The volume of co-working space in metropolitan and regional areas grew 35 per cent in the past year. As new operators providing the trendy shared working areas poured into the city and surrounding suburbs. Knight Frank research analyst Kimberley Paterson said 24 new spaces opened in Melbourne last year, adding a further 17,078 square metres to the sector. There was a similar number in Sydney and Brisbane. While the growth in major regional centres continues to grow steadily.
Brad Krauskopf, founder of Hub Australia, says most of his customers are small businesses and freelancers. Some metropolitan cities are seeing co-working spaces now cover 65,500sq m, a 960 per cent increase in the past three years, Ms Paterson said.
“Many corporations are looking at the benefits of shared, collaborative workspaces and are bridging the gap between what small businesses, freelancers and employees want in the workplace and what traditional landlords offer,” she said.
Hub Australia is Melbourne’s largest co-working space. Melbourne’s co-working culture is the biggest in Australia, occupying 56 per cent of the 116,955sq m of space in the main capital cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. However, as it makes up only 0.9 per cent of total office stock, there is still some way to go before co-working poses a large threat to traditional work spaces.
The eastern seaboard capitals have 239 co-working spaces.
Hub chief Brad Krauskopf said most of his customers, who pay a membership of license fee to secure their desks, have traditionally been small businesses and freelancers.
“The single biggest reason is so they’re able to attract and retain talent. Working for a small business is a great opportunity but it often comes at the expense of learning opportunities and networking. With co-working you get to work in a part of a small business but part of a bigger workplace,” Mr Krauskopf said.
The trend is also luring big corporates into the space, with Australia Post moving into Hub Southern Cross to get closer to growing small business.
Australia Post’s chief innovation officer, Greg Sutherland, said: “The partnership is really about us engaging with start-ups and small businesses in their spaces, rather than them coming to us. We are excited about the development of co-working spaces. It is a big part of our start-ups and small business strategy.”
But corporates are also now turning to co-working spaces for the flexible and creative spaces, which can be provided for special teams.
“We’ve had a number of enquiries from ASX100 listed companies and it’s now clear co-working isn’t isolated to freelancers or small business but growing businesses of any size,” Mr Krauskopf said.
Working Spaces has become part of this new innovative business platform in Moss Vale and the Southern Highlands. With a growing community of business professionals we offer our co-working spaces to all businesses no matter whether you are a start up or established business we have a desk to suit your needs.
Extracts of blog content originally written by The Sydney Morning Herald – Nicole Lindsay