Anyone who's ever worn a suit in summer or been forced to make interdepartmental small talk with awkward colleagues in the lunch room will understand that corporate jobs can blow hard. It's no wonder why so many of us are jumping ship to startups and freelance work, lapping up that delightful freedom comes picking a coworking space.
Melbourne has some slammin' spaces where creative people gather to do big things and you owe it to yourself to pick the best one for you. What's most important? Power points, ping pong, free biscuits, networking events, slick decor, indoor plants, comfy lounges, speedy wi-fi or all of the above? You'll never blitz a to-do list quicker than at a desk in one of these surefire winning spaces.
The Cluster is the bigwig of coworking spaces. The sprawling corporate office space is located across Queen and Market Street in the CBD and overlooks the Yarra (it's fancy AF). More importantly, they're geared up for serious business with six multimedia meeting rooms. Their laundry list of impressive tech and corporate clients means the Cluster is the kind of space that would best suit serious(ly financially stable) startups and small companies who need a corporate infrastructure to grow (hello endless colour printing). But it's not all corporate — there's a keg in the kitchen.
Here's one for all your plant lovers out there. Roy Space is nestled right in the heart of Fitzroy, just off the intersection of Brunswick Street and Johnston Street, and boasts a healthy jungle of indoor plants in a bright, beautiful space. The cute office has a small population but large desks (about two metres wide), which is the ideal combination. Speedy internet, 24-hour access, table tennis and a separate meeting room is all included in the (very reasonable) monthly price, making it perfect for creative freelancers.
Macquarie Street Studio is your new home away from home for the creative coworkers who are looking for a beautiful blank canvas on which to build your perfect office. The raw, white industrial space is flooded with light and the attached photography studio makes it ideal for photographers, artists, graphic designers and anyone with minimalist leanings. It's just off High Street in Prahan, close to train, tram and a swag of cafe choices.
Macquarie Street Studio, 1/24 Macquarie Street, Prahran
One of the biggest benefits for freelancers and startups to get involved with a coworking space is the networking and skill-share opportunities that arise from close working quarters. Inspire9 taps into that potential for young companies. The former Australian Knitting Mill space in Richmond has been renovated and transformed into a light, airy, contemporary open plan office decked out with plants, bean bags, pool tables and reading nooks. Where Inspire9 up their game is their killer parties, social and networking events — after all, nothing bonds colleagues like a dress-up party.
Framework on Swanston Street is a small coworking space on the CBD fringe with a tonne of charm. Their amenities game is on point too, with both table tennis and pool table to choose from, a working fireplace, two meeting rooms and all the cookies you can feasibly gobble without losing your coworkers' respect. The space was renovated and expanded in 2015 and now features polished floor boards, exposed brick and lots of natural light. You'll find yourself a mix of artists, photographers, entrepreneurs and digital agency folk. Oh, and the wig maker responsible for Dumbledore's glorious beards.
If you're looking for coworking digs on the south side, Revolver will be your first port of call. They're located on Chapel Street, specialise in tech startups and combine the best of new-school and old-school office spaces. The space is industrial, functional and inviting with a great pricing structure and all the resources you could need. Like seriously, they've thought of everything. On-site café and coffee machine, an office Flexicar, soundproof Skype rooms, showers, bike racks, meditation cave and more meeting spaces than you'll know what to do with (but probably have meetings in).
York Butter Factory, named after the original 1855 building, is located is behind a heavy red door on King Street in the CBD. It's a big space (577 square metres to be precise), spanning two floors but they managed to fill it with big players in the tech world so you can rub shoulders with valuable contacts. The old space has been beautifully renovated but retains that old-school charm. It also features five meeting rooms, a café/kitchen area and a huge event space.
Depo8 is another creative coworking space just off Chapel Street with members across a broad list of industries. The mid-sized office is warm and minimalist with a crafty, homemade feel and is, of course, decked out with plants. They're ideal for non-committal co-workers as they offer incredibly flexible (and hourly) rates but no doubt once you're there you'll fall in love with the place. As well as generous spatial arrangements, they're got you covered on all the office essentials — kitchen space, gratuitous caffeine, bike storage, showers, meeting rooms and super speedy internet. What more could you want?
Rotson Studio is another babein' shared work space in Fitzroy that's all flattering light, lush indoor plants and minimalism. Being just around the corner from Naked for Satan also helps Rotson's cool factor. The studio has polished wooden floorboards, high ceilings and a view of the city as well all the amenities you can shake a stick at (kitchen, showers, bike racks, high-speed internet). The team is made up of vibrant young entrepreneurs and creatives so if your work family is in need of an upgrade, this is the studio for you.
Rotson Studio, Level 2,/105 Victoria Street, Fitzroy
Formerly known as Queens Collective, CClabs co-working space is favoured by tech startups. This Queen Street space is ideal for those of you who need your desk to be Tumblr-esque level immaculate before you can concentrate. But apart from the uncluttered and beautifully presented space, Queens Collective's strength lies in their networking events which are numerous and high-powered.