If you’ve passed by the Paya Lebar area in the past year or so, chances are you’ve seen construction for Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) — an upcoming “city-within-a-city” that includes office buildings, residences, and even its own mall.
Touting itself as a dynamic business hub, it’s no surprise that PLQ has included a coworking space among its amenities. While popular coworking spaces like WeWork and JustCo are traditionally meant for startups and entrepreneurs, however, the folks at csuites are setting themselves apart by catering to fast-growing, medium sized enterprises instead.
Vulcan Post got the chance to take an early look at the space, and here’s what we saw.
This Is An Office!?
First up, some background information: the 72,000 sq ft csuites is developed by Australia-based property group Lendlease, who are overseeing the overall development of PLQ as well.
What’s interesting here is that Lendlease themselves have set up shop in csuites (occupying the largest suite, no less), and have been tweaking the design based on their own experiences.
The result is a lived-in (in a good way) coworking space that’s been refined according to actual needs, with most of the kinks already sorted out.
The lobby is the first port of call of any coworking space, and upon walking in you’ll immediately notice how luxurious it is — everything from the common areas to the meeting rooms are generously spaced out, giving off a certain sense of opulence that other ones don’t possess.
If WeWork is the hostel of coworking spaces, csuites is a five-star hotel.
In fact, “spaced out” is exactly what Lendlease was going for — csuites’ wide hallways are actually inspired by the Five Foot Ways of traditional shophouses, and encourage interaction instead of being just a place to pass through. With seats lined along each hallway, we could totally see ourselves having an impromptu meeting here.
Aesthetics aside, the biggest difference between csuites and other coworking spaces is their 10 suites, which come in a variety of sizes. The smallest suite has a maximum occupancy of 50, while the largest one bumps that number up to 150.
Each suite is equipped with the usual bells and whistles, but the more interesting thing here is the sheer variety of desk styles. From cozy two-seaters to larger, boardroom-esque tables, there’s a configuration for every type of working style. There are even tables with mechanically adjustable heights that can be converted into standing desks if you so desire.
Each suite also comes with several motion sensors, which can track the usage patterns of a particular area. Because employees have the option to work in the public areas, csuites management can use the data collected to see if an suite is being fully utilised, and advise business owners to move to a smaller suite in the event that it isn’t.
That’s Not All…
Apart from the usual amenities like pantries and a dedicated cafe, csuites has a few more tricks up its sleeves to set itself apart from the rest.
The meeting space on the lower floor, for example, might look like just another set of tables and chairs at first glance, but it can actually be converted into a VR-enabled space for specialised events and workshops. It’s a highly specialised feature that might not be used much right now, but is a testament to csuites’ commitment to future-proofing its space.
On top of that, there are several specialised rooms as well — there’s a dedicated server room that allows tenants to store large amounts of data securely, as well as a rest room for employees who aren’t feeling well to…um, rest in. There’s no dedicated nurse, but a representative did tell us that all csuites staff are trained in first aid.
One last point that Lendlease is particularly proud of is its eco-friendly practices — everything from the vents to the windows have been built with sustainability in mind, and csuites is on track to be the first flexible workplace product to achieve the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark Healthier Workplaces certification.
A Promising Preview
In a time when coworking spaces are becoming increasingly ubiquitous and hard to tell apart, it’s refreshing to see one taking a different approach.
From what we saw, csuites looks like a step in the right direction for coworking spaces, offering some interesting innovations that we hope to see other spaces adopt moving forward.
Granted, it definitely isn’t as widely accessible as its other coworking counterparts right now, but if you’re fortunate enough to work in an enterprise that adopts this space you’ll definitely be looking forward to coming to work every day. We know we would.
Feature Image Credit: Vulcan Post