort to promote alternative workspaces to enhance work-life balance.

A tender will be called later this year to secure an operator for the new pay-per-use workspace, which will occupy about 160 square metres at the library.

"Increasingly, workers are demanding job flexibility to better balance their work-life commitments," said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim at the New Ways of Work Conference 2016 at Marina Bay Sands on Thursday (Oct 20).

Recognising that work is no longer confined in a physical space but can be done anywhere due to increased connectivity, Dr Yaacob said that flexibility and productivity can go hand in hand if companies shift their mindset.

Such mindset shift is important to attract and retain talent with a new generation of young workers or millennials in Singapore's workforce today, he added.

The new centre will join three others - located in the Toa Payoh, Jurong and Geylang East libraries - opened in May 2014.

These are the joint effort of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the National Library Board.

People who wish to use the facilities at the existing centres need to register with workplace solutions provider Regus, which runs the the centres, to gain access.

Each centre can accommodate up to 47 people, and space is subject to availability. Rental charges range from about $20 a day for desk space, to $399 a month for a private cubicle. Hourly rentals for workspaces are also available.

More than 1,500 individuals, including entrepreneurs, freelancers and even full-time employees have benefitted from them.

IMDA chief executive officer Gabriel Lim said: "Advancements in technology have redefined what a workspace means."