I had an epiphany when I had my first child and was trying to balance being a palliative care doctor and being a mother. I wanted to pursue my career and be an entrepreneur with purpose. I also wanted Kyan, my first born, to be with me, around me, and to a certain extent, be a part of this journey. Why did I need to pick either work or being with my child? Was I seeking the impossible? There seemed to be no space for mothers and fathers who wanted to be close to their kids in their early years, while they worked alongside in a shared, professional, yet demarcated environment.
We don’t live in extended families or “kampong” like environments anymore. Between the establishment and prevalence of nuclear families in Asia and the digital revolution, I felt there needed to be a support ecosystem for parents of little ones in their first, most formative years to work and be with their children—an important phase in life when the kampong, village or crèche is essential and acts as the support.
We understand how important it is to be present for the early formative years of your child’s life and research has shown how much children benefit from it in terms of being resilient, more secure and confident as adults. You don’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day and see your child for a short period at the end of your day. The struggle to juggle is real and me and my co-founders experienced this personally as we entered the early parenthood years. Then there is the guilt factor of leaving your children with another care-giver for long periods of time and missing those milestone moments. We thought it was time to create a solution.
We live in the 21st century and there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur and act on ideas and inspiration. We wanted to build a state-of-the-art office with top-notch corporate level facilities attached to the crèche and give parents the opportunity to work and be with their children. That’s how the concept of Trehaus was born. It was something I was seeking and couldn’t find in the co-working community.
We founded Trehaus to create social change, shift mindsets and meet the needs of this whole generation of working parents who know it is possible to have a successful career while making family a priority. Our space is a community where we have thoughtfully blended public and private spaces—there is the Reggio Emilia inspired atelier for kids, commons for interacting with members over a cup of coffee and a quiet no-kids zone to get some solid work done. We also have private offices that can hold up to 4 people for a small business or startup.
My goal is to empower parents of young children and give them the choice to choose how to structure their work day, while having their children by their side. All this can be done while giving them autonomy to be productive and have continuity in their work lives during this life changing and sometimes overwhelming period.
We ourselves run Trehaus within a culture of inclusion with passionate, talented individuals at the helm. Our environment is flexible, purposeful and open. We regularly share member profiles and encourage them to hold casual lunch and learn sessions to gain exposure and collaborate within the community.
As even established corporations change the way they work and operate, we live in a very different model to the traditional hierarchy-based office environment and closer to the way co-working spaces operate. Think minimum barriers between people, so teams and departments can work together to be creative and be inspired by the diversity of perspectives within an organization.
The government of Singapore has recognized the need to encourage innovative and flexible work arrangements through the establishment of the Work-Life Grant. This grant provides funding and incentives for companies to offer flexible work arrangements to employees, with the aim of helping them better manage work and family responsibilities.
According to a report by Cushman & Wakefield and CoreNet Global, the Asia-Pacific region will likely see a rise in flexible working environments as the demand for co-working spaces grows at an average of 10-15 percent per annum. As offices in prime central business district areas in the region remain steep, the co-working space option is more economical for companies that don’t want to deal with the time-consuming hassle and cost of setting up an office from scratch themselves.
Short-term rental options offered by co-working spaces also allow start-ups to be prepared for unexpected turns in their business. We now live in a sharing economy where ownership of certain things are not necessary—office space, vehicles and homes, just to name a few big-ticket items. Even the skills of people can be shared, thanks to technology and an increase in worker mobility, so companies can leverage on the gig-economy and reap from the benefits of highly skilled talent who work for many companies simultaneously in these shared spaces.
Whether you are a corporation, freelancer, solopreneur or an entrepreneur with a small team, Trehaus offers you a centrally located space in Smart Singapore to not just work, but thrive as you meet like-minded people is positive, community-like atmosphere and are relaxed because you can check-in on your kids when you desire or need to. If you are looking for a place that stands on the principle of work-life harmony, Trehaus will facilitate and help transform the way work, parenthood and family come together. Join me for this amazing journey as we re-imagine the way parents and children co-exist, work and play harmoniously