The Rise of Co-working Spaces: A Sharehouse of Ideas

Sick of working in the local cafe? Want access to like-minded creative spirits or entrepreneurs but not on the payroll? The trend of co-working in designated spaces has hit a chord with Sydney freelancers.

The rise of co-working spaces started with Creative Places and The Office Space. The Loop have also jumped on board to make connecting with creatives and workspaces as easy as possible. The spaces listings has recently changed so that it’s now free to advertise available desks/warehouses/studios etc. Now you only pay-per-lead, i.e. whenever someone inquires about your space you’ll get sent all their contact details so that you can get in touch directly and find your perfect workmate. View current spaces here.

Defined as a collaborative experience allowing independent freelancers and start-ups to work alongside each other in a shared space, the demand for co-working has taken Melbourne, and now Sydney, by storm.

Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, claims a big challenge for Sydney’s emerging entrepreneurs is the costly set up of a business address, making it too expensive for freelancers to risk failing. “To develop the creative businesses of Sydney’s future, we need them to take those risks, and affordable co-working spaces give them somewhere to do it,” says Moore. “That’s why we’re opening up city properties on Oxford and William streets and supporting spaces like Vibewire’s Enterprise HubHome/Work and Fishburners,” she adds.

Fishburners director, David Vandenberg, admits that although Sydney has a far bigger start-up community than Melbourne, central city locations are often double the price, meaning it can be difficult for co-working founders to get a space up and running. Yet this hasn’t stopped Vandenberg from extending the Fishburner experience from its origins in Ultimo to Darlinghurst, Sydney, where he has personally funded the opening of EngineRoom, with the support of City of Sydney. Whilst Fishburners caters to 200 members (people who rent desks) EngineRoom houses a more modest 30 to 40 members and provides more directly to the digital creative market.

Words by Larissa Meikle

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About Claudia Sagripanti

Involved in the evolution of mobile marketing and advertising from the early years, including co-founding Mobile Marketing and Advertising Awards, founding chair of AIMIA's Mobile Industry Group, development of mobile advertising guidelines for industry as well as commercialisation strategy.