The co-working trend
A growing number of young freelancers, start-ups, tech nomads and corporate innovators are shunning serviced offices and cafés in favour of communal co-working spaces. Central locations, conference facilities, fully equipped kitchens, open-plan workstations, and the freedom to come and go as you please are just some of the perks enjoyed by members.
According to the 2017 Global Coworking Survey, there are roughly 13,800 co-working spaces worldwide used by 1,180,000 members. Not only is it seen as a cheaper option than leasing a traditional office but the freedom and flexibility to interact with like-minded professionals in a creative, inspiring environment is considered one of the key benefits of using a co-working space.
Depending on the location, services can range from casual through to full-time memberships, with different options that include the following:
Hot desk: This is where members share communal computers and/or desks instead of being individually allocated a workstation; this casual set-up means you can come and go as needed and use any available desk.
Dedicated desk: Here you’re assigned a desk space in a large open area along with other members. This dedicated space often comes with a lockable filing cabinet and you’re free to leave desktops set up and left overnight.
Private office: This membership option includes your own furnished space for teams up to 15-20 people. Some co-working spaces also provide office signage and a business mailing address, and in some cases, you can expand the space as your business grows.
Gravity Coworking provides collaborative spaces in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, which are all designed to provide “an aspirational environment for members to meet, innovate, collaborate and take advantage of the positive forces at work.” In addition to providing a flexible workspace used by professionals in tech, finance, marketing, design, property and business consulting, Gravity often hosts business seminars, workshops and networking events.
With locations in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, Hub Australia offices are equipped with kitchen, relaxation and recreational facilities that are accessible 24/7. Members can not only gain access to all locations across Australia but also abroad through its partnership with the ever expanding LExC network, the League of Extraordinary Coworking Spaces.
Founded in New York in 2011, global co-working giant WeWork now has 138 office locations in 34 cities, including Sydney. Its mission – “To create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living”- is buoyed by member benefits that include free beer, stocked fridges, and Foosball tables.
A dedicated co-working space for “entrepreneurs, innovators and changemakers”, Perth’s Spacecubed has a wide range of venues that cater from two person meetings to functions of 100 guests. In addition to the typical membership plans, Spacecubed also offers free mentoring programs, an online member network, and a three-month scholarship that provides support for start-ups and entrepreneurs in the early stages of idea development.
Try before you sign up
Most co-working spaces host events, be it business seminars or social activities. This is a great way to learn more about the venue and what it has to offer and also speak to members who use it regularly. They’ll give you a better insight into the venue’s facilities and overall atmosphere because, unlike an office manager or concierge, the members have no vested interest in signing you up.
Here are a few more coworking spaces to check out.