After a slow start to building our library via donations we decided to ramp things up, and earlier this month we placed an order worth several hundred dollars with Amazon, taking advantage of their free shipping from the UK. (Sorry to our local retailers, but we would have been spending at least three times as much to buy locally, and no single store would have had half of these titles in stock!).
Pictured here is a good portion of the books.
Wednesday night we played host to our latest social function at Six8, with 30+ people joining us for a wine tasting. We had a great selection of wines thanks to Steve and Cecilia from Schubert Estate in the Barossa Valley, and some amazing cheeses and meats from Laikon Deli on Bridge Road.
A certain beginner coworking space founder forgot to take photos until later in the night. Here is one that I did get while there were still a few people around doing their best to make sure the winemakers didn’t have to take too many full bottles back to South Australia!
The concept of a coworking space has certainly taken off in the last few years. However, outside of those of us who frequent the Coworking Google Group (the online meeting place for owners of coworking spaces around the world), a definition of what differentiates a coworking space from any other form of shared office may be unclear.
Here are two of the better known definitions of coworking:
“Coworking is a style of work which involves a shared working environment, sometimes an office, yet independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.”
“Coworking is redefining the way we do work. The idea is simple: that independent professionals and those with workplace flexibility work better together than they do alone. Coworking answers the question that so many face when working from home: “Why isn’t this as fun as I thought it would be?” Beyond just creating better places to work, coworking spaces are built around the idea of community-building and sustainability. Coworking spaces agree to uphold the values set forth by those who developed the concept in the first place: collaboration, community, sustainability, openness, and accessibility.”
Coworking Blog and Coworking Wiki
One of the most common questions about coworking spaces are how they differ from serviced or virtual offices, and this confusion is not helped now that some serviced offices have started using the term coworking to help attract tenants. By far the most important difference is that coworking spaces have a primary focus on building a community, whereas serviced offices are primarily focused on creating offices. In other words, the primary benefit to someone working in a coworking space should be the interaction with other small business owners within the space, and how that helps them grow their business. The primary benefit of working in a serviced office is the access to facilities and the professional image it can create for it’s tenants.
While far from a perfect list, here are some other typical characteristics that may help you differentiate between a coworking space and a serviced office and, if you’re in the market, to decide which is right for you:
|Focus on community||vs||Focus on facilites|
|Open plan||vs||Closed offices|
|Energy and discussion||vs||Peace and quiet|
|Everything’s included||vs||Optional services at a price|
|Pay as you go||vs||Contracted rental period|
|BYO mobile phone||vs||Phones provided|
It’s been a while since I added any new photos here, and since we moved in several weeks ago I thought it was about time.
Head on over to the gallery to see the latest albums. Firstly, I have added some photos taken since we took possession and moved in. Notably, I have been asked several times for a photo of our new pride and joy, a Lord of the Rings pinball machine. It’s in there so take a look.
Next, the others at Six8 know I’ve spent a bit of time… okay, too much time… planning out our vision in Google SketchUp. So to show you the full layout, and our short term vision for the premises, I have added a collection of screenshots from my current model.
Hopefully this will give you all a better idea on how our hew home is coming together.
Of course, we all know that coworking is not about the building, but the people. More on that soon!
Things have been pretty busy, so I thought it would be a good time for a quick update. Here’s the progress that we’ve made since we took possession of our new home:
- We knocked out a wall and opened up our new games/recreation area (turning a place of work into a place of fun – very rewarding!);
- Our new pinball machine and 3D TV have been delivered and installed, and work on setting new high scores on the pinball is well and truly underway;
- Three of us spent an afternoon at Ikea and filled in almost all of the gaps we had in our furnishings;
- We brought in some additional desks and have set up the SSRE team in the area closest to the front door;
- Several of us have moved in upstairs and are working there several days each week.
- We’ve had a lot of work done on wiring, particularly communications and the installation of our ADSL line… but our network printer still doesn’t work!
The next things on our list are to to put the finishing touches on the games area (plastering/painting), sell off an old desk and move a table down into our smaller meeting area, build 4 new desks and move a few things around upstairs, and finish off some electrical work.
So we now have up to 10 people in the workspace on any day, with room for at least 4-6 more upstairs and, if needed, a couple downstairs. We’ll probably keep at least a couple of desks free in the short term for friends that need a place to work for a day here or there, and will also keep open the option for some sort of casual membership.
On the topic of memberships, we are still keeping the space primarily invitation only. We haven’t set up the systems to review, process and manage new members, so we don’t want to take that step until we are ready. However, if you are really keen to talk to us about membership feel free to get in touch.
I’ve set up a Facebook Page and a LinkedIn Group to start building a wider community of “Friends of Six8″. If you want to help spread the word about Six8, follow us on Facebook (open to anyone) or request membership of the LinkedIn Group (currently restricted to friends and contacts of existing Six8 members/tenants).
Finally, later this month we are having our first function to officially open the space. I won’t publish the details here, but if you know an existing Six8 member feel free to hit them up for an invite!
Six8 Bromham is a new workspace being developed in Richmond, Victoria.
In the short term, Six8 will be run as a limited access coworking space, proving a fun and stimulating workplace for between 10 and 15 small business owners from Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs.
Currently membership is by invitation only. The reason for this is to reduce administration requirements in the early stages of setting up the workspace. A “traditional” coworking space (if there is such a thing) usually provides some space for part-time and casual members. We would love the networking and creative opportunities this would provide, however we cannot currently devote the time to setting up the processes to accommodate this.
In the medium term we are considering the option of adding casual memberships, or at least opening up access to full-time members outside of our existing network. We’ll certainly provide updates here, or you can contact us to register your interest.
Thanks for stopping by. If you’d like to come and visit us in person we’ll be opening in early September 2010. There will be plenty of opportunity to come and meet the gang, including monthly social/networking events.