The Ultimate Guide To Shared Workspaces Terminology


What are coworking spaces?

First off, what is coworking? Coworking is where people work in a shared space– a coworking space– along with other self-employed individuals, companies, entrepreneurs, and startups.

Apart from providing individuals the freedom to work from where they choose, coworking also gives people the chance to meet like-minded people in the space that they work in.

A coworking space is thus a flexible, collaborative workspace where people from various backgrounds work in the same space.


Don’t confuse it with…

In Singapore, the coworking industry has only started booming in recent years. It’s no wonder that many people are still unsure of what it means, or confusing it with other terms. Here are some terms that you might have come across:


– Shared offices

A shared office is one where two or more companies work from the same office and share the cost of the rent. Unlike coworking spaces, the workspace is usually only shared by companies and is not shared by freelancers, entrepreneurs, or other self-employed individuals.

Shared offices don’t come with the option of working from the space on an as-needed basis, the way many coworking spaces do. (See ‘Hot Desks’ below.)

In addition, coworking spaces will typically have a more collaborative culture where co-workers will interact, work together, and help each other out, while employees at shared offices tend to only work alongside colleagues from their own company.


– Touchdown spaces

This one’s a bit of an exception. Coworking spaces are a type of touchdown space, but not all touchdown spaces are coworking spaces. Think of coworking spaces as kind of a subset of touchdown spaces, if you will.

Touchdown spaces are ‘drop-in’ spaces where workers can work away from the office, and these spaces can include cafes, business buildings, dedicated ‘drop-in’ spots, and coworking spaces as well. Workers will ‘drop-in’ and work from these locations on an as-needed basis.


Decisions, decisions.

Depending on your schedule, the size of your team (or it could be just you), and other preferences, there are many options for you to work at coworking spaces. These include:


– Hot desks

Hot desking is when you grab an empty seat at a coworking space and pay for your day’s usage. This is useful for mobile workers who only need a workspace for the day.

(Side note: Apart from working at coworking spaces, there are other forms of hot desking, such as companies letting out empty seats in their office to non-employees on an ad-hoc basis; or companies allowing employees to vary their workspaces, so that they can work from desks located in other departments.)


– Fixed desks

Unlike hot desking, you can rent a fixed desk at a coworking space so that you have a designated space to return to each time. Many spaces also provide lockers for you to store your belongings.


– Team spaces

Startups or enterprises can choose to rent fixed desks or workstations for their team at a coworking space. Companies may find that working from coworking spaces reduces their real estate costs.


Now that you know…

If you are curious to try coworking out, go ahead and book a space near you to give it a go – check out our directory of coworking spaces in Singapore here!