Facebook and coworking

I thought I would explore the topic of coworking from the point of view of what Facebook had to say. I was pleased to see that the generic term ‘coworking‘ was not ‘owned’ by anyone.

For what it’s worth, Facebook provided a nice introduction or overview of what coworking is, courtesy of a feed from Wikipedia. Naturally I ‘liked’ the page and if you are interested in coworking, why not ‘like’ the page as well.

I was the 3,523rd person to ‘like’ the page on Facebook, so I guess on a global scale, that’s not that many people. I guess that even though coworking has been around since 2005, it is still a relatively new concept.

As a global trend however, I think since 2013 I have noticed signs that the trend is really taking off, with many new coworking spaces popping up. They certainly are in and around my hometown Melbourne. It seems everytime I talk about coworking, someone tells me of another new space that has recently popped up.

Here is the link to the Facebook page about ‘coworking’ –

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coworking/109430585741864#

There is quite a lot written about it, and as I continue my research on my pet topic of coworking, I am amazed at how many books there are on the topic as well.

I will write about some of these books when I get the chance. My last blog post was in fact about one of these books. Its title was ‘The Style of Coworking‘. Here’s a link to that blog post of 2 July 2014Coworking space design ideas and inspiration‘.

Given my interest in the collaboration side of #coworking, a book title that I found in the Hub Melbourne library is ‘How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration’ by Scott Doorley & Scott Witthoft. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. I am really looking forward to getting a moment to delve into this area as I am fascinated about the possibilities of collaboration that coworking has the potential to create.

Cheers, Jane Deany

Coworking space design ideas and inspiration

Before I begin to write about coworking and collaboration, it might be fun to check out some fabulous images of funky #coworking spaces which you can find by looking at Pinterest and books on the subject.

Below is the link to my Coworking Is Cool Pinterest board. You can also search the term ‘coworking’ or related words directly on Pinterest to find lots of inspiration and ideas, and get a sense of what some of the spaces look like.

There are lots of cool spaces to be found around the globe and the trend to #cowork shows no sign of fading.

http://www.pinterest.com/janedeany/coworking-is-cool/

Cover The Style of Coworking - Contemporary Shared Work Spaces 2013 by Alice Davies + Kathryn Tollervey

Cover The Style of Coworking – Contemporary Shared Work Spaces 2013 by Alice Davies + Kathryn Tollervey

Another place to look for ideas about coworking spaces is via a book someone loaned me. The title of the book is –

‘The Style of Coworking – Contemporary Shared Work Spaces’
by Alice Davies & Kathryn Tollervey
Published 2013, by Prestel.

The book has about 160 pages of visual coworking inspiration from around the globe, not to mention the descriptions of the spaces pictured.

The book gives you some ideas about where coworking is currently happening around the world. It is an attractive and inspiring publication.

I am glad my friend spotted it. Enjoy being inspired, cheers, Jane Deany

Coworking world hots up in Melbourne, Sydney & Adelaide

If you are coworking already or thinking about it, there’s never been a better time to try it out.

Three Melbourne CBD based coworking spaces held special events yesterday and I participated in all of the them. The spaces involved were –

The Spaces

  • Hub Melbourne, who has not long ago celebrated its 3rd year of operation
  • The Village, which opened its doors to NAB business customers in February this year
  • Queens Collective, who officially open next week.

Friday 27 June 2014 Coworking Events
Hub Australia
Hub Melbourne, where I #cowork, together with the two other Hub Australia coworking spaces in Sydney and Adelaide, held an open house event where there was free coworking for the day.

Hub Melbourne - Friday Wine Down drinks

Hub Melbourne – Friday Wine Down drinks

Lots of people took the opportunity to try out the Hub and #coworking. Quite a few decided they liked it so much, they joined there and then. I believe Hub will run the event again (possibly on an ongoing basis), so keep an eye out for further opportunities to try coworking at the Hub. Follow them on Twitter @HubMelbourne .

The day wrapped up in the usual way with Hub’s weekly 4pm open house tour of the space, then ‘wine down’ drinks for #coworkers and visitors.

Drinks at wine down are always a lot of fun, and last night was no exception.

Pam Votscos and Tim Mahlberg at high tea at The Village, 27 June 2014

Pam Votscos and Tim Mahlberg at The Village

NAB’s ‘The Village’
Earlier in the day, I headed over to NAB’s The Village at 700 Bourke Street, which is a new coworking space for NAB’s business customers.

