A Guide To Coworking Spaces in Australia
Table of contents:
- What are coworking spaces?
- What are the common features of a coworking space?
- For startups
- For SMEs
- For Enterprises
- Why choose coworking spaces over other remote work alternatives?
The work landscape we know is undergoing fundamental shifts. Driven by the recent pandemic, the traditional notion of a workplace is transforming at unprecedented speed, spurring the demand for flexible real-estate strategies which is proving to be a viable solution for the workforce of the future. With a 41 per cent increase in coworking spaces across Australia in 2019 alone, it is evident that businesses find merits in more flexible work arrangements that such avenues offer.
But how effective are coworking spaces and how can they help you in your professional pursuits in Australia?
We’ve put together a detailed guide to understanding what coworking spaces have to offer, and how we at JustCo can help you jump on the bandwagon and reap the benefits of a collaborative work environment!
What are coworking spaces?
A coworking space is a membership-based working environment in which diverse groups of professionals from all walks of life come together to work under one roof.
Designed to foster collaboration between the like-minded and boost productivity like never before, these offices are the driving forces of the future of work. Whether you opt for any of the hot desks or head straight to the private office suites, the various solutions offered within the coworking space are meant to drive business productivity and efficiencies at streamlined costs.
What are the common features of a coworking space?
A few common features make the coworking space unique – here’s a quick snapshot of what you can expect at JustCo’s locations across Melbourne and Sydney.
1. Hot desks
The hot desk provides you with an ergonomically-friendly office set-up, comprising a spacious table and a comfortable chair. On top of having a productive workspace to tick off the to-do list, the hot desking arrangement fosters collaboration between different individuals working around you. Maybe a conversation with a neighbour may just spark ideas on your next project or give you more inspiration as you complete an ongoing task.
This solution is not only ideal for solopreneurs and solitary freelancers in Australia. Hot desks can also serve as a third space for growing startups, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and large enterprises that are looking to embrace the hybrid work model – a fast-rising new way of work that grants a geographically-dispersed workforce the autonomy to choose where they wish to work.
At JustCo Australia, you can hire a hot desk for monthly use with the JustDesk Basic plan in case you don’t require a workspace frequently. However, if you want to gain access as and when you need it, go for the JustDesk Unlimited plan. For those who have a favourite location within our Melbourne and Sydney offices and need a desk all set up and ready, the JustDesk Dedicated plan is the one for you!
2. Private office suites
Should privacy be important to you and your team, there are private office spaces within our centres in Melbourne and Sydney to cater to your needs. Perfect for teams working with confidential and sensitive information, or startups looking for a conducive work area for their growing teams, the private studio suites ensure there’s ample space for people to work on their tasks and discuss projects within a productive environment. If this is what you need, the Just Studio plan will have you sorted!
3. Meeting rooms
We know how important it is to communicate effectively with your clients and stakeholders, so we make sure you have the space to set up meetings whenever you need to. With pay-per-use meeting rooms available across all our coworking locations, you won’t have to sit in noisy cafes to discuss projects. All the necessary equipment is at your fingertips, so you can focus on getting the best out of each meeting. In addition, these meeting rooms are great if you need some quiet time to complete a task or two!
4. Fully-stocked shared pantry
Over the years, we’ve seen businesses in Australia devoting more time and effort to creating a better work environment for their employees. Common spaces such as the humble pantry have become an integral part of the workspace.
Boasting a fully-equipped pantry filled with free artisanal tea, coffee and more, your employees no longer have to leave the office for a nibble outside of lunch hours.
Moreover, it’s a perfect time to network with others occupying the same coworking space – this is what JustCo is all about: creating opportunities for connections!
5. Entertainment areas
Apart from the communal pantry, you can further unwind at the entertainment areas within the coworking spaces. It could be a game of ping pong or a challenge at foosball – there’s something for you to find some respite away from the hustle at your desk.
6. Printing & scanning facilities
If you’re setting up your business in our coworking spaces, you and your employees can access all our printing and scanning facilities for free — there’s no need to invest in additional equipment at all! That means you save a lot more on operational costs, making coworking a cost-effective option for entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs.
