New Tampines library to rent out workspaces

Visitors to the revamped Tampines Public Library will soon be able to "work smart" too.

The library will offer a Smart Work Centre complete with meeting rooms, video-conferencing facilities, Wi-Fi and photocopiers next year, as part of the Government's efforts 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 a space of about 160 sq m at the library.

The centre will be at the new Tampines library, which will be moved to the upcoming Tampines Town Hub, where the former Tampines Stadium was located.

This new work centre will join three others opened in the Toa Payoh, Jurong and Geylang East libraries in May 2014. The centres are a joint effort by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and National Library Board (NLB).

Announcing this yesterday, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said: "Increasingly, workers are demanding job flexibility to better balance their work-life commitments."

He was speaking at the inaugural New Ways of Work Conference 2016 at Marina Bay Sands.

Recognising that work is no longer restricted to a single physical space, Dr Yaacob said that flexibility and productivity can go hand in hand if companies change their mindsets.

Such a mindset shift matters in attracting and retaining talent, given the new generation of young workers or millennials in Singapore's workforce today, he added.

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

Each centre can accommodate up to 47 people. 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.

Over 1,500 people, 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."

NLB chief executive officer Elaine Ng noted that libraries are evolving to meet changing needs. "We want our libraries to be spaces not only for learning, but also for creating and working."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2016, with the headline 'New Tampines library to rent out workspaces'. Print Edition | Subscribe