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Abandon the office to save the planet

Main image: Matt Knight (centre) at Textile Lofts – a boutique private members workspace listed on Sharedspace

Whatever way you cut it, office working during a pandemic brought some serious challenges. Working from home meant juggling work with homeschooling, sitting at seriously non-ergonomic makeshift desks or quickly muting zoom when the timer for your latest banana bread experiment went off.

Those still going to the office were met with social distancing measures, switched-off elevators and isolation from both co-workers and whanau.

Covid-19 has certainly accelerated an overhaul to the way we work, with increased flexibility benefitting staff, improving businesses’ sustainable footprints and reducing congestion (and pollution) on our roads.

Unfortunately, WFH doesn’t suit everyone, it increased productivity (for a time) but made collaborative creative work a challenge, offered more time with family but blurred the lines between home and work.

Enter flexible working, the concept has been around for a while, but it is creating a new meaning for itself in a post-covid world. Co-working and shared spaces have been dubbed the offices of the future by fostering collaboration between businesses, sharing resources and giving small businesses access to fancy digs they couldn’t afford on their own.

Auckland’s female-run outfit The Village offer a coworking space

We talked to Matt Knight, founder of New Zealand’s first and largest space-marketplace, Sharedspace.co.nz, to get the inside scoop on how sharing space helps us and the planet. Here’s how to convince your boss or business partner to take the plunge!

Sustainable benefits

  • Increases the productive use of space and land
  • Improves energy efficiency rather than lighting and heating empty spaces
  • Cuts the waste by sharing hard-to-recycle items like printers, teleconference set-ups, even the coffee machine
  • Reduces unnecessary overheads, saving cash for all those environmental initiatives that don’t fit the budget
  • Cuts commutes short by switching to a ‘Hub and Spoke’ model – that’s a business offering multiple smaller locations to work from, closer to where its workers live

Benefits for you and your team

  • Flexibility of lease terms – daily, monthly or yearly
  • Allows sharing of costs while starting out and beyond such as fitting out, furnishing, mail handling and ongoing
  • management of daily office tasks
  • Creates new networking opportunities and potential future collaborators and clients
  • Businesses from ASB to Facebook to freelancers use coworking space because it creates not only a buzz but also allows you to meet like-minded individuals in complementary fields
  • Breaks down the barrier between work and play – catching up over coffee, lunching with other members and after-work drinks become regular activities
  • Access to facilities to give your client meetings a more professional vibe – without the huge cost of running these on your own
  • Separates home from work – and saving many a relationship!

Head to Sharedspace to explore all the spaces that are better shared.

Auckland’s female-run outfit The Village visionaires, Sophie Gilmo and Louise Annabel
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