Australia is the fifth startup-friendly country in the world, making it a popular base for such businesses. For startups looking to establish themselves professionally here, the coworking space is a great way to do so. Whether you occupy several hot desks or sign-up for a private studio, you are not only investing in a conducive work environment that can cater to your growing team but also a suite of amenities that are all at your disposal. These include a business address and mail handling services, IT and printing facilities, as well as fully-equipped meeting rooms to invite potential stakeholders for discussions.
Coworking space vs incubators
While incubators are common to beginner startups, especially in the research and development phase, coworking spaces elevate the experience by bringing them closer to market. The shared areas within the coworking offices allow members of startups to interact with professionals, bounce ideas off and explore strategies they have never considered before.
Plus, with a curated range of professional services and rates exclusive to JustCo members such as those from Amazon Web Services and HubSpot, startups have all the industry tools they need to bring their business to greater heights!
According to a report by Coworking Insights, SMEs make up the largest share of the demographics (37.3%) that use coworking spaces, followed by startups (27.12%). One of the biggest reasons why SMEs opt for coworking spaces in Australia is its cost-effectiveness.
Coworking space vs traditional office
Traditional long-term leases bring about more challenges to SMEs, especially when they require more space to accommodate growing teams. Being bound to lease terms for several years does not provide SMEs much flexibility to upgrade and downsize whenever they need. Let’s not forget the operational costs entailed when maintaining an office space, plus expenses incurred for fit-out projects. With coworking spaces, businesses can scale effectively – they can take up the amount of space they need, and gain access to all the business amenities that constitute a fully-functioning office.
SMEs that find it hard to decide between both can also consider embracing coworking spaces alongside the traditional office space – a hybrid, “best of both worlds” approach with the former serving as a viable alternative to a home office and the latter as a central headquarters. Given the flexibility of a coworking space, companies can scale with ease without litigation risks.
When the pandemic forced employees in Australia to begin working from home, many found merits in the flexible work arrangements. At the same time, it became important to implement effective measures to scale, owing to unused spaces within the traditional offices brought about by social distancing requirements. This pushed enterprises to relook at their workplace policies to cater to the changing preferences of employees and corresponding business needs.
Coworking space vs serviced office
For enterprises to make the best of their resources, they can opt for the ‘core and flex’ strategy. The ‘core’ refers to a long-term office space that allows enterprises to maintain business visibility, while the ‘flex’ refers to plug-and-play workstations at different locations – otherwise known as satellite offices – where employees can jump on and get started on work.
Opting for our serviced offices or private office suites as the ‘core’ takes the planning off the hands. Fully-furnished suites and ready office supplies means less is spent on operational costs, so enterprises can channel more resources to areas that matter.
With a total of five locations across the Central Business Districts of Melbourne and Sydney, employees have the versatility to choose where and how they wish to get work done. Plus, there’s no need for enterprises to spend enormous costs on fitting out office spaces to cater to large teams!
Why choose coworking spaces over other remote work alternatives?
Coworking spaces cater to various profiles, from freelancers right up to enterprises, providing tailored solutions that address specific business needs. Whether you’re from the tech industry working on a new prototype or part of a global consultancy managing a variety of clients, there will be something in the realm of coworking that will suit you. However, how do they fare against other remote work alternatives?
Working from home
One of the most common remote work solutions among professionals, working from home sure has its perks. There’s no need to travel to the office and the kitchen is just there for you to whip up a meal for lunch. However, the work from home model isn’t always favourable, especially among those who do not have sufficient space to set up a workstation. With a fully-furnished office and important amenities readily available, coworking spaces make for an ideal remote working environment. Plus, they ensure that you’re free from distractions that pull you away from your work – whether it’s a family member switching on the television volume at its loudest or renovation works taking place at your neighbour’s house.
Working from cafes or restaurants
The ‘work from cafe’ culture has experienced a burst of popularity in Australia. However, working from cafes can be particularly challenging given that one often has to deal with a saturated number of external stimuli that could take a toll on productivity, engagement and wellbeing. A coworking space, on the other hand, is fitted with quiet meeting rooms and private studios that allow one to be free from distractions or when there is a need for privacy.
What’s more, you’ll get 24/7 access and security when you sign for a hot-desk or private office plan.
Make coworking spaces work for you
As we embrace the future of work, making impactful decisions for your professional pursuits is essential, whether you’re a new entrepreneur building your empire or a seasoned business practitioner. Get a headstart with our free trial and find out how our coworking spaces can work for you!