We had the good fortune of having an office before we registered Plunify--thanks to one of the founders who was already running his own setup. So the rest of the folks just pulled up extra chairs to his existing table and hit the ground running.
The building: a remodeled pre-war (the 2nd) police barracks with no elevators, dingy bathrooms and steep, narrow stairs. But the location was superb--smack in the middle of bustling Chinatown with convenient access to everywhere else.
No bugs (creepy crawlies) or hauntings (although huge buddha statues rest in one of the side stairwells) but the rent was a bit steep (~$3/sq ft) and when there's a thunderstorm, power failures are more common than not. 24/7 access works out great for all of us. One other funny thing is that our Singtel business line would go out at least a few times a month, often around 4pm. We speculate that either someone was tapping our connection or perhaps Singtel changes IP addresses at that time and our aged modem can't handle it.
Anyway, the time came when the shared office started feeling too cramped, so we embarked on a search for a new home.
Why do you guys not work from someone's home or separately, you might ask; well, here's our take:
Pros of working together in the same room:
- Working physically next to one another
- Keeps work away from home
Some elements of software agility support our preferences too.
- Rental expenses
Criteria for the new office:
- Convenient for employees with cars and those without
- MRT, buses
In tropical weather, walking more than 10 minutes to get to the office often means a choice between being drenched in perspiration or in rain. Good thing nobody has to wear a suit to work!
- Proximity to customers
- Good thing local customers are very accessible due to both the size of Singapore and her efficient transportation network
- Most customers are abroad so all it takes is an air-ticket and some advance arrangements
After a couple of days of looking around and answering ads, we shortlisted a couple of options, but were not 100% happy with all of them.
- cheapest one of all--a room on the 2nd floor of an old shophouse; no natural light, old carpeting, not very appealing
- next in terms of decreasing affordability--an office in an industrial complex; inconvenient to get to, need to buy furniture
- next, a service office close to the city center--no natural light, space was smaller than advertised
In the end, something came out of the blue. We're still pinching ourselves on this one. A couple of kind entrepreneurs we chanced across generously offered us very affordable office space complete with facilities and use of office equipment!
Needless to say, we thankfully accepted and now we look forward to moving to the new place on Jan 4th. May 2010 get better and better!