JOHANNESBURG - As they pop up all over the world, co-working spaces are changing from “cool” places that allowed people from various companies to work at a lower fee to facilitators of start-ups and new ideas.

Linda Trim, a director at FutureSpace, a co-working joint venture between Investec Property and workplace specialists Giant Leap, said: “With a growing number of co-working spaces in South Africa, the narrative is changing from just being a novel place to work to being a facilitator for start-ups and a hotbed for entrepreneurship. Co-working spaces too are recognising this and are moving beyond just colourful interiors and ethically sourced coffee to offer partnerships with top companies, workshops and knowledge-sharing.”

It’s no longer just about affordability. 

Trim said: “Even though the biggest advantage of a co-working space is the cheaper rent when compared to signing a lease for office space, having access to flexible co-working is effective at every stage, from solo operators right up to multinational corporations. Opportunities to interact are less restricted in a co-working office space. It can be challenging in traditional settings to interact face to face with other employees and have the sorts of conversations that can spark great ideas. In flexible workspaces built on collaboration, people are interacting with fellow workers not simply from within their own business, but more widely. Increasingly our clients tell us it is the incredible networking opportunities that makes co-working spaces so very attractive.”

From a cash flow perspective, co-working space is ideal for start-up entrepreneurs looking for a professional workspace without the high upfront costs. 

Supplied/ PERSONAL FINANCE