Shared, Serviced + Coworking Office Space
Thirty million square feet of office space in the US is dedicated to co-working. There are more than 20,000 co-working spaces available across the globe; 700 operators market co-working spaces in Europe alone. Closer to home, co-working space available in the city of Melbourne grew 960 percent in the last three years.
Either a LOT of people and companies are flogging a dead-end trend, or there is genuine merit in the concept of shared office space. Why exactly is this relatively new way of considering ‘the office’ taking off so quickly?
- The great idea
You’ve got a concept for a great new business, you’ve secured launch funding, but you’re holding meetings in your garage? Start-ups were the grass roots users of shared office space. Suddenly, your combined laptop, mobile phone, sketchpad and prototype could take on kudos, planted firmly into a professional workspace complete with state-of-the-art coffee machine.
- Someone to talk to?
They say that they best thing about being a freelancer is that you can talk to yourself and call it a staff meeting. But really, the water cooler banter gets thin pretty quickly when you’re working alone. No wonder the shared work space was spawned by freelancers – carefully collated, a shared workspace can house a pool of talent that fulfils complex project needs. Everyone works for themselves, but everyone’s efforts pool to reward the team.
- Keeping a diverse workforce happy
Remember the offices of Sterling Cooper in the popular TV series Madmen? It wasn’t hard to create an office environment that kept everyone happy when everyone was the same. Well, everyone whose opinion mattered! They were all white, male and aged 25-50. A comfy sofa, drinks at 5pm, pretty support staff and an air of potential. Flick forward to 2019 and you’ve got a workforce spanning age groups, cultures, abilities and ambitions; work and personal lives are intertwined. Use shared space cleverly and you meet individual needs within a team – and can readily respond to changes if the team changes.
- Navigate change
In the words of Greek philosopher Heraclitus, the only constant in life is change. Change can mean growth or contraction: a mid-size contracting company that takes three floors in an office building finds itself bursting at the seams by winning a tender, or hustling for sub-tenants if the next one fails. A clever mid-size contracting company takes one floor in an office building, then adds space from a shared provider if the tender is a success, or diverts resources to the next prospect if it’s not. Savings? Time and money.
- We need space, and we need it now!
Remember the drama of the Turnbull government awarding funds for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation back in 2018? A small Queensland charity suddenly found itself the recipient of a $444 million grant. No doubt the charity needed resources … quickly. Finding, negotiating and settling a long-term lease is time consuming; adopting a share of a co-working space can be almost immediate. Think serviced apartment, with photocopier.
- Keeping the team together
Tens of thousands of employees work for Australia’s largest companies, but sure-as-eggs they don’t all work together. What they need is to work together when projects demand it. What better way to optimise team potential than by grouping staff in a dedicated space for the term of the assignment? Vote 1: shared office space. You get the right size, in the right location, for the right period of time. Project runs over? You even have the opportunity to extend the space – or the part you need – by the month, by the week, by the hour!
- Cut the commute
Research suggests that ‘commuting’ will be a thing of the past by the middle of this century. We will all work where we want, when we want. Why? Because the commute is universally detested. In the meantime, shared work space can help you take the office to the people – short term, flexibly managed office spaces close to where your staff live. Commute to meetings at HQ? Sure! Outside rush hour, only when needed. Add that to your job ads.
- Cut the fitout costs
Commercial property fitout costs average $1500 per square metre, and in the current market that’s borne by the tenant. Want to add a few bells and whistles? Add a few zeroes to your budget. Ouch. Speaking of averages, your average shared office space comes complete with fitout … and break out rooms, serviced kitchens, office management support, putting greens … seems like a good time to move house.
- Fit for purpose space
Elegant open plan offices are a delight to look at, but what if you really need some privacy for a confidential meeting, interviews or a presentation? Develop a relationship with a good shared space provider and you can have it all. Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly. With chocolate biscuits.
With the plethora of shared office options on the table, there really will be one to suit you, whatever your needs might be. The days of exclusive dedication to the start up or freelancer are long gone, with the industry evolving to deliver the ultimate office home. Take a browse through the service providers selected by CoWorkAvenue at coworkavenue.com.au to get an idea of just how many alternatives there are – then talk to us about how we can get you into one.