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Co-working could be key to boosting Australian productivity

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 | By Rose Powell

Co-working just got a bit of political clout, with a new report finding distributed working is a productivity measure that would boost local economies, workforce participation, and ongoing government spending around congestion issues.


The Breaking the Productivity Impasse report, written by Gordon Noble and Brad Krauskopf of collaborative workspace consulting group Third Spaces, explores the technological and employment option evolution of the last five to ten years.


Krauskopf, founder of Hub Australia and the COSBOA ambassador, told StartupSmart the opportunity for the government to boost productivity by recognising and supporting the growing co-working movement has never been bigger.


“Based on my experience with the Hub and this research, I am absolutely convinced that Australia working in a more distributed fashion is a productivity lever we haven’t pulled yet, and the impact if we did would be huge,” Krauskopf says, adding the biggest misconception about distributed working is it’s just focused on working from home.


The report promoted an idea of a series of co-working hubs to ensure people were working in with supportive communities with both technical, and workplace health and safety support.


“It’s just no longer necessary to be carting everyone into a CBD location every day. Culturally we need to go through a really big shift to enable people to work outside of line of side management,” Krauskopf says.


The report includes recommendations for how government support would enable the co-working space sector to thrive and scale rapidly.


“We’re not wanting a hand out. We want the government, one of our largest employers in Australia, to become a customer. If its workforce could work in a distributed fashion would be great for them, and that custom would bankroll these spaces and encourage private investment,” Krauskopf says.