Work-from-home mums and downsizing companies in Geraldton are reaping the benefits of coworking as a way of escaping the home office and adjusting to a downsizing economy.
Pollinators, which offers the state’s leading regional coworking premise, is experiencing an increase in interest from both sectors as they adjust to personal needs and economic fluctuations.
Pollinators Space Lead Angie West said coworking offered the idea blend of social interaction and professional work space that mums who usually worked from home were seeking.
“Working from home is great but there are times when we yearn for the opportunity to network, to work from a professional space, and to bring clients to corporate meeting rooms,” she said.
“It’s amazing the kind of magic that can happen when like-minded people come together and meet while making a coffee in the coworking kitchen – it’s what’s known as the watercooler effect.”
Mrs West said coworking was also proving an attractive alternative to companies downsizing in response to changing economic times.
“It means these companies can maintain a professional office space and essential services such as a boardroom and meeting spaces without the overheads of having their own premises,” she said.
“And of course there are the benefits in reducing overheads by using a shared office space.”
The graduates of Geraldton Purpose Coach Fleur Porter’s eight-week ‘Incubators’ program meet in the coworking spaces monthly to support, encourage and inspire each other.
“We’re all solo business people who are working on our own so it’s great to be able to come together for that feeling of community and to encourage and support each other,” Ms Porter said.
“I formed the Incubators graduate group to have that sense of tribe or community so coworking provides a way for the people working locally to extend that and get together.”
The coworking trend in Geraldton is part of an international movement towards coworking, with the number of coworking spaces increasing by 36 per cent worldwide, according to the Coworking Europe Conference in Milan.
The conference survey found there are around half a million people working in coworking spaces across the globe.