How to get the most out of co-working

The “start-up boom” has seen an explosion of co-working spaces sprout up across Australia. But what sets an effective co-working space apart from a mere shared office space? I believe the answer lies in inspiration and collaboration.

As a business owner, working from home, a café or the local library can make it difficult to stay productive. Not only can it be distracting and uninspiring, it can make you feel very isolated. The same can be said for many traditional shared office spaces. Although renting office space can be better than working alone at home, fellow tenants are often so busy with their own work there is little opportunity to connect. This is why so many business owners have been seeking the collaborative opportunities that co-working spaces can provide.

An effective co-working space needs to be much more than just a simple workspace, but a place for conversation and idea sharing. The spaces that truly work allow for collaboration, as well as productivity, and this is what sets them apart from traditional shared offices.

She Will Shine was the first all-female co-working space available to business women in Melbourne. Based in Footscray, it attracts women from across Melbourne as it is a hub for collaboration, conversation, connection and productivity. The idea that to run a professional business you need to work in a professional business space underpins She Will Shine co-working, ensuring that it is a place where women can be inspired and motivated to come and work.

Thinking of co-working? Here are a few things to keep in mind during you hunt for the perfect space:

  1. What are the people like?

Co-working spaces need to be places for conversation and collaboration, that’s what sets them apart from shared office spaces. So, before making your choice, take the time to visit and meet some of your potential co-workers and see if there could be a connection.

  1. Atmosphere

The look and feel of a space is something that should never be underestimated. It is important to pay a visit and get a ‘feel’ for the co-working space you are considering. Alternatively, seek out candid shots taken at events held at the space via social media, to get an idea of how things really are ‘behind the scenes’.

Is the co-working space functional and does it physically meet your workplace needs? Does it lift your mood when you walk in? Does it inspire you and do you feel as though you could happily come to work there everyday? Make sure you pick a space that is light and bright and has vibrancy and personality.

  1. Location, location, location

Your chosen co-working space has to be convenient for your lifestyle, because ultimately, if it is too far away, you will dread the daily commute. Ideally, try and find somewhere that can be accessed by public transport, or is close to major freeways with ample on-site parking available.

Renting a work space can be a considerable investment. To ensure maximum ROI, it’s crucial to select a co-working space that offers collaboration and inspiration to truly grow your business.

Danielle Price, Founder, She Will Shine

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