In the Asia-Pacific region, seven of the ten largest and fastest growing flexible workspace markets in the world are thriving, with key cities like Sydney and Melbourne driving growth. With this new way of working set to grow even further this year, businesses can benefit from shared office space and coworking in Australia through the following:
1. Financial flexibility
Workspace in an A or B grade building in a major CBD in Australia can cost between $20,000 – $25,000 per employee, per year. By comparison, an Australian coworking space costs, on average, between $7200 and $12,000 per desk, per year. This gives businesses a massive saving of up to 70 per cent. In addition, coworking space offers businesses complete flexibility around terms rather than committing to a three+ year lease, allowing a business to adjust its P&L when it either grows or contracts.
2. Increased networking
Shared office space is an environment conducive to collaboration, with break-out and communal spaces, open-plan kitchen and dining areas, regular events and even the general layout of the offices and desks all contributing to the ambience.
3. Value-added services
Given their focus on customer service, agility and simple pricing, coworking spaces, in effect, function as hotels for businesses. Compared to the conventional stereotype of the office, one of the main components of a successful flexible operator is their ability to provide a service.
4. Extra facilities and amenities
In an annual Australian career survey, 66 per cent of employees said a great workplace was their main reason for being happy at work. Operators in Australia are continually upping their game in terms of the facilities and amenities within a space – a trend largely driven by increased competition. Memberships could include things like end of trip facilities, games rooms, beer and wine on tap, sleeping pods and gyms.
5. Improved productivity and happiness
Providing members with multiple spaces allows businesses to mix up their day by brainstorming in a creative area, working privately in a quiet space, holding a boardroom presentation or conducting a team training session.
The best spaces provide areas that are formal, relaxed, creative or private – designed for both individuals and teams.
6. Events and knowledge sharing
Access to knowledge – whether learning about personal finance, how to drive sales or the basics about blockchain, shared office space providers are good at mixing up topics and presenters, so there’s always a session that will be of interest. Social events are good for networking and business culture. Breakfast in the morning or drinks after work are great ways to keep teams engaged and motivated, and forming friendships at work has been shown to improve happiness and productivity.
7. Passport and affiliations
Many coworking spaces in Australia either have interstate and/or global offices, or they have affiliations with other coworking providers, which members can benefit from. This can be a massive bonus for members. If you’re in another state or country and you need to work for the day or hold a meeting, you can simply walk into the space. The staff know who you are, where you’re from and why you are there.
Collaboration and community are a big part of the culture in an Australian coworking space. It’s effortless, positive and one of the reasons you go back every day.
A lot of people like that feeling of walking into a shared office space which is buzzing. There are people working, talking, collaborating, there’s movement, the smell of coffee – all of these things create a really positive and energising feeling. And it’s unique to the coworking world.
Tom Fleming, Director, The Instant Group