In the beginning, The Smart Local (TSL) Media Group was just a fledgling blog that started from a humble bedroom. Then came MustShareNews, EatBook, Zula, Wiki.sg, and the latest addition to the family, Uchify – that’s us! The growth of TSL also meant that we had to find a space bigger than a bedroom to fit all of us. And so we did.
Just a couple of months ago in May 2023, TSL expanded its Singapore office and took over the ground floor of Chutex Building in Kallang Bahru, bringing the total area to around 20,000sqft. This includes a new amphitheatre for town halls, an expandable meeting room, phone booths to take calls in, and Secretlab chairs for everyone.
If your curiosity about our new digs is now piqued, fret not. Here’s a little sneak peek into The Smart Local’s new office in Singapore.
City Hall amphitheatre for town halls and meetings
When you first step through the glass doors of The Smart Local’s new office, it’s the walnut-brown steps of the amphitheatre that first grab your attention. We lovingly call it “City Hall” since it does resemble the steps outside the former City Hall in the CBD.
The amphitheatre can comfortably sit 50-60 people, perfect for larger all-hands meetings. If everyone’s presence is requested, the area right in front of the steps can also be cleared out to make way for chairs, adding another 40-odd seats for our quarterly town hall meetings.
And instead of a projector, 2 86” touchscreen TVs from Swosh are used for presentations, keeping score in our ping pong tournaments, and even playing movies after work.
The once-bare and concrete floors were transformed by Evorich who gave them a modern and contemporary look with vinyl flooring.
And we weren’t about to give our new office a bleak dystopian vibe by using fluorescent lamps, especially not in 2023. This is where the expertise of Sol Luminaire came in, lighting up the entire floor with their Globula lights. Each lamp can be adjusted so it shines at a specific spot, and a series of them will ensure even lighting so that our colleague’s eyes are never strained.
Workstations with Secretlab chairs, Omnidesks, & Aftershock PCs
It’s not an office if it doesn’t have any workstations, and for The Smart Local’s new office, they went all out whilst supporting local brands. “We wanted a fully ergonomic setup so we invested in outfitting our new office with ergonomic desks from Omnidesk and chairs from Secretlab,” said Bryan Choo, Founder and CEO of TSL Media Group.
We love that the Secretlab chairs have some variety in their colours whilst staying coordinated between each row. This makes it look almost like a rainbow, although it’s missing some of the more vibrant colours.
The Omnidesks also let those working in the new office change their working posture from sitting to standing whenever they’re feeling a switch-up is necessary for their backs.
To ensure that everyone will be able to make use of this shiny new office equipment, there are also a couple of hotdesking seats available for regional colleagues who are visiting the Singapore HQ. These hot desks are also instrumental for our different teams to huddle for cross-function collaborations.
An expandable meeting room
The amphitheatre might not be the best place for meetings with sensitive agendas, which is why The Smart Local’s new office has not one, but 2 new meeting rooms that can be joined together to create one large board room.
Both of the meeting rooms have been outfitted with TVs, conference phones, and of course, Secretlab chairs. There’s also the opportunity to convert both rooms into a mini movie theatre for those nights when you want to Netflix and chill in the office.
A “lepak” room with a PS5, Nintendo Switch, and KTV setup
It’s not just all work at The Smart Local. For those of us who want to get some downtime after 6PM, but are too lazy to leave the Kallang Bahru neighbourhood, we have the Lepak room to kick back and relax in.
The room has comfortable bean bags, a wide sofa, and most importantly, a TV with a PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and a karaoke machine.
Image credit: Bryan Yeong
Fun fact: Many of our departments have already held our team cohesions here since it has almost everything we need. Unfortunately, the bubble tea you see in the picture is not included.
Next to the Lepak room are a couple of call booths, so colleagues can tele-conference with a bit more privacy. The new office also boasts a Quiet Room for employees to rest, meditate or pray. To make things even better, this room doubles up as a Mother’s Room.
Custom wall mural
The Smart Local’s new office isn’t just comprised of neutral tones. Outside, on the other side of the City Hall’s steps is a gigantic wall mural painted by local artist Anthony Chong, better known by his moniker, Antz.
The scene depicts our brands as superheroes, with Uchify being one of the super-HDB flats that probably will be resold for $1M and more. It’s also one of the preferred spots for group photos and selfies, so don’t be surprised if you follow any of our TSL talents and see photos with this background.
TheSmartLocal’s new office in Singapore
Minister Desmond Lee was the guest of honour at The Smart Local’s new office opening.
Getting to work in a brand-new office is something that doesn’t come very often, but we’re here, and we’re loving our new space. Now there’s an even better reason to work from the office, even if some of us have envy-inducing work-from-home setups.
Check out the full tour of The Smart Local’s new office here: