Transcript from coworking video at ACMIx via RMIT
This is part of a MOOC (massive open online course) hosted on Future Learn. Check out the video and this is the transcript.
I'm Taylor Tran, and I'm the author of the book, Innovation Melbourne, which is a guide to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Melbourne as well as a directory of co-working spaces in Melbourne. A co-working space is where a lot of businesses come together to work on their own business but work in the same space. Co-working spaces started in the tech. It started with hackathons, and then with the GFC, more people got into their own businesses. So it's been growing massively over the last few years. It's actually bringing more people into entrepreneurship, particularly tech start ups. In Melbourne alone, my estimate is that there are anything between 2,000 to 10,000 new businesses working out of co-working spaces.
In the future more than half of the workforce will be self-employed, so that's how it's changing the industry. I would say the most important thing about a co-working environment is the culture, and that is driven by the community manager. Not to forget to mention the importance of I guess emotional support, because when you start a business, you really need that sort of motivation and reinforcement on a daily basis to continue on with your new enterprise. For me, the shared economy would probably be needed to be separated into two areas. One, the commercial aspect and the other one is just the mindset around sharing.
Over the last five to 10 years, there's been a shift in the mindset in terms of people being open to share, whether it be their house, their car. But with the advent of technology, that has enabled that to be commercialised. You know with Airbnb and Uber, you can now monetise that. In terms of co-working spaces in the sharing economy, that's just an extension of that. As the co-working industry grows, it will need a clear vision of where it needs to go. It needs strong mentorship, so the successful co-working leaders need to support the industry by giving back, both financially and in terms of their time.
Otherwise there's a risk for the co-work industry that it could stay niche and not become part of the mainstream. I think all businesses, if they have an open and collaborative approach, and are seeking innovation and entrepreneurship, would benefit from working with a co-working space in one form or another.