CO-WORKING community space, popular in big cities across the world, is finding a place in a fast-developing Ballarat lifestyle and culture.
Shared office space typically draws together a cross-section of professionals and freelancers, aiming to promote creativity, collaboration. The concept is also an alternative to work-at-home isolation.
The trend has started to catch on in Geelong and Bendigo but Platypus Co-Working founder Samantha Davies said there was great potential in Ballarat, with a growing and changing population.
“There’s a high demand for accessible office facilities in the heart of Ballarat, particularly as our population grows and new businesses move here from Melbourne,” Ms Davies said.
“It can really help commuters, who live in Ballarat and might not want to travel to the city everyday for work. It helps the Ballarat economy too, people staying in Ballarat more and spending more here rather than where they travel to for work.”
Ms Davies, who has a background in facilities management, wanted to develop the concept in her hometown. She opened Platypus Co-Working in Lydiard Street South last month as a flexible work option in a central location for users to not worry about overheads and leases or finding tea and coffee – it is all covered.
People can book a dedicated desk space, private office or conference room on demand, while there are also open coworking spaces, lounges and standing work areas in the open layout.
“It’s creating ways for people to do different things in different ways,” Ms Davies said. “People come here to work independently in a commercial environment or collaborate on business projects in a vibrant dynamic space. Simply interacting with experts in different industries helps breed new ideas, solve big problems, and enhance productivity and creativity.”
There were more than 300 co-working spaces operating in Australia last year and this is fast on the rise, according to a study by Sydney Business Insights and University of Sydney last year. Of this, 15 per cent were in regional locations. Almost 60 per cent of Australia’s co-working spaces are in Sydney and Melbourne.
Ms Davies said people tended to adapt to the concept quickly. Most were used to working in busy offices or appreciated the benefits of working with others.
Personally, Ms Davies enjoyed the networking, which she said could be hard for small business owners or start-ups. She hoped co-working in Ballarat could ultimately help businesses develop each other, drawing on each others’ strengths and skills, or even help to foster creation of different events for this region.
- Find out more:platypuscoworking.com.au
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