If you have a laptop, mobile and a job that exists mostly over the Internet, you can work anywhere, and you should. But instead of being the cafe-bound freelancer, join a coworking office. Fork out a monthly sum, and you’re guaranteed a speedy wifi, desk and plenty of perks. After all, cubicles kill productivity, and coworking spaces put the fun in work.
A recent addition to the growing community here in Singapore is District6, a brand new space with a squeaky clean palette. But what’s different? We speak with its founders, Arjan De Boer, Yuta Oka and Jork Bosselaar, to find out.
At District6, what is your social mission and co-working manifesto?
Our social mission is to bring together traditional companies in the urban landscape and lifestyle sector, as well as innovative startups that can help them re-think the way they work. We’d like to create an ecosystem where players in the real estate and hospitality industry can meet one another and collaborate to create a better environment. We currently have designers, architects, real estate builders and proptech startups that see District6 as the place to go to engage with new potential clients and partners.
What brought you to Odeon Towers?
We thought that it would make an amazing space for coworking with lots of floor to ceiling windows and natural light. We’d like to create a community that connects very traditional industries such as real estate, architecture, design and hospitality with cutting-edge technology and visionaries who are changing those traditional industries.
Who are the members welcome at District6 and what is your selection process?
Anyone disrupting the urban landscape and our lifestyle is welcomed in our space. We’re very clear about the kind of community that we’d like to build here.
What can they expect from working there?
First of all they can expect to be introduced to our network. Our concept is to help companies and professionals expand their network and grow their businesses faster. We’d like to be their partner, rather than just an office provider. We offer law and accounting services, and partnerships with IT providers and consultancy companies. We’d like to make sure we can help them in every aspect of their businesses. We like to think of ourselves as a boutique coworking space. Many coworking offices tend to optimise their revenue by squeezing as many people into a space.
Your spaces are pretty much consistent. Is it a case of a one size fits all?
We offer studios and offices of different sizes, catering from one to 15 people. For freelancers and frequent travellers, we have a variety of flexible memberships to choose from. We also have fixed desks to accommodate small teams.
The design of District6 is super minimalistic. Why have you left the design choices to your members?
As most of our members are designers and architects, we’d like to work in collaboration with them to understand their needs and create a space where they are comfortable and feel at home. By involving them in our design choices, we can have a long-lasting relationship which will help us make the space better for them to work from.
On that note, are you worried about an inconsistent style?
Not exactly. The design palate of the space is clean and simple and requires some personal design touches by our community members to make the space feel more intimate and personal.
Why do people thrive in coworking spaces?
Collaboration: People in coworking spaces are more willing to collaborate and help each other. If you need any help with marketing you can knock on the door of one of your neighbours instead of writing an email to a stranger. If you need a contact of a certain company, it is easier to ask a coworker. This is very helpful especially at the beginning of your company. You are able to expand your network faster.
Flexibility: You don’t have to think about moving to another space when your company grows and you’re in need of more people. You can stay in the same place and just add a membership. In addition, you have to think only about running your business, without wasting time worrying about utilities, new furniture or the wifi.
Variety of people: You are able to interact with different kind of companies and professions that can help you to open your mind and approach problems with a new perspective.
What lessons are there for a traditional office to learn from?
The traditional offices should have more creative and informal spaces where people can meet each other and discuss about ideas freely. I think traditional offices are still very attached to the idea of giving companies a space to work and that’s it. They don’t offer spaces to rest or spaces to be more creative.
District6 is located at Odeon Towers, 331 North Bridge Road. Find out more here