Work This Way

Not all coworking spaces are created equal. Here, we visit five of Melbourne’s best and open our laptops. By Carrie Hutchinson

Perhaps you and a partner are launching a company and aren’t yet ready to invest in your own space. Or maybe you’re going it alone and would welcome collaboration with like-minded individuals. Then there’s the chance you’re working freelance and simply need to get out of the house. There are growing numbers of coworking spaces around Melbourne, allowing you to rent a desk or a small office from where to run your business. All you need to do is find the right one for you.

1 When First Impressions Count

Soren Trampedach has created a fleet of luxe coworking spaces all around the globe. His Melbourne Work Club, in Collins Street’s Royal Bank Chambers building, offers a touch of class for entrepreneurs who need to make a good impression. Handcrafted European furniture, original artwork, a coffee bar and a monthly event that encourages a sense of community are all on offer. Both dedicated desks and private suites are available, with a range of membership options, some of which allow you to hot desk at Work Club Global spaces around the world.

2 When Community Matters

One of the most important aspects of The Commons spaces is ensuring a diverse community of workers is represented at its two locations in Collingwood and South Melbourne. Compatible companies and businesses at different stages of development are brought together under one roof, so there’s a chance to build relationships that invite collaboration and innovation. It also offers a number of membership scholarships to community projects and not-for-profits to give them the leg-up they need.

3 When You’re Still Unsure

If you’re part of a start-up, a scale-up, work in a creative field or are freelancing in the business and technology fields, Inspire9 could be the answer to your professional dreams. It’s a community-led coworking space in Richmond’s Australian Knitting Mills, where everyone celebrates birthdays, has Friday knock-off drinks and is predisposed to sharing ideas over a game of table tennis. Sound like you’d fit in? Members host tours at 2.30pm each weekday and you can try it out for free. There’s not even a need to commit: day passes are available for $40.

4 When You’re Food Focused

It’s as much about collaboration as coworking at Collingwood’s Worksmith, where everyone who shares the space is involved in the hospitality industry. The person sitting next to you might be working on a tasty product launch, run a restaurant or bar, distribute craft spirits or write about food and drinks for magazines. The light-filled space features loads of lush greenery and, of course, a La Marzocco coffee machine ready to fulfil all your espresso needs. You just need to learn to use it first. Don’t worry, lessons are provided.

5 When You Don’t Like a Crowd

When architect Jerry Wolveridge discovered the old CSIRO library and printing store down the road from his Collingwood office, he knew he had to do something with it. He transformed the space within the mid-century building, retaining many of the unique industrial fixtures but adding all the contemporary features needed by the modern entrepreneur. At Building No2 there’s tonnes of natural light, a north-facing courtyard and, best of all, it’s small in stature, with space for a maximum of 35 worker bees. Perfect if you prefer a little peace and quiet during your day.