More entrepreneurs and professionals are seeking out the productivity and motivational benefits from coworking spaces in Singapore each day. With more people from diverse backgrounds and industries mixing together, however, the setting is ripe for misunderstanding and cultural faux pas.
To this end, being aware of some of the ground rules for using a coworking space in Singapore is essential to settling in and getting down to work. Making sure to respect local sensitivities while adjusting to the specific nature of coworking spaces can take some practice and trial-and-error. To speed up this process for you, knowing some basics can go a long way.
Let’s take a closer look at some specific dos and don’ts for coworking in Singapore.
Be Mindful Of Singapore’s Business Culture
While the international nature of Singapore’s business culture means most people are familiar with foreigners, it can go a long way if you adjust and adapt your habits and manners to suit local sensibilities.
One of the most critical things to keep in mind is that Singaporeans like to do things by the book. You are far more likely to succeed in business if you make the effort to conduct yourself with professionalism and expertise rather than relying on personal connections and favours to get your foot in the door.
Remember that respect is governed by the idea of “face” in Singapore, just as in many Asian cultures. Avoid embarrassing yourself or others or you may permanently damage your chances of succeeding in the country. Do not get worked up and display anger or frustration in public at all costs. Use your common sense and always conduct yourself with tact and good manners.
Familiarise Yourself With Coworking Etiquette
Beyond the social nuances of Singaporean culture, you can set yourself up for success in Singapore coworking spaces by understanding the culture of work in these environments. One of the most important things to note is that silence is a virtue in Singaporean shared working spaces. Avoid taking or making phone calls in working areas. Save these conversations for the lounge areas. This can prevent you from losing the respect of your coworkers and allow them to stay focused on their work.
Remember to keep good personal hygiene habits and show up to work with professional attire each day. Singaporeans are fairly fashion conscious and being well-dressed will allow you to be taken seriously by your colleagues.
Beyond these points, remember to clean up after yourself, both at your desk and in the kitchen or lounge. Be mindful of the fact that you are working in a shared and communal space. Avoid using shared equipment or meeting rooms beyond a reasonable amount.
Socialise And Be Positive
Keeping an open mind and showing up to your coworking space with a positive attitude is the best way to integrate quickly in a Singaporean working environment. Introduce yourself to your colleagues and socialise with them when it is appropriate after work or during breaks. Being friendly is the best way to sidestep any mistakes or minor faux pas you make with ease. You may also find that some of your colleagues are interested in your business and will want to work with you on a potential collaboration.
Practice Makes Perfect
While the cultural and structural differences of a Singaporean coworking space may seem foreboding, treat the experience as an exciting opportunity to learn and discover a new culture. Making minor mistakes is part of the process, but over time you will integrate seamlessly. You can simultaneously enjoy the benefits arising from a coworking space while enjoying the many new and unfamiliar aspects of a dynamic Asian culture.