The Village offers a different membership concept to traditional coworking spaces, so best to speak to Tim Mahlberg The Village host or Jen Klop The Village‘s co-host for more details of how to qualify for membership etc..

The Village held another of their many social gatherings. Yesterday’s event was a semi traditional high tea to farewell The Village‘s first co-host Pam Voltscos and welcome her replacement Jene-lynn Klop. It was a slightly more female focused event, but not entirely.

One of The Village members called ‘Sister Works‘ was there with a wide range of hand made gifts and jewellery to sell.

NAB's The Village member Sister Works project - high tea 27 June 2014

NAB’s The Village member ‘Sister Works’ project at high tea 27 June 2014

As always, the event was lots of fun. Sometimes there’s ‘Decanter Banter’ around 4.30pm, aka Friday drinks. Not sure if that happened yesterday as I wanted to rush back to the Hub for 5pm wine down drinks to meet some of the Open House visitors, and catch up with some of my fellow coworkers, before heading off, with quite a group of Hubbers, to the launch of the newest coworking space in town …

Queens Collective
Welcome and good luck to Queens Collective, run by Sean Qian (who also opened Collins Collective in the second half of last year). Sean ran a big launch party last night, with hundreds of guests and it was a really fun night indeed. I met Sean last year at Collins Collective (in Collins Street, Paris end), where he was hosting a Jelly Meetup (see separate post of 6 January 2014).

Sean and I are co-organisers of the Jelly Meetup group (again, see separate post of 6 January 2014).

Sean Qian (check shirt) at his Queens Collective coworking space launch party June 2014

Sean Qian (check shirt) at his Queens Collective coworking space launch party

Sean has partnered with General Assembly (GA), Start Up Grind and Uber. GA will run tech/web related courses out of the large Queens Collective space which is at Level 1, 20 Queens Street Melbourne.

Jane Deany aka me at Little Temper Hawthorn 27 June 2014

Jane Deany aka me at local cafe Little Temper Hawthorn 27 June 2014

New Financial Year
It’s 1 July next week, you could kick off the new financial year with an investment in your future by trying this new(ish) way of working.

‘…there’s never been a better
time to try coworking…’

Cafes!
What’s an alternative to coworking? Sitting at home being distracted and alone, or maybe going to a cafe, but you can’t sit there all day and of course, it’s not necessarily the quietest or most private option. I absolutely love my cool cafe coffee, but how many coffees can you have in a day after all!

Coworking
So what are you waiting for? Give coworking a try … it’s fantastic! Cheers, Jane Deany

Melbourne Jelly Meetup at Electron Workshop today!

There’s still time to come and try coworking today. Where you might ask? Well, down at funky Electron Workshop in North Melbourne, a really cool coworking space run by Nick Jaffe and Martin Gleeson.

Address – 31 Arden Street North Melbourne

www.electronworkshop.com.au

Coworking lunch break at park near Electron Workshop - host of May's Melbourne Jelly Meetup

Pretending to cowork but really just enjoying lunch break at park near Electron Workshop coworking space the host of May’s Melbourne Jelly Meetup. L to R- Jason O, Andrew Lai, Courtney Biggs, Jane Deany (me), Sarah Jansen & Nick Jaffe

‘Try coworking for a day
courtesy of Melbourne Jelly Meetup
and Electron Workshop

Electron Workshop entrance

Electron Workshop entrance

Jelly provides a great opportunity to checkout the coworking scene, have a change of scene from your usual coworking space, which in my case is Hub Melbourne, or simply do your work in a different location for the day or a few hours. Whatever suits you, it’s a pretty casual affair.

To find out a little bit more about Jelly coworking, you can go to –

www.workatjelly.com

www.meetup.com/melbourne-jelly (where you can join this Meetup and come to a Jelly either today or whenever you can make it)

or check out my blog post of 6 January 2014, link here ‘Jelly provides a taste of coworking‘.

Melbourne Jelly - lunch break

Melbourne Jelly lunch break (L to R) Sarah Jansen, Nick Jaffe, Jason O, Andrew Lai, Jane Deany (me) & Courtney Biggs

Some of us decided to enjoy lunch in a park around the corner and soak up the sunshine and 23c autumn day, but now it’s back to work.

I hear there’s drinks on offer around 5.30pm!

