Time Out scopes out Sydney's buzzing shared workspace
Hub Sydney is a new co-working space located above a temporary art gallery on William Street. The idea behind Hub Sydney – which is one of a network of Hub venues around the globe – is to creating a shared working and networking space for freelancers, start-ups and small businesses.
Meet the team...
Hub Sydney is a new co-working space located above a temporary art gallery on William Street. The idea behind Hub Sydney – which is one of a network of Hub venues around the globe – is to create a shared working and networking space for freelancers, start-ups and small businesses. When Time Out met the Hub Sydney team, the new venue had been open for three weeks, but the concept was already proving popular: desks were full, real meetings were taking place in the colourful break-out zones and the lift from the ground-floor level was seldom stationary.
On first impressions, Hub is a lot like what we imagine Google’s offices to look like: there’s a playful photo board of new members; a vibrant, open-plan desk space; a long communal dining table; snug work pods and small meeting rooms; and a cosy lounge area (complete with donated PlayStation). And, there’s talk of a foosball table on its way… Hub Sydney’s community catalyst (actual job title) Seth Lawrence tells us that the environment that the team has created helps to create a community. The buzzword is ‘collaboration’ – “We’ve simply created a space where people can meet,” says Lawrence, “That’s what excites us.”
Lawrence helps to host community get-togethers, where organisations can host events and promote discussions in Hub Sydney’s conference space. One such partner organisation is Sydney’s change-making entrepreneurs Think Act Change. “Our slogan is ‘innovation through collaboration’. People who are inspired and open to entrepreneurial business are the type of people who are drawn to the space.”
“We’re different from a serviced office. We’re about the connections that form in this space which are of benefit to our members. About five years ago, the revolution of working from home was a big thing, but a lot people found that they were lonely, disconnected and uninspired. They lacked that sense of community.”
And the concept must be working. Globally, there are 35 Hub centres in cities like London, San Francisco and Tokyo – and in Australia, Hub Melbourne (which opened in 2011) is now at capacity with more than 300 members using the space each month. Hub Sydney, which was made possible through a crowd-funding campaign, opened in May 2013 and a Hub Adelaide launched in September 2013.
Andrew Duong is Hub Sydney’s space host. He looks after the facilities and makes sure everything is running as smoothly as possible for Hub’s growing membership. Duong explains that Hub Sydney will develop and expand based on the feedback from its users. “If we find that the event space isn’t working then we’ll use that space in another way. We’re trying to remain as flexible as possible.”
Hub Sydney ran an initial free membership trial in the first few weeks after opening. Now the only way to become a ‘Hubber’ is to attend one of the twice-weekly Hub Open House events (held every Thursday at 11am and Friday at 4pm). There is a gradual membership structure for individuals and teams ranging from $20 to $2,000. Members have unlimited access to the venue.
|Venue name:||Hub Sydney|
101 William St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; Hub Open House: Thu 11am & Fri 4pm|