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Six co-work­ers tell how shared spa­ces have en­riched their ca­reers and why it's much bet­ter than go­ing solo

The Australian - The Deal - - News - Jes­sica Ra­pana

Jes­sica Ra­pana dis­cov­ers the ad­van­tages of co-work­ing spa­ces

Nick Dunin

Founder, Beyon­drest Syn­clabs, Leed­erville

I stum­bled upon co-work­ing in the early days be­fore it be­came a lit­tle bit more main­stream. Ul­ti­mately, pro­duc­tiv­ity and cre­ativ­ity are the main rea­sons I use a co-work­ing space. Ev­ery­one there is try­ing to cre­ate, ev­ery­one is the cre­ator of their own des­tiny, and it’s just a dif­fer­ent type of energy. You get a lot more done and it's a lot more cre­ative. The big­gest thing is just get­ting feed­back, you just start to get dif­fer­ent opin­ions on what you’re do­ing – en­tre­pre­neur­ial opin­ions. That’s the big­gest ben­e­fit. If you’re a start-up, the com­mu­nity around a co-work­ing space is prob­a­bly num­ber one. As an es­tab­lished busi­ness, [you get] a new lease of life by ba­si­cally be­ing more cre­ative. Through the net­work here, I have been in­tro­duced to peo­ple who can help me le­git­imise the busi­ness I’m in. The con­tacts would be the num­ber one thing.

Josh Horneman Di­rec­tor, Bright­path Net­work

Space­cubed, Perth

It’s the best so­lu­tion when you have a smaller busi­ness to keep costs down. You meet dif­fer­ent peo­ple in dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries and from all walks of life. It’s a lot more cost-ef­fec­tive. You ac­tu­ally get some work done. If you work from home you can find your­self dis­tracted very easily. Within the first cou­ple of weeks of be­ing here per­ma­nently, I met peo­ple who could ei­ther help fur­ther my busi­ness or were po­ten­tial cus­tomers. You have the op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther your busi­ness just by say­ing “hi” to some­one. You don’t get that from walk­ing on the street. One hun­dred per cent, it’s the way of the fu­ture.

An­thony War­ring­ton Media Pro­ducer, Group Hug Cre­ative

In­dep Stu­dios, Prahran

I think it’s fan­tas­tic to have an en­vi­ron­ment where we have ac­cess to meet­ing rooms and board­rooms, and be­ing sur­rounded by peo­ple rather than just work­ing from home. You need that in­ter­ac­tion with peo­ple. You can make good con­tacts and it’s a cre­ative workspace with a lot of re­sources. For ex­am­ple, there are graphic de­sign­ers here, so if I have too much work for my de­sign­ers there are peo­ple on hand. It’s a nice en­vi­ron­ment to work in – it’s not com­pet­i­tive, it’s very com­ple­men­tary. I think all small busi­nesses should do it.

Ju­lia Harris Works re­motely for an in­ter­na­tional busi­ness Par­lia­ment Co-work­ing, Ho­bart

Mov­ing to a new coun­try and ini­tially start­ing with a small team, it didn’t make sense to get our own of­fice space. Work­ing in a shared space has given us the free­dom to grow or­gan­i­cally with­out the pres­sure of the over­heads that come with set­ting up one’s own of­fice. Co-work­ing spa­ces pro­vide start-up oper­a­tions and small busi­ness with all the perks of an of­fice – a pro­fes­sional en­vi­ron­ment, meet­ing rooms, and a ded­i­cated work space. It’s also a re­ally friendly en­vi­ron­ment that makes go­ing to work a plea­sure. I had just ar­rived in Aus­tralia when I started work­ing at Par­lia­ment. There was a lot that I had to get my head around, and not hav­ing to worry about of­fice space al­lowed me to fo­cus on other as­pects of our op­er­a­tion, which re­ally paid div­i­dends. It’s also very ben­e­fi­cial to be sur­rounded by a great bunch of en­trepreneurs – peo­ple are of­ten able to help each other, di­rectly or through their con­tacts.

Julie De­laforce So­cial media man­ager, Quiip The Cre­ative Fringe, Pen­rith

Af­ter work­ing at home for a year, I re­alised I needed a bet­ter workspace and also to draw a line be­tween work and home life. The line be­came quite blurred, as it was easy to con­tinue work­ing later at night, as I didn’t have to leave an of­fice. Af­ter spend­ing most of my ca­reer com­mut­ing about three hours each day, hav­ing some­where to work close to home was re­ally im­por­tant and part of the work-life bal­ance I wanted to cre­ate for my­self. The col­lab­o­ra­tive en­vi­ron­ment is great. I like be­ing able to run an idea past some­one else which I can’t do work­ing from home on my own. Be­ing around other peo­ple gives me more energy for work and helps with my cre­ativ­ity too. It gives me the op­por­tu­nity to build re­la­tion­ships with lo­cal busi­ness peo­ple. I also find I am in a bet­ter head space be­ing able to go to my “of­fice” ev­ery day, which makes me more pro­duc­tive and ef­fi­cient. It has ex­posed me to new ideas and new peo­ple.

Merri Cran­swick Fab­ric prod­uct devel­oper, Texstyle Aus­tralia

Hub Ade­laide

It’s a unique work­ing en­vi­ron­ment that pro­vides you with a place to fo­cus and also opens up op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­ter­act with other pro­fes­sion­als from a va­ri­ety of in­dus­tries which you wouldn’t oth­er­wise have work­ing from home. I think it’s the per­fect plat­form that al­lows you to grow and build upon your skills as you learn from oth­ers and gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of how other in­dus­tries work. It’s in­spir­ing to be able to col­lab­o­rate in new ways and trou­bleshoot with each other. I think you also be­come far more pro­duc­tive in how you use your time be­cause you’re sur­rounded in a proac­tive and pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment where busi­nesses are de­vel­op­ing and al­ways chang­ing. I think the best thing about the Hub is there’s a real sense of com­mu­nity where you sup­port and en­cour­age each other to suc­ceed.

Merri Cran­swick, above,and, left, her co-work­ers at Hub Ade­laide

Nick Dunin found a new lease of life at Leed­erville's Syn­clabs

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