If you want to check out coworking at Electron Workshop, (a regular Jelly host), it’s a great opportunity to do so. Electron Workshop is a quiet coworking space that attracts numerous independents as well as people working in the digital media industry. It’s friendly, convenient, near great cafes, Vic Market, not too far from public transport and with a nice relaxed vibe. Oh yes, I mustn’t forget to mention the cappuccino machine and ping pong table.

Cheers, Jane Deany

Hub Ambassador for Awesome Jane Deany

Jane Deany Hub Ambassador for Awesome

Jane Deany enjoying Friday Wine Down at Hub Melbourne

I’m an Ambassador! (Disclosure!)
Much is said about how we are in the age of self promotion, so for the sake of transparency, disclosure, sharing and, well, a little bit of shameless self promotion … here goes.

Earlier in 2014 I was delighted to be invited to become a Hub Ambassador for Awesome for Hub Melbourne. Together with three other Melbourne Ambassadors, the awesome Hub members Anna Reeves, Peter Ince and Remco Marcelis, and a handful of Adelaide and Sydney Hub Ambassadors whom I hope to meet soon, our pictures were added to Hub‘s website earlier this month, see link below. My ‘headline’ is – “Passionate blogger & coworker”.

www.hubaustralia.com/community/ambassadors-for-awesome/

Now I’m on Hub‘s website it’s all starting to feel like it’s a reality, so this is my official ‘press release’ and I’m very excited about my new voluntary position.

Hub‘s website describes the Ambassador role as follows –

“Our Ambassadors for Awesome drive a lot of the awesomeness you’ll find floating around the Hub. They are each natural ambassadors of the Hub brand in their own way, but we found giving them a kick-arse title suddenly kicked things into over-drive. Our Ambassadors deepen the relationships and experiences our members have at Hub. As one ambassador put it, ‘Awesome is as much about the small and subtle as it is about grand gestures and projects’. All of our members are rock-star ambassadors for the Hub, but if you’d like to be an official Ambassador for Awesome watch this space as we accept applications at the beginning of each year.”

Important!
The really important point I want to make before I wrap up and get stuck into making my www.coworkingiscool.com site ‘awesome’, is to declare that I plan to focus a great deal on promoting the many benefits of coworking.

Basically almost anything related to coworking might feature on the site.

With all this in mind, I will do my best to remain as neutral as possible, with minimal bias toward the Hub, although it is an awesome coworking space, which is why I’m coworking there.

As an Ambassador, I am loving helping make the Hub Melbourne member experience the best available. More about the Hub another time.

In the spirit of ‘neutrality’, …

… each coworking space provides a unique experience, and will offer members different benefits.

In the end it will boil down to what feels right for you.

Coworking really is cool, give it a try sometime, I highly recommend it.

Cheers, Jane Deany

ProBlogger’s Darren Rowse visited Hub Melbourne today

Really cool things can and do happen at coworking spaces. Take for example Hub Melbourne where I cowork. Now I don’t want to talk about Hub all the time, but today I really think they deserve a lot of credit for organising such a special speaker, Darren Rowse, to come and informally present to their members and guests today.

ProBlogger's Darren Rowse at Hub Melbourne

Darren Rowse speaking at Hub Melbourne

Darren Rowse, superstar blogger of ‘ProBlogger‘ fame, joined the Hub’s traditional Thursday mixed bag sharing lunch, then spoke about his journey into the world of blogging and how he has developed such a successful business and brand that revolves around blogging.

Hub’s ‘Green Room’ (bookable) event space was packed and the audience sat and soaked up his knowledge and wisdom about this fast growing ‘industry’ revolving around social media. Darren generously shared his journey with us and answered our many questions.

We were given a fantastic opportunity to learn about blogging from a pro. Darren’s book ‘ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income’ co-authored by Chris Garrett, played a big part in my decision to make blogging my new career. Darren’s highly popular website www.problogger.net is filled with useful information for bloggers, as is the book.


Go Hub Melbourne and thanks particularly to Hub Melbourne’s Community Catalyst George Siosi Samuels (pictured below right in my tweet, with Darren – #epicdarren) for organising such a fantastic, or as they say at Hub, an ‘epic’ event.

Major thanks of course to Darren for sharing his wealth of knowledge with us.

Cheers, Jane Deany

International Women’s Day 2014 #IWD2014 and coworking

International Women’s Day 2014 was last Saturday, 8th March. While this important day is still fresh in our minds (well at least my mind), here are a few thoughts about women and the coworking scene. Four Melbourne inner city coworking spaces spring to mind in how they support women.

