Extraordinary times call for extra-flexible space strategies. Upgrade your workplace safety, creativity and productivity with CapitaLand’s hub & spoke and core-flex space solutions.
With the world going on a roller-coaster ride with the pandemic, keeping ourselves masked up and at a safe distance from one another are now an accepted social norm to combat COVID-19. The unprecedented disruption to economies and operations are driving companies to adapt to the new business environment and find new ways to work amid the safety restrictions and uncertainties.
For many of us, this spells the demise of the old way of work—the nine-to-five routine, crowded lunchtime, pantry gossips and office parties that we used to brave peak-hour traffic getting to. In its place, a new form of workplace has arisen comprising split-teaming (for essential roles) and telecommuting (for non-essential roles) that many believe would become permanent.
Limitations of telecommuting as the only business continuity strategy
After months of working from home, many employees are experiencing burnout and anxiety from longer work hours, constant juggling between family and work priorities, and limited office resources, like good Internet connectivity and IT support. In fact, a recent survey on Singapore employee engagement showed that a growing number of telecommuters were yearning to return to the office, at least once in a while, to get some interactions with their colleagues.
The mental stress took a toll not just on employees’ productivity but on their creativity and engagement as well. Company leaders are expressing concerns over the decline in business innovation in the absence of spontaneity and diversity when their employees are working apart and alone. Companies are now seeking new strategies where they can keep their teams working productively together while staying safely apart. Besides conventional methods, like split-teaming, some companies are diversifying their physical locations as a means of hedging operational risks while providing the space that employees need to socialise, learn and grow.
Real estate strategies that combine the best of both worlds
Here’s where developers like CapitaLand have introduced timely real estate strategies such as hub & spoke and core-flex, to help businesses quickly adjust to today’s new way of work that combines telecommuting and modern workspace solutions. Such blended workspaces are already showing great potential in balancing the safety and productivity of companies as a business continuity strategy.
Hub & spoke: spreading your eggs in different baskets
In hub & spoke, you can maintain a corporate HQ (the hub) where employees can come together for important meetings or host clients and events, while the rest of your operations are spread out in satellite offices (the spokes) across the island. By distributing non-core or back-end operations outside the CBD, you can achieve better cost-optimisation.
With the right location strategy, you can even gain certain competitive advantages. Locate your regional office in synergistic clusters (like one-north or Singapore Science Park for high-tech businesses) and you can get a boost in innovation and partnership opportunities. Place your satellite workspace near amenities, transport hubs or residential areas, and its convenience and accessibility can give you a leg-up in talent attraction and retention.
The pandemic could take months or even years to run its course. With mandatory workplace safety measures taking centre stage in companies’ business continuity plans, hub & spoke can enable companies to achieve collaboration, cohesion and creativity while still ensuring workplace safety and work-life balance for employees, as is the case for our banking spoke customer, DBS.
Being a forward-looking Singapore bank, DBS has adopted the hub & spoke as part of its business continuity strategy since 2010 when it moved some 40% of its Singapore workforce to DBS Asia Hub in Changi Business Park. The 400,000 sqft space was specially designed to empower employees to innovate and discover new ways of banking that would deliver joyful experiences for its customers. When the pandemic struck, the physical separation provided the bank with greater operational resilience and supported its business continuity strategy.
“We opened DBS Asia Hub as part of our corporate real estate strategy to mitigate the bank’s locational risks and optimise our real estate outlay. This purpose-built facility is one of the largest banking operations facilities at the Changi Business Park, which has many positive locational attributes, including easy access to amenities and transport connectivity. DBS will continue to adopt an employee-centric lens as we evolve our workspace strategies to embrace the future of work, with a focus on open collaboration spaces to facilitate informal discussions and cross-team ideation.”
Group Head of Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Administration
However, managing multiple satellite offices with different landlords could be daunting. This is fortunately not an issue for CapitaLand tenants. As the developer with the most diversified portfolio of 176 properties in Singapore, CapitaLand can be the single landlord to support all business space needs across different industries with our spread of assets. Regardless of their locales, tenants will continue to enjoy seamless support and services from our dedicated property managers.
