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A Singapore Layover Guide for CEOs and Business Leaders

Imagine you, a business owner or a CEO stuck in an airport for at least an eight-hour layover. What are you going to do to make sure you can run your company, kill the boredom, and have an amazing time before your next flight?

The best answer lies in Singapore’s Changi Airport. Consistently named the best airport globally, it offers a wide array of attractions and services ideal for men and women leaders in transit.

Here’s what to do at Changi Airport if you’re stuck in the area for a layover:

1. Visit the Jewel

Currently the pride of Changi, the Jewel is a haven for the weary and stressed travellers, who include you. At the centre of the grand attraction is the HSBC Rain Vortex, whose sounds can trigger the ears of every pluviophile.

If that isn’t enough, many studies already showed that hearing nature sounds could calm the nervous system, reducing the body’s fight-or-flight response. In the process, cortisol, a stress hormone, drops. It stabilizes your heart rate and blood pressure, so you feel more relaxed.

Then you walk through the majestic Shiseido Forest Valley, a lush tropical ensemble of plants and trees sourced from various parts of the world. The greeneries can help reduce mental fatigue, eye strain, and anxiety by redirecting your attention away from overthinking into something more pleasant. Often, seeing nature can bring back focus and energy.

On the fifth level of the canopy park is Manulife Sky Net, with a massive net that tests your patience, strength, and mobility. Even a 15-minute fun here is probably one of the best exercises you need as you’re about to spend many hours sitting on your long-haul flight.

2. Connect Online Publicly or Privately

An eight-hour layover is already equivalent to a full day’s work, so you might as well put on your CEO thinking cap and get moving. Fortunately, Changi Airport can provide the amenities you need to run an enterprise remotely.

First, there’s the Changi Lounge, a quiet, comfortable, and reliable professional working and resting space for airport guests. All around the area are several charging stations and outlets for online collaborations and meetings. If you need to use a computer, workstations are available.

If you have last-minute instructions for your Singapore team or prefer to meet with prospective clients and partners, you can book a meeting room, a more private space that can accommodate eight people and already includes refreshments. It also comes with a lounge bar, complimentary Wi-Fi, and audio-visual equipment for presentations.

3. Take the Much-Needed Rest (or Sleep) You Deserve

sleep deprived

By now, you’re probably used to sleeping for less than 7 hours a night. But sleep deprivation can impact decision-making, focus, alertness, and cognitive performance in the long term.

You may be thinking of getting your snooze while on the plane, but jet lag, noise, and exhaustion are less likely to give you the shuteye you want.

Before you fly, why don’t you take some much-needed rest? In all four terminals are premium lounges that offer comprehensive services that range from massages, warm bowls of Singapore laksa, shower facilities, and, most of all, napping pods and private resting suites that are good for at least three hours.

If you miss the comforts and privacy of a hotel suite, you can book any of the rooms in the transit accommodations. Available 24 hours a day, these spaces are cosy and often feature relaxing amenities such as Jacuzzis and power showers.

4. Learn the Singaporean Culture

Despite its small size (it won’t be called the tiny red dot for no reason), Singapore is one of the most diverse nations. Moreover, being a trading and tourist hub, it feels also more Western than its other Asian neighbours.

However, its local customs, culture, and norms can still affect the way it does business, especially with foreigners. Having more insights on the Singaporean way, therefore, can help you forge better business ties.

In the airport are snippets of the heritage and culture that define this world-class country. On Transit Terminal 4 is the Heritage Zone, which features shophouses inspired by the architecture of Peranakans, one of the popular ethnic groups in Singapore.

On the same floor is the Peranakan Gallery, which then showcases the demographic’s culture and craft that influence some of the city-state’s most popular local cuisines, furniture, and clothing.

5. Take a Bite of Singaporean Cuisine

Singapore’s cuisine is a celebration of the many ethnicities or populations that call the country their home. The good news is you can taste them without having to go through immigration again. The transit terminals offer over 20 restaurants, cafes, and fast-food chains, some of which are open 24 hours a day.

The Food Gallery in level 3 of Transit Terminal 1, for example, is reminiscent of the hawker centres with Singapore-defining food options like Hainanese steamed chicken rice, Indian roti prata, and vegetarian hotpot.

Indeed, with these activities you can do, a long business layover in Singapore may be the break you secretly long for.

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