SINGAPORE - Telecommuting is here to stay, but not everyone has a conducive environment to work from home.
In recent months, more hotels and even cinema operator Golden Village have launched co-working packages to make full use of lounge spaces. Golden Village even allows patrons to catch forty winks on a plush recliner in its Gold Class cinema.
"We are constantly looking at new and innovative ways to remain relevant to our customers and demonstrate our ability to adapt to changing times," says Ms Lydia Wong, director of marketing for Golden Village.
Wi-Fi, these days a basic need rather than a luxury, was zippy at all four lounges The Sunday Times visited.
Here is the lowdown on what else to expect at these new co-working spaces.
Orchard Hotel Singapore's new co-working space, which occupies the newly refurbished Bar Intermezzo, makes for a classy office.
With plush carpets, deep couches and a bar counter as the lounge's centrepiece, it is conducive for both meetings and banging out documents that are over due.
Office for the day
Although meant for use as a bar, the hotel has taken pains to retrofit the space for co-working, with black power plugs nestled sleekly under marbled coffee tables and bar counters. Bar stools with back and armrests are surprisingly comfortable when I work at a long communal table.
There are even seats that can be sectioned off with a sheer privacy curtain. Great for meetings or that all-important Zoom call.
Make sure to book ahead of time. General manager Lee Richards says the lounge has been seeing healthy demand since it launched co-working packages late last month, with about 35 out of 40 available seats filled daily.
If the lounge gets too full, guests can spill over to The Orchard Cafe Lounge, with garden-inspired decor and 20 additional seats.
The package includes a free flow of coffee, tea, juices and soft drinks, as well as a pastry. There are sweet and savoury options including mushroom quiche, sausage rolls and chocolate or raspberry muffins.
My pick is the curry puff, with a fluffy and buttery crust and moreish fillings.
For a more substantial meal, order a value lunch bento set ($16) from the hotel's special work-from-lounge menu, which includes mains such as a baked chicken thigh or pan-seared barramundi fillet, as well as dessert.
And if you need a pick-me-up, treat yourself to lunch at the hotel's Cantonese restaurant Hua Ting, which offers a 30 per cent discount for work-from hotel guests. Lunch set menus with signatures such as baked sea perch and crispy roasted pork will not disappoint.
Guests get free parking for the day and a suite of services including complimentary black-and-white printing, a 20 per cent discount for meeting room rental and mail services with stamps included. The concierge can also store your belongings for a few hours while you nip out to run errands in town.
Orchard Hotel Singapore Lobby Lounge
WHERE 442 Orchard Road
WHEN Weekdays, 9am to 5pm
PRICE $25 a day or $105 a week