Coworking. Trend or Faux? (Guest blog by Hayley Mackintosh)

Hayley Mackintosh from Servcorp - she is in the zone and we love her work!

Hayley Mackintosh from Servcorp – she is in the zone and we love her work!

During my very early days in business I met one ‘Emerging Leader’ who is now a ‘Leader’. From watching her get promoted multiple times, sharing the stage with her and watching her win; Hayley Mackintosh is one powerhouse character.

I am lucky to have her guest blog on ‘Coworking’ and she turned this concept on it’s head in this guest blog. I love it and enjoy!

Coworking. Trend or Faux? (Guest blog by Hayley Mackintosh):

Coworking seems to be the new buzz word; a new trend. It’s spreading like wildfire, across land and sea; but is this trend or faux?

The great thing about this solution is that it typically can offer cost effective workspace for entrepreneurs, on the road business professionals and of course start-ups. Some providers are experts in this field, some are new in this space, while others are joining the fad and trying their luck. Many promise a cool and funky workspace for all to call home. The quality, solutions and inclusions vary from one provider to the next, and the physical workspace seems to change from one office to another.

Do we want cool, funky workspace? Ping pong tables? Open bar? Yes, these things are “cool”, yet are they conducive to a productive work week and KPI’s…probably not. Lately, there have even been articles implying that some people/businesses got it wrong and this type of workspace doesn’t work.

Coworking providers tend to attract the creative, digital, IT, sole trader types (although not limited to these) due to their relaxed and open plan vibe.

It urges me to ask the question: Would you setup a meeting with your competition and share some of your algorithms or trade secrets?

If the answer is no, then why are you ok with potentially sitting across the table (or 3 seats away) from your potential competitor? Yes, they can hear your conversations about why ABC Company should meet with you, why you’re different from the next guy/firm and who you’re hoping to work with!

The reality is the typical Coworking user is usually working out their business plan and working on a strategy to bring on partners, suppliers, sponsors and of course clients; in order to start, grow or expand! These plans are vital to the success (or failure) of a business (whether new or established). This thought leaves me constantly wondering: How can these intelligent business people want to work in an open-plan Coworking office? Conversations are not private, and ideas are there to be stolen.

Now what? You’re probably thinking…“I can’t work from home”, “I can’t afford my own office”, “It’ll only be temporary” and/or “What is the alternative?”.

I’m here to provide simple advice: find a flexible, transparent solution that is professional, offers private solutions and allows for your businesses future by way of expanding without having to change your business details, like your business telephone number and business address. Change can create uncertainty for investors, clients and even your team. Choosing a well-known place of business can do wonders for the image and success of your business, as it will usually create instant credibility. For example:  Why would Andrew choose a tax accountant advertising a mobile number and no business address over a company advertising a local business phone number and recognisable street address? Servcorp (The World’s Finest Serviced Offices, Virtual Offices & Coworking) had Roy Morgan complete an independent survey in 2016 to help show the results of this type of scenario, which I hope you will find helpful – full study can be found here.

While saving pennies initially is a great idea (I agree this is important), there is more to choosing the right office solution than the cost. What are you actually going to be getting for your money? Can you leverage? Can you use multiple offices via a network?  Money is always an important factor when running a business; yet aren’t your ideas and differentiating factors even more important in the success of your business? By choosing the right solution upfront, you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache, stress and money in the long run.

An option to consider: Publicly listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX: SRV) since 1999. Servcorp was founded in 1978 in Sydney, Australia by Alf Moufarrige, CEO. I have been a proud employee of Servcorp since 2008, therefore I’d like to share some information as below. Servcorp have several options, to tailor to your needs.  Servcorp solutions are flexible, transparent and start from just $50/month +GST, with Coworking solutions starting from just $450/month +GST. You can visit the website, to see more about the flexible solutions: www.servcorp.com.au

Wishing you a successful 2017!

Hayley Mackintosh +61 2 8019 7000 (Sydney, Australia)

Edward’s Final Comments:

Hayley rocks and is incredibly connected, powerful and loved across town. She makes some great points here and love her work!