With buzz words like hot desking to ‘digital nomads’, co-working spaces are the newest flexible work concept taking over inner-city business spaces across the country.
So what is a co-working space exactly and what are the benefits?
Co-working spaces can be as simple as a shared working space with hot desk memberships however new iterations of the concept are now coming with everything from showers and gym facilities through to mentorship programs and craft beers on tap with desk rental or private office spaces being the consistent offering. Many concepts offer connections with international networks of co-working spaces as well as day rates, perfect for business travellers when travelling abroad.
Where did they come from?
The uptick in the number of co-working spaces being set up across Australia comes from the success they’re having in the United States and the same can be said here given the growth seen over the last 12 months. The concept has come about as a reaction to the movement towards flexible work life balance tied into travel; the growing freelance workforce; and the increase in small business entrepreneurship. A recent report by Knight Frank real estate agents estimates the industry has grown 960 percent over the last three years.
Why are they so popular now?
Co-working spaces in many instances are acting as a sort of bubble where businesses can collaborate with other similarly positioned new businesses together to grow and share learnings. Acting as an organic accelerator program more akin to those found in Silicon Valley, London and New York but in Aussie cities and from Melbourne through to Byron Bay. These shared office spaces are not only more cost-effective for many small businesses but they also supply a community of similarly hard working and passionate workers whether they be in tech, science, agriculture, retail or any other type of business.
So on that note, here is a list of the top co-working spaces to look out for and consider joining on your next interstate business trip:
Big in the US now with four spaces in Sydney and another on the way and one space in Melbourne with a second in the works.
An original in the Sydney coworking scene that has Friday night beer and pitch events plus networking sessions in Ultimo and Darlinghurst.
Offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and coming soon is Brisbane. Boasts podcasting equipment, a photography studio, regular learning events and more.
The Office Space
The Surrey Hills space look like something from a private club with the concierge offerings to match.
Located in South Melbourne, Collingwood and Cremorne coming soon as well as Central Sydney. Includes wellness programs, craft beer and cider on tap, arcade games and a glasshouse courtyard inside its Collingwood location.
Impressive space in Richmond and Footscray with a successful list of alumni.
Located in an old Bulla Cream truck workshop in North Melbourne, needless to say a quirky warehouse space with a pop up cinema.
A seriously upmarket space that even offers the use of a BMW i3 for its members.
River City Labs, Fortitude Valley
A stalwart in the industry, this space is backed by Shark Tank judge Steve Baxter.
An intimate and quirkily decorated warehouse space located between Fortitude Valley and Newstead.
Situated in Fremantle, with a flexible pay as you go model, great for interstate travellers.
A large and bright, light filled space with plenty of greenery, bonus points for unlimited free barista made coffees from Cleaver Street Coffee Shop.
Claisebrook Design Community
An interesting modular space that feels part workshop, part performance space and part office, offering showers, free bicycle hire and coffee discounts in addition to the usual meeting rooms.
Located in a historic 19th century mansion that’s had a multimillion dollar face lift with state of the art tech, geared towards tech start-ups.
A shared workspace meets cafe and bar in the CBD. Perfect for an afternoon meeting with aperitifs and artwork!
A creative organization for audio, visual and digital artists to work in a collaborative environment.