New ways of working: the rise of co-working spaces

SME Village Sydney hosting Expat Advisors Community discussion form in May 2016
SME Village Sydney hosting Expat Advisors Community discussion form in May 2016
With the ongoing advancement in digital tools, for many there is no need to go into a central office.  Working from home not only saves time and stress of the travel commute but provides flexibility to balance work and personal commitments.

As humans we value connectedness, hence the growth of the coffee shop culture for meetings and working via Wi-Fi. However, with the evolution of freelancing and portfolio careers, many are looking for environments where they can do their best work, meet inspiring people and feel part of a community.

Springing up everywhere – not just tech

stone and chalk 2

We’ve been hearing for a while about the Fintec hubs such as Stone & Chalk in Sydney and Cyberport in Hong Kong. However, it’s not just start-ups who are using co-working spaces. It is now a global trend with exponential growth to currently over 10,000 spaces.  These membership-based workspaces consist of diverse groups of independent professions working in a communal setting.

According to Harvard Business Review, a study of how employees thrive revealed those in co-working spaces measured a full point higher at 6 out of 7 vs those in regular offices. Key insights from the study of those who use co-working spaces were:

  • see their work as meaningful – choosing projects they care about, members who work for a range of different companies, ventures, and projects
  • have more control over their job – flexibility to come and go, select a quiet space for focus or more collaborative for interaction, and provide the structure that is encouraging and motivational
  • feel part of a community – cultivating connections in a conducive work and social environment.
More than just a serviced office

Co-working spaces provide a range of flexible options from casual or permanent desks, access to meeting and boardrooms and breakout areas to grab a coffee and network with other residents.

SME village_sydney spacesThey also provide a range of activities including training and workshops, mentoring forums, and networking events. Craig West, of Succession Plus based in York St, has been providing his office premises to freelancers for almost 8 years and founded the SME Village concept in 2015.

How does it work?

Whilst space may be accessed on a casual basis, most charge a monthly fee, with many including a range of office services. Members can also access other spaces when travelling.

With many people moving into portfolio careers being with other individuals who are passionate about what they are doing is inspiring. And you never know, you may find your next client, supplier or business partner at your co-working space.

SME Village

Stacey Martin, Founder of Expat Advisors Community, is part of the Sydney SME Village in Sydney. To find out about their co-working venue options go to the link here.  Other spaces currently include North Sydney and Melbourne with plans to expand across Australia and form international partnerships.