According to Jenny Folley, traditional white-collar dominated coworking and private office spaces are being adopted by blue-collar workers across Australia as industries respond to the challenges of COVID.
Jenny Folley is the founder and director of @WORKSPACES, one of the world’s leading premium coworking and private offices. @WORKSPACES has sites across Australia, the Philippines, and is set to launch in several other countries.
Coworking and private office spaces consist of several separate businesses that work independently in their own spaces but share common spaces and resources. @WORKSPACES is located in cities as well as suburban areas.
“COVID-19 has disrupted the Australian business landscape more than we can tell,” said Folley.
“Coworking spaces and private offices are set to boom, credit to the ramifications of COVID-19. Non-white collar businesses and professionals are moving away from fixed cost leases to workspaces that offer flexibility, scalability, and access to a broad range of services and resources without the lock-in long term contracts.
Most businesses have realised that physical space is not necessary for a business to be efficient and relevant.
“White-collar workers have also embraced coworking spaces and more recently, coworking and private office spaces in suburban areas. COVID-19 has forced people to think about working from home or close to home. This avoids the hustle and bustle of the city, extortionate parking fees, and tedious commutes. Thus, an affordable, convenient suburban hub – is a natural choice.”
New collar workspaces
According to Folley, coworking spaces are creating new collar workspaces – where any type of shirt is welcome.
“Coworking spaces are emerging to be the perfect post-pandemic fit for all small to medium size businesses across the country. They are also ideal for large businesses looking to establish flexible spaces for new divisions, mobile workforces and project teams,” added Folley.
“With many blue-collar roles coming from small businesses, bouncing back from COVID-19 will require many industries to reduce their overheads by seeking out alternative tenancy options.”
“Coworking and private office spaces offer conventional blue-collar workers the opportunity to consolidate with a cheaper, more flexible space that will still allow them to work with their standing client base.
“These types of spaces will future-proof trade jobs across Australia by offering each small business tenant access to their own secure, socially distanced workspace.”
According to Folley, this set up is ideal for an array of blue-collar industries.
Flexibility and scalability are key
“Imagine a space where technicians across a broad range of industries could utilise state-of-the-art large bench spaces to perfect their art, hairdressers could own their own chair and work when they wanted, and IT specialists could set up a one-stop-shop to consult with clients and bounce ideas off other neighbouring experts,” Folley said.
According to Folley, this arrangement can be utilised by healthcare professionals who want a flexible workspace or private consulting room separate from the hospital. Physiotherapists, dieticians, and podiatrists enjoy the contemporary workplace layout. The flexibility and scalability of coworking and private office spaces expand the options for all types of businesses and operators.
Demand driving growth
“We are actively looking for more sites as well as suburban sites. Demand is certainly driving growth. We believe COVID will push more businesses into adaptable and flexible low-risk work environments like coworking and private office spaces over the next six to 12 months,” Folley said.
“I think we are going to see more diversity in the professions adopting coworking and private office spaces. They are going to become attractive locations for a broader range of businesses.
“Our TOK corporate centre in Toorak, Victoria is already home to many health and wellness services including cosmetic, physiotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, dentists, doctors, and so on.”
@WORKSPACES is a premium service provider of coworking and private office workspaces that are strategically located in cities as well as suburban hubs – and near fitness centres, parks, and dining and shopping precincts, so business clients are able to maintain a healthy work/life balance and enjoy all the benefits of a fully serviced office.