The once-dark shabby Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade is no more. Renamed as ‘Claymore Connect’, the rejuvenated mall welcomes the latest tenant, Trehaus Cowork, the first family friendly co-working space in Singapore. While co-working space is not new in Singapore, the idea of marrying both co-working space and child minding is especially refreshing and ideal for a nation looking to increase its population core naturally. Founded by entrepreneurs Rachel Teo, Elaine Kim, Tjin Lee and educator Elizabeth Wu, Trehaus Cowork aims to provide an environment where quality work and family life can co-exist.
Located on the 3rd floor of floor of Claymore Connect and across approximately 4,000 sf, Trehaus Cowork has two very noticeable divisible areas – Workspace and the Kids Atelier. The Workspace comprises a small number of enclosed office suites(from 4 to 7 pax), semi-private dedicated desk and a common co-work space, a fully equipped meeting room with a seating capacity of 10-12 pax, breakout areas for discussions and an outdoor patio with timber decking equipped with chairs and tables. The Kids Atelier is an open concept outfitted with child minding services and the option of lessons and programmes for children. There is also a pump room for lactating mothers to breastfeed their children. Between the Workspace and the Kids Atelier is a common zone and a pantry area where parents and children can come together.
Trehaus runs on a month-to-month membership scheme. Designed for startups, entrepreneurs, small business owners and businesses with flexible working hours, members can choose a member scheme that suit their needs. Options to upgrade are also available. It operates pretty much like any other co-working space with a full suite of facilities. The facility is WIFI-enabled with high-speed internet, a common printer/scanner, a tastefully designed pantry where items are purchased on a honour-basis and the entire Workspace can accommodate up to 60 members at any one time.
Membership starts from $350/month (Flexi Co-Work (Lite)) where members get a 8-day a month access with a 1-hr meeting room usage included to $650/month where members get unlimited access (Unlimited Co-Work) with 4-hour meeting room usage included. The next tier of membership starts from $800/month (Dedicated Desk) with unlimited access to the workspace and a dedicated desk with locker facilities and a 6-hour meeting room usage thrown in. Dedicated Office memberships are available from $3,600/month and that includes 8-hour of meeting room usage.
In addition to subscription based membership, Trehaus offers a Day Pass option for ad hoc guests to use Workspace as an alternative venue to work within the Orchard area or while waiting for the next appointment.
Subscribing members of Unlimited Co-Work or higher tier are entitled to a $800/month kids drop off. Members can drop their kids off at the Atelier for 4 hours of child minding and thereafter participation in lessons and programmes per day.
‘We offer a flexible environment where parent/s can pop over to the Kids Atelier to see what their kids are doing from time to time as they put in their productive work hours at the Workspace. Parents can have quality time with their kids at lunch time or during breaks to ensure the interaction and communication continue at an intimate level.’ Communications and Operations Director of Trehaus Cowork, Wendy Chin puts it aptly.
Educator and Co-founder of Trehaus, Elizabeth Wu has handpicked an experienced team of child-minders and teachers to facilitate kids’ programmes at the Kids Atelier. These teachers and child minders have years of early childhood teaching experience either as educators or paraeducators in institutes such as Julia Gabriel and Bambini Atelier. Intended for children between 0 to 6 years old, the Kids Atelier aims to heighten the learning experience of kids through play-based curriculum. It aims to develop the potential, abilities and curiosity of children through exploration alone and with other children. The Kids Atelier can accommodate up to 30 children at any time with a ratio of 1 child minder to 6 children. The theme for the Kids Atelier will change on a weekly basis which programs and lessons will correlate to. The layout will also be altered regularly to keep things fresh in order to sustain the interest of the children.
Inspired by her own home learning years with her children as well as the Reggio Emilia approach and play based learning pedagogy, Elizabeth Wu has designed the programmes specifically for children aged 6 months to 6 years old. Little Playhaus (6-18 months) and Junior Playhaus (18-36 months) are daily playgroup classes that embrace play based curriculum while the Arthaus, Dramahaus and Lighthaus are a suite of discovery and activity-based creative programmes for 3 to 6-year olds.
Networking Events and Industry Talks
Members will be invited to networking sessions where their expertise will be shared and industry experts will also be invited to give talks to members within the Workspace. These ticketed talks will be made available to members at discounted, members-only prices.
With the government’s push for employers to implement flexible working hours for their employees, this initiative started by the 4 enterprising women could pave the way for more interesting things to come in the future. Trehaus officially started its operations on the 17 February this year and if the concept does catches on, corporations could implement a similar concept in their workplace and that itself could potentially be a reason why people would be attracted to work for them.
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