As the modern workforce becomes increasingly mobile, the trend of co-working has continued to gain momentum.
More than just the sharing of infrastructure and cost, co-working is about belonging to a community and sharing innovative ideas between the businesses within the setup.
According to Auckland Bayleys Commercial director Lloyd Budd, co-working has risen in popularity in recent years due to the number of small businesses in New Zealand needing flexibility in their office environments and wanting all the benefits and features normally reserved for larger corporates.
“The concept of a co-working space is that it merges life and work to create a sustainable business practice,” says Budd.
“There is no doubt that there is a positive benefit to being part of a co-working space for people's mental wellbeing, the environment, and for small businesses to thrive and grow.”
Features of most co-working spaces include flexible leases, meeting and conference facilities, and a strong focus on the wellbeing of residents.
The widespread internet adoption over the past 10-15 years has led to the ability to work remotely, however people have since noticed the lack of human interaction. The value of networking and collaborating became apparent, hence the move towards co-working.
Budd says the co-working industry is due for a shake-up and predicts small businesses in 2019 to increasingly favour the larger co-working providers to take advantage of increased opportunities like the ability to connect with other companies to share ideas, innovate, and bounce off each other's energy.
One of these examples is B:HIVE, a co-working provider on Auckland’s North Shore that offers community managers that work to meet members’ needs of networking and well-being, with events such as pop-up mini golf, pat-a-puppy day, Mindful Movement classes, and Friday after work drinks.
The company affirms Budd’s claims, as it is experiencing demand for its services with collaboration rife among small businesses within its ranks.