Australia adopted the co-working movement in 2006, with New South Wales and Victoria being at the forefront of this evolution.
Knight Frank’s report explained that the rapid expansion of shared work spaces across Australia has been underpinned by a number of factors.
The changing nature of work, advancement in technology, the rise of a sharing economy and changes in workforce demographics were given as key factors.
However the emergence of a strong FinTech sector and a cohesive start-up ecosystem have been described as the primary drivers.
Over the last 10 years to October 2016 the amount of co-working space across Sydney had grown from 1,400m2 in 2006 to 44,182m2. By the end of 2017, it is expected to reach 55,332m2.
Last year there were 56 co-working spaces (excluding serviced and subleased offices) in Sydney across the CBD, city fringe and suburban.
The strong growth in the CBD has been helped by the arrival of the world’s largest shared office space operator, WeWork, at DEXUS’ 5 Martin Place, occupying 3,260m2.
The report added that rising office rents and declining vacancies due to stock withdrawals over the next three years will make co-working spaces a more viable and affordable option.
Kymbal Dunne, Director Office Leasing as Knight Frank said: “Co-working is popular because people prefer to socialise and be part of a community.
“Traditional office space and serviced offices tend to segregate their occupants by defining owned spaces where trespassing is not encouraged. This is not the case in co-working space where sharing is the norm and the rage.
“Sharing can take the form of using different spaces in the workplace, working collaboratively, working in the same looking space in another city but being connected to the same network.
“There are even some examples where the working community socialize after hours and a campus in Bangalore, India which has a dating site for on-site workers.
“Interestingly the trend is less about privacy and more about collaboration and for small business or large businesses with small operations this seems to be working very well.”