Sydney's best coworking spaces: Working outside the square

Angela Allan
Technology Journalist

Angela Allan is a music and lifestyle journalist with a special interest in technology and startup culture. Angela writes for Rolling Stone and the Star Weekly

Angela Allan
Technology Journalist

Angela Allan is a music and lifestyle journalist with a special interest in technology and startup culture. Angela writes for Rolling Stone and the Star Weekly

Sydney’s reputation has always been heralded as “business HQ” for many top companies, so why not extend your network and branch out of your home to venture into a coworking space that can boost your business connections and your exposure.

In the first two instalments of our Smarter Mobile Office Guide, we listed the best places to cowork in Melbourne and Brisbane.  Now we shine a spotlight on Sydney’s coworking hotspots and focus on the top collaborative spaces to get down to business in the harbour city.

Sydney has always held the cards as a popular gateway for international companies to base their Australian head offices (think Google) and as a magnet for local businesses just getting off the ground. No matter which way you look it – Sydney offers you a win-win situation.

So if you’re looking for business opportunities to heat up your start-up, or indulge your talents with other like-minded entrepreneurs, then a coworking space in Sydney’s CBD and surrounding suburbs is a great way to network, soundboard ideas and make valuable business connections so you can reap the rewards.

Let's take a look at three of Sydney's top coworking spaces:

Tank Stream

1. Homework

Billed as a collaborative, creative space, but still on an intimate scale, Homework opened in Darlinghurst in February 2012. It began when City of Sydney offered the space to creative start-ups and ventures, and it’s been steadily growing ever since to include a vast array of consultants, freelancers and entrepreneurs.

This funky coworking space is almost like a gym with its levels of “membership” (but its loft-style interior does not at all resemble a sweaty gym). Choose from three options: a casual “day tripper”, a 10-day pass or a full-time monthly member.

While most workplaces have some sort of code of conduct, Homework’s amusing rules include “no dubstep” and “no Lynx deodorant (ever)” but also invites coworkers to parties and events, and encourages them to support one another’s creative endeavours.

What are the perks?

The perks are many:

  • An established site with balcony in Darlinghurst, which is a quick bus ride to Sydney’s CBD
  • Separate meeting room that seats 6, breakout table for 4, plus couch and library
  • Kitchenette with fridge, toaster, microwave, kettle and coffee machine
  • Shared printer and scanner, ADSL 2+ Unlimited via Wi-Fi or ethernet
  • Oxford Street location, offering secure access prior to 8am and after 6pm
  • Lift and accessible ramp

Who will it suit?

With mainly freelance designers, developers, writers and entrepreneurs sharing the space, you’re bound to meet some like-minded individuals. You’ll be sharing the space with motion graphics design outlet Motionstory, gaming media company You Know Media and an active campaigner of global civic movement Avaaz.

How much will it cost?

“Day Tripper”, 10-day passes and monthly memberships are available with different levels of amenities accessible.

2. Manly emporium

Located across the Sydney Harbour, right on the Corso leading to beautiful Manly beach, Manly Emporium is a stylish open-plan workspace devoted to the start-up community. It offers an array of meeting rooms, office utilities, recreational spaces and all the business services budding and established entrepreneurs could want. It opened in August 2013 after founders Darren Younger and Luke Bridges converted it from a pool hall.

Emporium resembles a trendy New York warehouse with exposed brick walls, polished floorboards and timber beams – all amounting to a modern and airy atmosphere with a cool inner-city café vibe. It’s also 30 minutes from Sydney CBD by ferry (which offers free wifi).

Desks can be rented by the month or casually, including one to three days per week or full-time, which comes with the additional flexibility of 24-hour access.

What are the perks?

Need more convincing?

  • Open-plan layout with desks and separate meeting and events room and break-out areas
  • High-speed internet access, phone booth, locked storage and whiteboards
  • Right on the Corso, a short walk to Manly beach and a bevy of restaurants, cafes and vibrant surf scene
  • The venue hosts a range of entrepreneurial meet-ups

Who will it suit?

Dedicated to start-ups, Manly Emporium is home to incubator TechBeach, hosting pitch reviews, mentoring breakfasts and panel discussions. So naturally this nurturing working environment would be a perfect place for those just getting their business off the ground.

How much will it cost?

Part-time membership and casual membership range in price per month, depending on how many days a week you’re at the office. A full breakdown of rates is available here.

3. Tank stream labs

Rating high in the coworking ranks is Tank Stream Labs in Sydney’s CBD (right across the road from Sydney’s ASX). Its impressive list of current companies in residence includes Pocketbook, AirTasker and taxi-booking app GoCatch.

Spread over three floors, TSL boasts more than 30 start-ups and 150 entrepreneurs. Ninety-five per cent of its members are working at the Labs camp on a full-time basis. Best of all, it’s set up so you can build your company in a truly collaborative manner. They function like a community too, and hold regular events.

What are the perks?

In addition to the above:

  • Occupying three floors in one building – levels 1, 9 and 10 in Bridge Street, Sydney
  • Superfast unlimited optic-fibre internet connection
  • Unlimited use of workspace
  • Private storage and desk, full colour printer
  • Showers in the office
  • Fortnightly events are held at the labs, including professional and business-related events and fun sessions

Who will it suit?

Housing high-profile start-ups, entrepreneurs and developers, TSL is geared for those who seek a collaborative environment to launch their start-up and see it soar. It’s also a great place to meet with those who have successfully launched a start-up – providing the right space for advice and mentorship opportunities.

How much will it cost?

There are three levels of membership (each coinciding with the floors of the building), which range in price per month. View the full pricing tier here.

Postcode 2000: business mecca

Business Events Sydney is the joint effort between the NSW Government, Destination New South Wales and more than 200 leading tourism bodies to bring world-renowned conferences and business-related events to the city.

The not-for-profit organisation won some major events, including the Annual World Congress of SBMT on Brain, Spinal Cord Mapping and Image Guided Therapy in 2014, and the AIPPI World Intellectual Property Congress in 2017.

This means your business will be in good company when the likes of big players come to town. And expanding your network outside of LinkedIn into the real world is a great way to increase contacts and potential business partners or swap notes with other entrepreneurs or freelancers to better understand the challenges of the business world. And there’s a great way to achieve this: it’s time to try coworking.

So when it comes to communal workplaces in Australia’s most populated city, its reign as a business drawcard means setting up your desk in a shared office environment is a clever business move.

Need an easier way to embrace coworking?

Join Young Entrepreneurs Sydney, the city’s own coworking and networking meetup. 

Find out moreNeed an easier way to embrace coworking?
Not in Sydney?

We’ve covered Melbourne coworking spaces here, and Brisbane’s best here.

Find out moreNot in Sydney?

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