Suburban life, co-working and collaboration

The following blog is authored by Celia Newlands, Community Manager at Central Business Associates.  It is a Business Centre based in Wynnum offering private office space, co-working space and meeting rooms for hire. Memberships are also available providing networking, collaboration and advertising opportunities, as well as a variety of business support services. 

My husband & I were brought up in small villages in the North of Scotland, so when we moved to Queensland 6 years ago, we chose the wonderful, family-friendly suburb of Wynnum to live in. Once I’d settled the kids into school, I recognised I didn’t want to return to corporate city life, and got involved in the local business community. I opened a flexible workspace in Jan 2015, offering sole traders, entrepreneurs, and small businesses cost-effective ways to achieve life balance, through offices, memberships and workshops.

A large percentage of the people who work here are living genuine ‘flexible working’ lives. My husband works in the shared space on average one day a week instead of travelling into the city, I share my office with 2 other school mums, we have several local dads who use the space so they can spend more quality time at home instead of commuting – most days the place is empty by 3pm, and I’m often first in on a Friday at 9am!

A couple of weeks ago, a local Facebook group was set up, called The Mum Shift. Started by another mum who was ready to go back to work, but finding it incredibly difficult to find jobs within school hours. We are now looking at some possibilities, including meeting with a State Government Department, to discuss how we can push for more traction and progress towards more flexible jobs being available. Many of these women have professional skills which are of huge value to the business community, but are restricted by the reality of 9-5 still being ‘the norm’ for the majority of jobs.

We are even looking into offering to cover Full-time advertised jobs as a collective group – for example a company may advertise to say they need someone to run their marketing department – when you look at the skills required (Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing, Website maintenance, Email Marketing, Graphic Design) they are really looking for 4 or 5 different expertises rolled into one person. Why can’t 4 specialists do the job Part-time, as a team – potentially giving the business much more expertise/experience, but for the same cost?  

I am delighted to be celebrating and supporting Flexible Working Day 2017, by opening up my coworking room for FREE to our local area for the day – to those who would like to trial the concept, or possibly show their current employer they can work away from the office just as productively - sometimes even more productive! I can’t wait to see the potential connections and collaborations that come from just one day – let’s work towards making it happen every day!

Suburban life – you CAN have the best of both worlds!