Electron Workshop North Melbourne

Electron Workshop coworking space

Electron Workshop
I visited Electron Workshop (EW), a funky coworking space in North Melbourne earlier this year and was impressed with their stylish yet functional converted warehouse style factory space. I also met the friendly owners Martin (Marty) Gleeson and Nick Jaffe and had a chat and a quick tour. Their coworking space opened in 2011, after they converted the old ‘Bulla’ (brand) cream factory.

‘Coworking spaces can be male dominated,
but are often female friendly nonetheless.’

As the conversation turned to the different coworking spaces that are popping up, I mentioned to Marty that I was intrigued with the name of a fairly new coworking space in Richmond called ‘Themanroom’. We pondered the wisdom of such a name, which I believe is a special term used by the founders, originally in their own home. However, I feel if they wish to attract women members, I wonder if there might be a better alternative. On that point, I’ve since noticed that there may be a name change in the wind for them. 1nerground (Anothermanroom) is a new business name listed at the same address as ‘Themanroom’. I’m still trying to track down the founders Chrystal and Nikos Psaltopoulos to find out more about this space which I’ve visited (nice vibe), but the members seemed to be enjoying one of the benefits of being self employed, they weren’t there! After all, it was a beautiful day outside. Stay tuned.

Fika at Hub Melbourne

Fika break at Hub Melbourne with L to R, Anetta Pizag, Ella Agren, Kathleen Asjes (hostess) and Jane Deany

The reason I mentioned this discussion about ‘themanroom’ was because it prompted Marty to tell me that EW is very pro-women, so much so that they sponsor a desk for 3-6 months for a female, to help get more women into the ICT industry, especially at the more ‘geek’ i.e. programming/development end of the spectrum. It’s a great initiative. For more information on their ‘grant’ initiative, see link here to the grants section of their website.

EW also hosts a female focused Meetup group ‘Melbourne Drupalchix‘ (for female Drupal users) which meets at Electron Workshop on a monthly basis. EW’s support of women doesn’t end there, as they provide a desk at no charge for a couple of women who are involved with the ‘Hollaback’ global movement/project which is designed to end street harassment of women. For more information see link to the www.melbourne.ihollaback.org website here.

Inspire9 Richmond

Inspire9 coworking space

Electron Workshop is also currently the ‘anchor’ venue for Jelly Meetups which provide free coworking on a semi regular basis (fortnightly/monthly) on Fridays. See my post on the ‘Jelly’ scene, link here.

Hub Melbourne
In late 2013, in Hub Melbourne‘s 2nd year of operation, a member survey was taken (Hub Health Index) and one thing I found interesting was that the balance of the sexes was almost even with 49% women to 51% men. Many coworking spaces tend to have a significantly higher percentage of men, due to the tech start-up/app developer focus of some of the spaces. I think the virtually even sex ratio of members at the Hub makes for a very real world and naturally balanced (co)working environment. Well done HubMelbourne for this achievement. 

‘WordChicks Meetup is held at York Butter Factory

York Butter Factory Melbourne

York Butter Factory coworking space

Inspire9 & York Butter Factory
To the credit of Inspire9 and York Butter Factory, each of these coworking spaces host a number of female focused Meetup groups, for example ‘Girl Geek Dinners Melbourne‘ at Inspire9 and ‘WordChicks‘ (a sub-group of WordPress Melbourne) is held at York Butter Factory.

It’s great to see women supported so well through the coworking community.

Cheers, Jane Deany

Jelly provides a taste of coworking

There are a few different ways to trial coworking to see what it’s all about. I know that Hub’s three Australian coworking spaces, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, have a free day pass available so you can try coworking for a day and see if you like it. Inspire9 allows casual drop-in’s, check with them for details.

Jelly
Another way to try coworking is via ‘Jelly‘ (www.workatjelly.com), a movement that creates the opportunity for casual coworking at different spaces around the world on a semi regular basis.

Coworkers at Collins Collective

Coworking at Collins Collective. I’m facing the camera.

Jelly started in New York City in February 2006 when roommates Amit and Luke realised they loved working from home but missed the creative brainstorming, sharing and camaraderie that came from a traditional office. They started inviting friends to come over once a week to work from home and this lead to some new ideas and interesting conversations. They decided to make it a regular thing and the Jelly movement was born.

Jelly has grown since then and there are over 100 cities around the world that are involved. You can find a list of participating cities from Jelly’s wiki – wiki.workatjelly.com.

