Jonathan O’Byrne, CEO of Collective Works, knows how to set the mood for work. On the 12th floor of Capital Tower, glass doors slide open to reveal a sprawling green wall showcasing 12 live plants at the office reception. It’s a welcoming reprieve from the usual cold, clinical front desk – exactly what O’Byrne intended.

Watch video for a preview of the new Collective Works, and our interview with CEO Jonathan O’Byrne on the trick to networking in co-working spaces:

This second office by Collective Works (the first is at The Globe on Cecil Street) is a joint venture between the company and CapitaLand. Spread out across 2,044 square metres, there’s plenty of room for everyone. “I’ll say a couple hundred of workers could fit in here comfortably at one time,” says O’Byrne.


While the space is certainly enough to accommodate a large number of start-ups, O’Byrne is careful to screen potential members first, a skill he has honed over the last four years of running Collective Works.  One key requirement: No housing two companies of the same nature at one time. Background checks are also conducted to make sure potential members are in good financial standing and have solid references.

Here, some interesting features to look out for in this new work space:

  • Odd angles utilised to create break-out spaces – phone-booths so workers can take a private call, cosy corners with designer couches to sit back and catch a breather.
  • 10 meeting rooms equipped with smart TVs and standing-height desks, designed for entrepreneurs who believe “sitting is the new smoking”. Also, because scientific studies have shown you think better standing up – and the meeting is less likely to drag.
  • Different colour zones to suit the profile of different start-ups. For instance, a more dynamic colour zone with bright lights and energetic music is tailored for companies that thrive on high energy, while other areas are outfitted in cream tones and muted lights for a calmer setting.
  •  A recording studio with full acoustic panelling all the way around, designed for podcasts and blogging. Portable microphones will soon be available for loan too.  “I strongly believe in the next couple of years recording studios in a coworking office is going to be like having a photo-copier in the 1970s,” says O’Byrne.

Collective Works at Capital Tower officially opens June 8. For more information, head over to