Technology companies are leading the chase for flexible workspaces according to Sydney’s newest coworking player, The Great Room by Industrious. With its first location opening in January 2024 at Level 29, 85 Castlereagh Street – it has secured over 60% in pre-commitments, largely driven by off-shore tech businesses.
Tech companies signed up at The Great Room by Industrious include international groups expanding into Australia – with US-based AI personal assistant group Ninjatech.ai and AB Tasty, a French experience optimisation company both launching into the Australian market by first opening an office in Sydney.
“We are so excited to secure such a significant commitment prior to opening in mid-January. It is testimony to the growing need for flexible workspaces in our major cities,” said Josh Alfafara, General Manager of The Great Room by Industrious’ Australian operations.
According to Alfafara, demand to date has been largely driven by tech businesses with property, financial services, and legal services among other sign-ups for the new Sydney space.
Australia’s burgeoning $167 billion tech industry continues to be a driver of growth. It employs one in 16 Australians and is ranked as the country’s third-largest industry.
In a recent workforce report from the Tech Council of Australia, the tech sector reflected a growth rate of 8% per year, double the growth of other sectors. According to Austrade, Australia’s tech sector experienced significant growth of 79% in the five-year period 2017-2021.
The growth continues despite a wave of high-profile technology redundancies in the past 12 months, with the local technology sector adding more than 10,000 jobs per quarter.
“As companies re-evaluate their workspace by right-sizing, many businesses are now looking at the flex sector rather than a traditional office lease – including off-shore businesses,” he said.
“Many off-shore tech groups use Sydney as a launchpad into Australia. They are drawn to our economic resilience, high demand for skilled labour, leading universities and tech research, government programs, connectivity to Asia-Pacific and of course, the lifestyle Australia offers,” Alfafara said.
“Coworking is a compelling opportunity for growing businesses and offers unparalleled flexibility. It’s a turn-key solution, enabling them to focus on their core business and plan for growth. There is far greater flexibility than a traditional office lease combined with lower overheads, and on top of that there is the collaborative benefit of being surrounded by like-minded professionals and providing a community environment for teams,” he said.
According to leading agency CBRE, Sydney’s CBD leasing market is currently driven by smaller tenants, with a groundswell of demand for flex space.
“Current leasing conditions in the Sydney CBD are particularly well-suited to support further demand for coworking space. Over 50% of office leasing enquiries so far in 2023 have been requirements below 500 sqm. Coworking can offer these firms flexible space options while they gauge their longer-term office requirements,” said Thomas Biglands, CBRE’s Research Manager.
Ninjatech.ai is based in an Industrious office in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley. According to the personal assistant AI group, Sydney is the perfect location for off-shore tech businesses with an abundant population of qualified staff, supported by advanced digital infrastructure.
“Australia is a beautiful country with a great entrepreneurial culture. We’ve been so thrilled with the depth of high-quality expert technical talent in Sydney, that we’ve chosen it as our next growth hub in NinjaTech’s AI journey.” said Babak Pahlavan, Founder and CEO of NinjaTech.ai.
Similarly, AB Tasty is expanding into Australia with an office at The Great Room by Industrious after opening an Asia-Pacific office in Singapore in 2018.
“Sydney offers us access to a thriving technology eco-system. We selected The Great Room as our Australian headquarters due to its prime location and well-appointed interior,” said Julia Simon, Managing Director APAC of AB Tasty.
The Great Room by Industrious was founded in Singapore in 2016 and acquired by the US-based flexible workspace provider last year. Those who hold memberships with The Great Room can access over 200 coworking spaces owned by Industrious, across Asia, North America and Europe.
The new Sydney location spans a whole floor and will offer a range of flexible membership plans, catering to businesses of all sizes. These include dedicated offices for 3 to 30 persons, hot desk options for small teams, freelancers, and start-ups, day passes for short-term space and amenity use, and virtual office services for businesses needing a distinguished corporate address.
With interiors by award-winning architects HASSELL, it will feature 35 dedicated offices and collaboration areas, as well as a bar which offers skyline views and overlooks Sydney’s iconic Hyde Park.
Key amenities include enterprise-grade technology and connectivity, 24/7 office access, shower facilities, weekly Breakfast Club, networking drinks, exclusive business, learning and lifestyle events, and meeting and event spaces.