On top of retail spaces, companies can look to us for a full suite of real estate offerings, ranging from flexible workspaces to commercial and industrial spaces, to logistics warehouses as well as integrated and business park developments across Singapore. Two upcoming developments that businesses can consider for space expansion are UBIX and 27 International Business Park.
The stylish UBIX (TOP in 2H 2021) is our latest premium B1 business development in the heart of the Ubi industrial district. It is highly accessible with the Ubi MRT station right at its doorstep and just a 12-min drive away from the city. Designed with highly efficient column-free and large floor plates and full-length windows, UBIX is well-suited for single tenants from the fintech, gaming, biopharma and other new industries.
27 International Business Park is an 11-storey business park tower within the mature International Business Park on the west end of Singapore that will spot a stunning sky deck and a sheltered connection to the up-and-coming Jurong Town Hall MRT station.
Flexi-spaces: just-in-time agile space that grows with your business needs
The growing trend of enterprises opting for flexible workspaces has seen the rapid rise of co-working spaces in recent times. The staggered operating hours and reduced staffing in the workplace during the pandemic have further fuelled the demand for cost-effective agile workspace solutions. Take our flexi-space solutions in The Workshop and Bridge+ for examples. These flexible workspaces specially support the needs of industrial and business park tenants by transforming conventional seating to more agile seating based on changing operational needs.
The Workshop is a new industrial workspace concept that bridges the market gap by catering to a growing need for flexi-spaces in B1 and B2 buildings at the city fringe. Located at Ang Mo Kio, Lavender and with an upcoming branch in Bukit Merah, The Workshop especially appeals to small and micro-SMEs that require smaller spaces than standard facilities typically found in B1/B2 properties. By creating a productive environment for businesses operating outside the CBD area, The Workshop has reinvented traditional industrial spaces of old to support today’s new businesses.
With flexible lease periods and access to common facilities, like meeting rooms, event spaces, and storage spaces, The Workshop is providing convenience, affordability and a variety of product offerings for light and growth industries, such as eCommerce, creatives, technology innovators and software developers. At its newest facility at Bukit Merah, The Workshop has added a photo and broadcast studio specially for the creative sector.
Bridge+ focuses on addressing the emerging business need for a plug-and-play office concept that provides flexible lease terms in tandem with evolving business needs. Located at Ascent in Singapore Science Park and 79 Robinson Road, the beautifully furnished workspaces of Bridge+ are complemented by a wide range of bespoke collaborative spaces, meeting and event spaces and social amenities that promote productivity, networking and collaboration among the business community. To further boost connectivity and creativity, as well as plug the desire for more social interactions, Bridge+ regularly organises social activities and events that bring the office community together and create opportunities for serendipitous interactions.
“We understand that in the post-COVID-19 environment, our customers may face changes in both structure and work processes. Our core-flex solutions can accommodate these changes, should they occur, as we continue to support our customers in executing their office space strategy at minimum cost and with minimum disruption to their day-to-day business activities.”
Head, Flexible Workspace & Community Experience
The flexible leases enable tenants to achieve lease optimisation, operational agility and right-sizing of space requirements, making it an ideal solution for companies aiming to balance cost efficiency and growth needs. As a Bridge+ tenant, you could confidently access shared facilities based on your needs, without having to worry about underutilised space and high running cost. It would provide you with unparalleled flexibility and legroom for growth amid today’s economic uncertainties.
So, whether you are thinking of doing a corporate-wide split-team to assure business continuity with the hub & spoke or getting just-in-time and just-right flexi-spaces to support your hybrid workplace needs, CapitaLand has the complete suite of scalable real estate solutions that can meet the space needs of any industry, size and budget.
Interested in CapitaLand’s real estate solutions? Speak to our space solution experts today.
A Pictorial Tour of the Future of Banking @ DBS Asia Hub
A build-to-suit facility by CapitaLand, DBS Asia Hub was designed to bring the bank’s brand and culture to life, inspire creativity and facilitate more agile modes of working. It is home to DBS Academy, an in-house training institute that upskills and futureproofs DBS’ workforce. DBS employees working at DBS Asia Hub can give their daily best in uplifting spaces that are activity-based and centred on the principles of choice, community and culture. These spaces are specially designed to foster an inspiring and engaging work environment for DBS employees.
Interested in CapitaLand’s real estate solutions? Speak to our space solution experts today.