First annual co-working conference at Hub Melbourne
Steve spoke about how co-working can inform the future of traditional workplaces, commenting that, "As a true mix of learning environment, social hub and agile workspace, co-working environments are now more relevant reference points for leading workplace design than other traditional workplaces."
Co-working refers to the concept of a workplace shared by a community of independent users or organisations that leverage social capital to create innovation and business opportunities. More than just a shared space or serviced office, co-working communities are focused on creating a network of mutually supportive relationships, connections and entrepreneurial opportunities among members.
"It raises new issues and opportunities for organisations - issues that are also present for traditional workplaces but are taken to the next level in co-working settings. It is a window into a way of working that is likely to be more mainstream in future. One key issue is the importance of creating an authentic and meaningful environment where people gather because they want to - not because they have to," said Steve.
"Co-working environments also give us clues on how we can start moving on from measuring the value of office space via two dimensional metrics such as 'cost per square metre' to using three dimensional metrics such as 'value created, or business opportunities per square metre," explained Steve. "After all, in a voluntary membership scenario such as a co-working community, it is possible to measure things like patronage and the amount people are willing to pay to belong to the community rather than renting a serviced office space," he said.
According to a recent article in HBR co-working is a fast-growing trend with more than 2,000 co-working spaces globally – a 250% increase in two years.
Steve and Hub Melbourne were featured earlier this week in an article published by The Age.
—Read more articles for March 2013
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