The Last Page
Six co-workers tell how shared spaces have enriched their careers and why it's much better than going solo
Jessica Rapana discovers the advantages of co-working spaces
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
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
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