Shared office space starts to take off Posted 2012, 21 August A great marketer I know says there is often a real danger of being too far ahead of your time with a great idea. For several years I have talked in this blog about the benefits of shared work space and revolutionising thinking about the time and space we use in an office. Even further back in the 2000s, there were several experiments with shared office space in Auckland where people could rent workstations, meeting rooms, conference rooms and reception facilities. But they didn’t take off. It seemed the theory and the practice at the time just didn’t match up. But as a glut of office space grew and grew in Auckland, and post-recession times had businesses thinking twice about long-term leases, alongside technology making where we work from increasingly flexible, the idea of shared office space started to make more and more sense. Now the idea of shared space is really starting to take off. Two prominent places promoting the idea of co-working and shared office space are the BizDojo in the prize-winning IronBank building in Karangahape Road, and Loft503 on Commerce Street. BizDojo was featured in an Idealog article last year titled Coworking 2.0 gains traction down under. The article introduces the coworking concept by saying… Working in your pyjamas may sound like living the dream, but it can be a lonely way to operate, to say nothing of the countless distractions. Sure, there’s always the local café, but there are only so many lattes one can consume in a day. What’s a freelancer or budding entrepreneur to do? There is now a great website www.sharedspace.co.nz that lists shared office space, event space, retail space, industrial space and ‘pop-up shop’ spaces that are available to share or sub-lease in Auckland and Wellington. But it’s important to talk about a few definitions of shared space here. The idea of serviced offices is not new, and it does suit some people. But there is also now the concept of co-working where there is more of a relationship between the businesses sharing a space. The leading exponent of co-working in New Zealand is the Bizdojo. BizDojo has now opened a second co-working space called MakerSpace. It’s aimed at businesses focused on making and producing products and goods. The Sharedspace website recently published a great article called 5 Myths of Co-working. The site says: … Co-working is no longer the sole domain of office workers and increasingly we’re finding new areas such as hospitality jumping on the co-working bandwagon. From my point of view, the benefits of co-working operate on many levels, far beyond the efficiencies of saving costs on space and equipment. There are opportunities for sharing not just space, but ideas, and business opportunities. We often hear that collaboration and cooperation are the way of the future in business. Co-working and shared space are a great step towards achieving this future.