SubUrban Co-Working an early adopter

SubUrban, established in 2015, was an early adopter with co-working seeing it as a catalyst to bring communities closer together to create economic and social benefits. People that work together in their local area develop relationships which then lead to both professional collaborations but also collaborations that benefit the wider community.

We have seen this through the projects we have kickstarted already, the Onslow Business Connect programme, the SubUrban Social Enterprise Scholarship, SubUrban ArtSpace, Evening Co-Working Club and more.

In SubUrban’s case co-working means creating economically sustainable and vibrant suburbs through people living AND working locally.

But its hard graft trying to get this message out as one lone voice in the suburbs. Something needed to change.

2nd National Co-Working Hui in Carterton

Last Saturday saw co-working owners from Invercargill to Tauranga attend a hui at 3Mile Co-Working in Carterton. All attendees, from small regional providers to major industry players such as BizDojo, citing similar economic, social and business impacts on the businesses and individuals that partake in co-working.

Since our first hui in 2016 at Basestation in Tauranga, the co-working industry now boasts 41 operators throughout New Zealand, helping create a connected and collaborative business landscape in centres across New Zealand.

By the end of a day of sometimes intense discussions, we were all in agreement that we needed to have a shared voice to champion our industry.  3Mile owner Marie-Claire Andrews, stepped up as spokesperson for Co-Working Aotearoa Association with assistance from me, and PR to be spearheaded by Hannah Delaney of the Kāpiti Collective.

Marie-Claire summed it up beautifully by saying“Although every co-working space operates differently, we all agree that co-working has fundamental principles that benefit individuals, businesses and the communities that they operate in.”

“We are all conscious of the need to more effectively engage with policy makers and the business ecosystem that surrounds coworking spaces, this Association signals our intent to do just that,” says Andrews.

This was an amazing outcome for a group so diverse.

Its time for a cultural and behavioural shift

My hope is that our shared voice as an Association  will bring a cultural shift – that folks that are remote working or working alone from home see co-working as an integral part of their lives – for personal development, professional development and most importantly a feeling of connection to the communities where they live.

I fundamentally believe that if we work together as communities we are stronger.


Kathleen from SubUrban