The Ease of Travelling to Singapore for Work

Laura Garton

From the Diary of an Assignee—Part One

Singapore is a multi-cultural melting pot attracting millions from all over the world each year —and I’ve been fortunate enough to have been assigned to live and work here for a month. I joined the Synergy marketing team two years ago to support the international growth of the Synergy brand in EMEA, and now it’s time for me to learn the ropes in Asia Pacific. Needless to say, I am BEYOND excited for the next few weeks ahead.

As I encounter all the weird and wonderful things that come with being a British assignee in Singapore, I thought I would use this platform to share my experiences with those of you who might be travelling to Singapore for a short-term assignment, relocation or a business trip in the near future—sharing my experiences, challenges and tips along the way.  

So, if you’re looking for an easy read and perhaps something to help build up your excitement for your own assignment and serviced apartment in Singapore, continue reading for insight into what it’s really like to live and work in this beautiful city.   

The First 48 Hours  

A hand holding a Journey MRT card in the Singapore Metro.

I’m from London where the entire city is set up to be fast, efficient and easy to navigate—there couldn’t possibly be anywhere else in the world that beats it, right? Wrong. Enter Singapore. The easiest place to get around. Ever.  

Having passed through passport control at Changi Airport in record time (probably because I had already filled out my Singapore Arrival Card before I landed) I quickly collected my baggage and headed to the MRT station (Singapore’s underground train network) to make my way to my serviced apartment in Singapore.  

The MRT network was by far the cleanest I've ever seen, it was surprisingly spacious and impressively efficient with air conditioning and WiFi throughout. I was a bit apprehensive about taking the MRT over a taxi on my first day in Singapore, but my journey to was so incredibly easy, stress-free and it couldn’t have taken me longer than 40 minutes door to door.  

If you’re heading to Singapore on a business trip, I'd definitely recommend taking the MRT over a taxi when walking isn’t an option. Not just because it’s an incredibly easy and cheap way to move around the city (the entire journey there cost me about SGD $1.75/GBP £1/ USD $1.25), but also because it’s one of those little things you can choose to do to reduce the carbon footprint of your trip.  

Singapore Green Architechture

You can pay for your trip using an EZ-Link card or your own bank card (watch out for currency exchange fees) to tap in and out of the network. Make sure you download the Citymapper app which provides a detailed itinerary of how to get from A to B across the city’s different public transport methods— you’ll be needing this as you plan your journey to the office.   

It’s Clean and Oh So Very Green 

As I walked from the MRT station to my apartment, it became very apparent that what everyone told me about Singapore was true—the city is super green and very, very well looked after. Throughout my entire journey, I was surrounded by palm trees, flowers and greenery as far as I could see, and everything seemed to be...spotless. This is because Singapore takes its cleanliness and hygiene very seriously (more on this in series two), and there are some strict rules, such as not chewing gum or littering, that you’ll need to follow if you want to avoid a hefty fine...or even jail time!  

Home Sweet Home  

After a quick walk from the MRT station, I arrived at my short-term rental in Singapore, at Lyf Funan. I chose to stay in a serviced apartment rather than a hotel because I knew how much easier my transition would be if I could just move in and live like I would at home in the UK. 

Serviced apartments in Singapore come with many different advantages such as more space to live and work, they come with a fully-equipped kitchen to cook your own meals in (it can get pricey to dine out in Singapore) and the majority of serviced accommodations in Singapore also come with hotel-like services such as gyms, eateries and a 24-hour concierge meaning you can enjoy all your favourite hotel-like services too.  

Some apartments in Singapore, like Lyf, also have co-working and living spaces which can be a great way to meet new people if you’re a solo business traveller like me.  

Familiarising Myself in an Unfamiliar World 

Lyf Building in Singapore

By the time I arrived to my apartment, I was running on about 30 hours of no sleep and to say my bed looked very inviting would be an understatement. I wanted to adjust to Singapore’s time zone as quickly as possible (7 hours ahead of London right now) so I took a strict no-nap policy and made my way into the city before I even had the chance to think about getting some shuteye.   

As I set out on my first walk into the city, the reality of what I was doing and where I was hit me a bit. Everything started to feel a little…unfamiliar. I wasn’t at home anymore—and I definitely wasn’t in Europe anymore. I think so many people told me how much of an international city Singapore was, that I had underestimated just how different the city would feel, but very quickly (and I'm talking a matter of minutes) I could see just how safe and laid back the city is. In fact, as I sit here and write this article just two days in, I'm genuinely shocked at how fast I've settled in.  

If you’re travelling to Singapore on a business trip, I'd recommend you take some time prior to your first day in the office to familiarise yourself with the journey to your office and how the entrance system works. Most of the offices in Singapore are located in high-rise buildings and have multiple entrances so it can get quite confusing if you’re not familiar with how it works— and the last thing we want is to be late on our first day to the office, right? 

Humidity with a Chance of...Humidity 

Hiding under a bridge from the rian in Singapore with a crowd of people.

As I spent the weekend walking around Singapore’s tourist hotspots, I noticed the city is a lot less fast-paced than London, but that’s most probably down to the humidity. It’s SO humid here, and I'm not even going to beat around the bush— you’re going to sweat. A lot.  

While there’s not much you can do about the heat and humidity, you can at least get yourself prepared and make sure you arrive at the office or any business meetings looking and feeling your best.  

