This month depo8 is celebrating 5 years in coworking!
We first heard about coworking while working on our business Occasional Butler (eventually acquired by Airtasker), an online marketplace to get small tasks done around the home or office. The business was growing but we were reluctant to take the traditional route of negotiating terms, taking out a long term lease and then fitting out an office just for our team.
We were really drawn to the idea of a larger office which we could then share with a broad group of like minded business owners that were also looking for an environment that was close to home, with the added benefits of high speed internet, meeting rooms, boardrooms and general company that is often lacking when you work from home.
In May 2012, we discovered the top floor of this old seventies textiles warehouse. The warehouse had been empty for a couple of years and was in desperate need of work to bring it up to a decent level. After a few months of demolitions, calling in all the trades, setting up furniture and internet, the doors opened in November 2012.
We were very fortunate to have an awesome bunch of new business owners, startups and large organisations setting up headquarters in Melbourne who chose depo8 as their base, including Project PR, Enphase Energy, Rush Events and InMobi.
In the early days depo8 was 20 desks spread across Level 1. It felt so big you could throw a party. And that we did. From Startup Grind fireside chats, Entrepreneur Club meetups with more than 250 guests, book launches and quite a few parties.
We’ve grown up since then. We now occupy the full two levels with 50 permanent members and 375 casual members who use Nesk to check in by the hour or the full day. Our 20 desk offering has increased to 80 desks.
We also have seen a large number of companies use the depo8 boardrooms to host meetings, strategy sessions, board meetings, body corporate sessions, knitting clubs, meetups, calligraphy classes, coding classes.
It’s even more fun when some of these relationships turn into long lasting friendships.
Coworking is super hyped up right now. Some people think it’s all about serendipitous collisions in the hallways that lead to magical mergers and collaborations that turn into multi million dollar deals and unicorns on a Techcrunch unicorns list.
It certainly can be that … but what it always is, is a great way to get out of the house, or the loneliness of working on your own and a chance to talk to somebody new, with a different perspective. You can always get a new insight into a different industry that may just give you an idea that can positively change things for your own business.