Graduate from the kitchen bench



The Office Space in Sydney's Surry Hills

Growing | Professional Development | Starting

By Stephanie Zillman

Many small businesses are born surrounded by piles of washing, family life, and children vying for attention. Cash is in short supply, and the idea of having four walls to call your own seems like a far-off concept.

Over the past few years though, ‘incubator’ style office space, which can be rented by the desk and in month-to-month lease terms, has exploded onto the market.

These types of spaces are designed to fill the gap between the ‘kitchen bench office’ and expensive serviced office space.

These spaces cater for the small business and start-up community, and in the major metropolitan areas they are in no short supply.

The Office Space in Sydney’s CBD-fringe suburb Surry Hills is one such business hub catering for the needs of small-scale, creative style businesses.

Naomi Tosic, business manager at The Office Space, told Dynamic Business that spending day-in, day-out living and breathing nothing but your small business can be a very lonely period.

“Sometimes when you look at small business, it can be a grim reminder of how many don’t actually make it. There’s different options, you can go it alone at home, and have your paperwork encroach on the house and have interruptions. For us we find people are more productive, and creative when they can talk to others, and have that sense of collaboration,” Tosic said.

Similar to a real estate agent driving a flash car, renting a desk or a couple of desks in an unbranded, almost library-like space can give yourself and others the impression of success, Tosic said. You’re guaranteed to have your phone answered by a receptionist, in your business name, as well as have access to meeting-rooms, conference rooms and high-speed Internet included in the price.

R88 Business Hub in Sydney’s Redfern is another such space, and is said to foster start-up and small business growth through collaboration. The central philosophy is that sharing ideas and forming partnerships are natural byproducts of working in proximity.

Although businesses sharing a space may have different products and services, the fundamental elements of establishing financial sustainability, proficiency of systems and excellent customer service are always shared.

‘’Today there is a desire for human contact and face-to-face conversation, where people can share experience and knowledge, particularly for single operators who might be building their business in a home office”, Mary-Lynne Pidcock, founder of R88 said.

“Sharing knowledge helps people to connect with others, exchange ideas and create mutually beneficial relationships and friendships,” Pidcock added.

With the option of interactive or private spaces and varying meeting rooms and lunch areas, peer-to-peer contact has consistently been a catalyst for business people to grow and succeed.

How much does it cost?

A desk in a collaborative workspace can range from the $400 mark through to $1,200 depending on the services included.

Image: The Office Space in Sydney’s Surry Hills

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