A must-do is to pack light, cotton clothing and make use of the many underground city links where possible. Singapore has a huge underground world around the MRT stations which link many parts of the city with others and the best part…It’s fully air-conditioned. Also, to all my curly-haired people, make sure you bring a no-frizz hair spray with you. You can thank me later. 

One thing I also found out over the weekend is that when it rains, it comes without much notice and my goodness does it pour. Make sure you pack an umbrella, otherwise you might just have to spend an hour hiding under a bridge like I did (it made me feel a bit better that at least the locals were as unprepared as I was). 

Finally Settled 

So, my first couple of days in Singapore have been an absolute whirlwind and way busier than I had originally anticipated. I really didn’t expect to settle in as fast as I have, and if the first few days are anything to go by, I think I'm going to have an experience of a lifetime as a corporate traveller in Singapore. 

Tomorrow is Monday which means it’s officially time to meet the team and for the real work to begin — I can’t wait and I'm so ready to grab this opportunity with both hands. I’m not completely over the jet lag yet though, so that’ll be interesting… 

Check out the next blog in this series here: Short-Term Assignments in Singapore: What You Need to Know

Related Articles

After months of applications, cover letters, and interviews, you’ve overcome the biggest hurdle: receiving an internship. Whether it’s short- or long-term, part- or full-time, this is a victory that should be celebrated. And with this new role, comes a new destination. Moving for an internship is more than just changing locations; it's a transformative experience that shapes your professional and personal growth. Relocating for an internship is an exciting yet challenging adventure. To ensure a smooth transition, we’ve crafted this detailed guide to help interns like you make the most out of their relocation experience. From temporary housing options to maximizing your internship program, here’s what you can expect and how to thrive during your time away from home. Moving for an internship is more than just changing locations; it’s a transformative experience that shapes your professional and personal growth. Out-of-state internships offer the opportunity to develop more than just hard skills. In addition to the knowledge and exposure you’re destined to gain throughout your internship, relocation invites endless chances to evolve and challenge yourself as an individual. You’ll not only grow as a professional, but also gain soft skills that will last you a lifetime. However, all these benefits do not necessarily make this journey any less daunting. Embracing the Internship Journey As you acclimate to your new role and your new home, you will inevitably be presented with various obstacles. To best prepare for your internship journey and alleviate some of the growing pains that accompany moving to a new city, it’s vital to research your destination. Embracing the Internship Journey When relocating to a different city or state, it’s important to educate yourself on travel safety tips and immerse yourself in the cultural nuances of the location. With a comprehensive knowledge of your new home away from home, you’ll have a strong foundation to explore and build authentic connections. Do your best to break out of your shell and engage with your neighbors and fellow interns. If you’re accepting summer internships or winter internships, look into joining local groups or pursuing activities that offer an opportunity to socialize and make new friends. It’s essential to establish a support network so that you have a community to lean on if you ever start to feel homesick or during your program. While adapting to your new living and work environment may prove difficult, you are not alone in your journey. Many of your peers and colleagues are likely experiencing similar anxieties, and your employers will be able to sympathize with the strength that it takes to overcome your apprehensions as you take on a new job away from home. Maximizing Your Internship Program with Temporary Housing Preparing for your internship can be an overwhelming experience on its own, so your housing should be the least of your worries. Temporary housing plays a crucial role in ensuring a comfortable and productive internship experience. Corporate housing companies like Synergy Global Housing help eliminate the added stress of finding a new apartment. Instead of signing a lease, you’ll have a guest service agent guide you through every step of the process and help you find the perfect housing solution. Simply share your desired destination, and Synergy will take care of the rest. Maximizing Your Internship Program with Temporary Housing For short-term living or extended stays, temporary housing proves to be the easiest, stress-free option. Award-winning customer service and abundant amenities contribute to a resort-like experience that enhances your overall well-being. Apartments are move-in ready, with all the comforts of home: installed utilities, fully furnished living spaces, housewares and linens. Synergy helps you to relocate with confidence, so that all you must do is show up and turn the key in the lock. Relocation Assistance Internship relocation assistance from providers like Synergy helps you make the most of your experience. Discover a comfortable and convenient living space that complements your lifestyle and includes everything from free wi-fi to on-premises laundry. During fall internships or spring internships, avoid having to compete with students for leases and housing and enjoy the guarantee of a move-in ready, premium property. And the best part? You can rest assured that your new home will be secure and held to the highest standards of quality assurance, without having to fly out early to find a place on your own. Peace of Mind The only thing better than the peace of mind provided by corporate housing, is the unique opportunities offered to interns sharing the same housing. By opting for corporate housing, you may experience more of a dorm-like atmosphere. Sharing common areas or even neighboring your colleagues and peers makes it much easier to socialize and make friends in your program. Plus, many companies utilize the common areas of corporate housing for social events, so you’ll be that much closer for the next pool party, barbecue, or networking reception! peace of mind provided by corporate housing Preparing to Relocate for an Internship
Guest Experience

Preparing to Relocate for an Internship

Read More
people helping themselves to a box of cookies
Guest Experience

Synergy Partners with Montana Based All Natural Snacks Company, Yellowstone Foods

Read More
a person taking pictures in Rome
Guest Experience

Essential Safety Tips for Traveling Internationally

Read More
a person dancing in their kitchen
Guest Experience

Enhancing The Guest Experience in Serviced Accommodations

Read More
a man working outside by a pool
Guest Experience

Accommodating the Evolving Needs of the Business Traveler 

Read More
a woman at home
For Corporates

How Synergy and Corporate Housing Embody Sustainable Living

Read More