The sharing economy is a staple of our daily lives—whether Uber Pool, share housing, Airbnb, or car sharing—the list of ‘industry disruptors’ has now been welcomed into every part of our lives, offering convenience and saving us money.
Sharing isn’t just for getting things done around the house or in our personal lives, though. Businesses of all industries and sizes are realising the benefits of sharing space and resources, helping support the rise of coworking across Australia.
What is coworking?
Coworking spaces are designed to be occupied by a range of people and businesses, providing a variety of spaces, office sizes, and community-centred areas where every member can collaborate, work, and connect.
As an example, Hub Southern Cross operates over two floors of the heritage Mail Exchange building in Melbourne and offers private offices, event spaces, flexible work areas, dedicated desks, a fully staffed café, and a number of other amenities.
Many spaces specialise in a particular sector, such as tech or arts, but a rare few offer a truly diverse community, with organisations of all sizes and specialties taking their place in the internal microcosm.
Why do people choose coworking?
One main motivator for people to choose coworking is for the community coworking spaces offer. Coworking helps businesses keep their employees happy, by providing workspaces with in-demand amenities and services that contribute to a higher quality of a work life. Many coworking spaces have full-time Community Leads working on programming and networking opportunities for all members, as well as connecting them with like-minded people and businesses.
What benefits does coworking have?
Some spaces, such as Hub Australia, offer members professional and personal development events and workshops, as well as networking opportunities. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or a team of 40, you can always benefit by growing your professional community.
Especially so for startups and smaller teams, coworking means that they can be part of a larger community in an often isolated industry, offering them opportunities to collaborate and network.
Many who work from home can struggle with motivation and loneliness, whereas those in coworking spaces are surrounded by other people also trying to grow their businesses.
Where are coworking spaces?
Coworking spaces tend to be in more central locations, such as the centre of major cities, but can be located anywhere – some rural areas use coworking as a way to gather isolated workers and create a community, and this works equally as well in larger cities where it feels easy to be lost in the crowd.
Many coworking spaces are now opening in suburban retail centres, libraries, and other central locations, offering a workspace to people who may not want to commit to lengthy commutes into the CBD.