Looking for company
I’ve been looking for a while now to find a central Sydney location to base myself for a few days each week. Working alone can become onerous. It’s easy to get isolated, so it makes sense to connect - both socially and commercially.
Join the club
Co-working spaces are springing up everywhere. There are offers to suit all tastes ranging from boutique one-offs to chains with multiple venues and national footprints. We are in the early stages of what will become as common as gym networks.
I’ve chosen to join Work Club, which has just opened it’s flagship venue near Barangaroo. It’s at the premium end and, as you would expect, offers great facilities - meeting rooms, super-fast broadband, break out spaces and - crucially for Australia! - coffee to die for!
The usual suspects?
Residents include hot-desking solo consultants, start-ups with dedicated spaces and small businesses with their own office. This has been the pattern for a few years now. What surprised me however was that corporates are finally getting in on the act too.
On-trend and dollar smart
Work Club is at the base of a multi-storey office block. Smart thinking is now seeing larger businesses tenants also joining the club. It’s a perfect pitch. CFOs and procurement love the savings created by the reduced amount of permanent space leased. HR love the fact that the whole open-office, work-where-you-like, water-cooler collaboration vibe is so ‘now’. When the latest People and Culture craze also saves money, it’s a no brainer.
This model makes a lot of sense. Organisations will always take the opportunity to save money. Moreover, the shift fits neatly into a larger structural transformation as corporates increase the ratio of contracted staff to FTEs. This creates more flexibility to respond to the market (and reduce redundancy liabilities). Welcome to the future!
It will be interesting to see what how consultants, entrepreneurs and corporates respond to rubbing shoulders on a daily basis. I suspect there will be a transfer of learning in all directions. New opportunities will emerge and partnerships evolve. I also think that some corporate employees will see how far off the pace they are in terms of agility and productivity.
‘The new world of work’ is a term that has been thrown around for a while now. We’ve had a rough sense of what it might look like, but, for many, it was comfortably in the future. I expect the pattern established in places like Work Club will soon become far more common.
The new world of work is here! It poses plenty of opportunities for those able and willing to step up and adapt to its new rhythms. BUT as I wrote in Why you need to shine in the new world of work
, we’ll all need to raise our game.