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Office Nomads: the new tribe of flexible workers

18 July 2016

Freelancers find their freedom in connected co-working hubs

A new tribe of innovative entrepreneurs are flocking to co-working spaces across the country in search of collaboration, inspiration and access to fast broadband.

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal a 25 per cent uplift in sole-traders in the year to June 2015. This represents a rate of more than 70 new businesses per week, compared with an average of around 55 new businesses per week from 2009.

Coined the ‘Office Nomads’, this growing group of business owners are ditching the structure of a nine-to-five job to pursue a freelance career by setting up shop at flexible and creative co-working spaces connected to the nbn™ network.

There are now more than 140 collaborative co-working centres scattered on the fringes of Australian capital cities and regional hubs catering for those in need of desk space and the latest tech-tools.

“With new Australian solo-businesses popping-up every day, the growing flexibility of our workforce provides ideal conditions for start-up businesses to take the plunge and get their business idea off-the-ground. This new tribe of ‘Office Nomads’ are no longer confined to a traditional workplace as they move from job-to-job pursuing their passion while being inspired by likeminded entrepreneurs,” says KPMG Demographer, Bernard Salt.

“Whether you’re a tradie, creative, consultant or accountant, access to fast broadband and a flexible work environment will enable you to be more productive by taking control of where, when and how you do business.”

Peter Bradd, co-founder and CEO at The Beanstalk Factory, a company which consults with entrepreneurs to drive business innovation says that co-working environments will play an important role in the future of work.

“As co-working and collaborative environments become more mainstream, professionals are certainly making their location decisions based upon which spaces have the best internet speeds to get the most out of their business productivity,” says Mr Bradd.

“Those who choose to work flexibly typically rely upon cloud software and other online platforms to communicate, access and share information – so a quick and strong connection is critical.”

Bec Mutch, founder of the CoWorkCo, a creative co-working space based in Brunswick, Melbourne says connecting to fast broadband over the nbn™ network is an essential business offering for her community of start-ups.

“As someone who has made the leap from an international luxury brand to a freelance career, I’m passionate about creating an inspiring and collaborative environment for our strong group of likeminded entrepreneurs,” says Ms Mutch.

“I chose to run my co-working space from this location because it had access to the nbn™ network – it’s as important to us as having a chair!

There are more than 2.8 million homes and businesses around the country which can already connect to the nbn™ network with every Australian set to have access by 2020.

Visit our nbn™ blog series to learn more about how access to fast broadband is transforming Australian small businesses.


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Notes to editors



About nbn:

  • nbn is building a new and upgraded, fast wholesale broadband network to enable communities across Australia to access fast broadband. Our goal is to connect eight million homes and businesses by 2020.
  • Fast broadband like that delivered via the nbn™ network can provide a range of benefits for Australians such as opportunities to work from home, access to online education tools and options for on-demand entertainment.
  • End-user experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network, depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how the end-user’s service provider designs its network. Access to your work network will depend on factors outside our control like your organisation’s IT policy and infrastructure.