Co-working – Innovative use of shared office space for small business

March 14th, 2010

If you are a home based small business, but miss the day to day interaction and collaboration with colleagues or co-workers, then the concept of shared office space, or co-working might be just what you need.

What is Co-working Space?

Co-working space, is essentially a shared office environment where professionals and freelancers (often, but not always, in related industries) work together in the same space, swap ideas and resources, enjoy social interaction, and all at a price that is generally much more affordable that the alternatives.

The co-working concept has proved to be particularly appealing for creative based professionals, such as web and graphic designers, PR consultants, copy writers, and marketing freelancers.

Co-working is ideal for freelancers and self-employed who have found that the realities of working from home aren’t quite what they had expected. Home based workers can face issues such as isolation, lack of networking and fewer opportunities for collaboration. It can also be very difficult for solo workers to find office space for just one person at a price they can afford, while traditional serviced office facilities may be too expensive and impersonal.

One significant advantage of co-working over traditional office space lease arrangements is that a long-term commercial lease or full-serviced office rental arrangements are not normally required, so the shared office space may be available for as long (or short) as you need.

Co-working in the USA

Co-working is alive and well in the US, with a variety of different shared spaces available – including the well known co-working spaces Citizen Space and the Hat Factory in San Francisco and various other shared office services in other US cities. Co-working in the US has been described as “offering a techie twist on the age-old practice of artists or writers teaming up to rent studio space“.

Co-working catches on in Australia

Co-working is now also catching on in Australia.  As a direct result of a growing demand from self-employed creatives and freelancers to have an affordable workspace away from home, spaces are opening in many capitals, including Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.

Some shared office spaces, like Melbourne co-working space OpenHub (, were started by companies looking to share the cost of office space.  OpenHub offers a variety of different services – from a one off use of a meeting room (@$120) to a Full-time dedicated desk space (@$600).  OpenHub even offer a Free service for Co-workers associated with charity based projects.

Water Street Studio ( in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, provides desk space in an airconditioned office, with internet, electricity and access to a meeting room / boardroom included. They offer shared office space from just $150 per week  for a minimum 3 month term, with no bond or formal lease required.

Shared Office Listings

Online services such as SpaceOut ( also provide information about office space for rent, and regularly have listings for shared office space in many areas throughout Australia.

Whether you are searching for shared office space or would like to make a little extra income by renting out your spare office space , the co-working concept seems destined to be a trend that will continue to grow.

  1. March 15th, 2010 at 21:14 | #1

    Our space in Canberra is being set up tomorrow with desks and chairs supplied by generous local sponsor Schiavello and we hope to have a launch in a couple of weeks!

  2. The SpaceOut Team
    March 15th, 2010 at 21:49 | #2

    Hi Nathanael,

    Thanks for the comment – all the best with your launch, and once your space is available, feel free to add a listing on SpaceOut.

  3. April 2nd, 2010 at 12:07 | #3

    Now that is a great Idea I know when I am working on my on building my business I sometimes wish there was someone to whom I could talk, it gets extremely lonely at times.

  4. August 16th, 2010 at 17:36 | #4

    Hi all

    Andrew from CO-WORKA here. We opened our coworking space in March 2010 in Dee Why Sydney.
    Met so many great people over the last 6 months.
    If your in the area drop in for a day coworking.
    Goodbye Hibernation, Hello Collaboration!!
    02 9981 1511
    0416 468 333

  5. September 9th, 2010 at 20:01 | #5

    I loved this concept for working. If makes you feel happy at your work place. This helps in generating more productivity. We also provide same kind of services and will be glad if could meet your requirements.
    Virtual Offices Melbourne

  6. October 19th, 2010 at 07:40 | #6

    Great idea Andrew. Coworking is huge in the US. Nice to see it’s taking off here in Australia.

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