Jelly is open to anyone and it’s free!”

My hometown Melbourne Victoria Australia has a Jelly and it’s run through www.meetup.com. Here’s the link to Melbourne Jelly (via meetup.com).

I’ve been to a couple of Jelly Meetups late last year (2013). Both happened to be at the same, very new coworking space called ‘Collins Collective‘ in Collins Street Melbourne.

It’s a medium sized coworking space and they’re just getting established. I’ve met some interesting and friendly people there and as always, there’s a diverse mix of coworkers. I was lucky to strike their Christmas drinks in December.

There seems to be a steady stream of events being held at most of the coworking spaces I’ve been to. You never know what social or professional development opportunities might crop up, as they often do. That’s another great benefit I’ve found about coworking.

More about Collins Collective in the future.

I’ll finish by saying that the Jelly option is a fantastic opportunity to trial coworking. Some people do it just to get out of their offices and to have a change of pace and get fresh ideas.

Jelly is open to anyone and it’s free!

Cheers, Jane Deany

Coworking coincidences

Whilst coworking at Hub Melbourne I noticed via Yammer a new member, Dr Wendy Elford. I went to school with Wendy who now specialises in workplace design through her consultancy ‘Now to Next’. She’s so involved in this field she’s achieved a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Environmental Design, after initially studying Physiotherapy, then moving into ergonomics before making the move into design.

Dr Wendy Elford

Dr Wendy Elford presenting a seminar

Dr Elford held a fascinating ‘Work Design’ seminar about ‘future proofing your workplace’ in October 2013 which I attended. One of the attendees, architect Graham Kirkwood, runs a new coworking space (which I’ve since checked out, more about that later) called ‘Workplace’ within his architectural practice ‘Resource Architecture’. It is a small, intimate coworking space in an art deco building in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. Workplace was established in 2013. Graham wants the desks to be used by permanent coworkers.

“I am sure there will be many more coincidences
and small world encounters …”

Wendy is just one of a number of Hub members I have come to know who work in the area of future trends in workplace design.

Wendy runs a variety of seminars on workplace design, OH&S and related subjects. One of her upcoming seminars in Melbourne on 30 January 2014 entitled ‘Risky business: WHS for the mobile office worker’ delves into the implications of the use of Google Glasses, amongst other topics. It sounds fascinating. Here’s the link to more information on that event which can be booked through Eventbrite – Risky business … by Dr Wendy Elford.

I am sure there will be many more coincidences and small world encounters in the coming months and years as I continue on my coworking journey.

Cheers, Jane Deany

Coworking feels right …

Jane Deany coworking at Hub Melbourne

Jane Deany coworking at Hub Melbourne

Coworking at Hub Melbourne
The vibe at Hub Melbourne drew me to this special coworking space and a few days after my long expected retrenchment in November 2012, I became a member of the Hub Melbourne coworking community and have been happily coworking there part time since then. I’ve now also enjoyed two ‘office’ Hubmas (Christmas) parties (great fun), and many other Hub hosted events.

I have met many interesting and friendly people through the Hub. There are the members, their guests and clients, people attending the many professional development and special interest group events that use the Hub‘s facilities. There are many opportunities to meet new people, and make new contacts and friends.

When you join the Hub you are paired with a Hub buddy who helps you settle in and introduces you to other members. My wonderful Hub buddy was Linnet Hunter of Wild Sky (thanks Linnet for helping me settle in). Any member can offer the become a Hub buddy.

There is a Yammer network (like an intranet) to communicate with other members and Hub staff. Yammer also facilitates the management of the memberships of the many special interest groups within the Hub.

The fact that I have started this website/blog probably gives you a clue that I really love coworking.

My own business ‘theblog-ed’ is a social media advice and training business. I am also a blogger with several sites on the go including www.ilovebrokenhill.com, www.artofbrokenhill.com and now this new site www.coworkingiscool.com.

More about me later.

I am excited about this new site and plan to explore the subject of coworking from the point of view of –

  • explaining what coworking is;
  • to finding great coworking spaces around Australia and abroad;
  • to the personal success stories of coworkers.

I want to focus on the last point, that is the inspiring success stories that have come from the connections made through coworking which lead to something new and innovative that may never have happened if not for a serendipitous introduction, connection or meeting with someone through coworking.

I look forward to reporting some cool and inspiring tales of coworking success.

Cheers, Jane Deany