Enter SpacetoCo, an app created by a team of former teachers looking to avoid the traditional rent trap and present an affordable space-sharing option that benefits everybody in the community.
The app serves as a directory for small business or freelance contractors needing a space or room to conduct their services for both short and long-term purposes.
Since the app launched in 2015, a range of businesses have been utilising their services, with ‘rentable’ spaces including anything from a yoga studio to a green screen photography room, small boardroom or workshop for 100.
SpacetoCo allows for businesses and contractors alike to book and share spaces at their own convenience without the expensive membership. Basically, it’s Airbnb for office spaces.
There is an increasing number of young professionals actively choosing to work for themselves, with a study by Upwork estimating that nearly a third of working Australians have conducted freelance work.
According to a report by the Small Business Development Corporation in 2016, 62.2% of Western Australian businesses were startups, with 97% of all businesses in the state considering themselves to be small businesses.
Whilst Perth’s property market is showing signs of recovery, Perth’s commercial vacancy levels are still at 19.8 percent according to the latest report from Property Council of Australia.
Despite increased incentives from commercial properties to rent their space, small businesses and freelance contractors often don’t need the restrictions that result from a fixed office location.
Instead, the SpacetoCo app allows businesses to pick and choose when, where and for how long they set down roots - this could be anywhere from renting a studio for an hour, to hiring a warehouse space for a two-day workshop.
This style of temporary space hire and coworking is the reply to the employment shift - a solution that offers low cost solutions for individuals and businesses who don’t need a big office and don’t want to spend big on rent and utilities.
Whether you’re a digital marketer looking for a graphic designer or vice versa, operating in shared office spaces will allow you to advertise your small business and services to those working in the same vicinity.
The shift towards coworking and rentable spaces isn’t just for small businesses, larger organisations are beginning to support this change in workspaces as well by either sponsoring a space or allowing their staff the flexibility to work from them.