Brad Krauskopf is CEO of Hub Australia, Australia’s largest coworking community. Here Brad talks about how he works with communities to activate physical space and his goal to fundamentally change how we work, and consequently, live in Australia.
1. What is co-working, how did it come about and why do we need it?
Coworking at face value is about different organisations working from a shared space. However I like to think of it in a much deeper way; it is a way of working where people realize if they’re not collaborating, not continually learning and not expanding their networks, then in the 21st century they won’t be successful.
Initially Hub spaces were used by entrepreneurs, who’ve been able to grow their businesses at a rapid rate. Increasingly organisations are now using Hub spaces. Now we offer team memberships because Hub spaces have become necessary to the staff of large corporations.
2. What is your proudest project achievement to date and how has it transformed the world around us?
My proudest of moments (and they happen quite regularly) are when Hubbers come up to you and tell you that co-working has changed their life. In a 24/7 world people are demanding more from their relationship with work and the concept of ‘work’ as a place that you go is no longer an acceptable baseline for many people. Through co-working we’ve found that people are generally happier, they have a better work/life balance and their businesses are more successful as a result.
3. How do you ‘keep it fresh’ and encourage design thinking in your organisation?
We are very big on constant co-creation. In order to develop a Hub space we meet first with the locals who live and work in the area and we run workshops on what their needs are. Hub is about starting a community, and the space we provide is always derived from that community. The reason each of our Hubs ‘feel’ the way they do is because the design is community driven. We provid inherent flexibility into each Hub, which gives us a greater threshold for allowing things to change as we take on feedback and meet the needs of our Hubbers.
4. What is the overarching common goal driving your organisation?
We want to change the way Australia works. I believe that if we change the way people work, then we change if we change the way people live. How I see that manifesting is that I’d like to catalyze a network of work hubs and provide people with more work/life balance, more local working and more engagement with their business. All of these goals can achieve and enabled by Hub spaces.
5. What are your thoughts on technology in your industry – is it an enabler or an inhibitor?
Technology is absolutely an enabler. The IBM teleworking initiatives in the 1980’s were a concept that was before its time, because the technology wasn’t available. Personally I don’t believe that technology has driven the emergence of co-working, but that the driver is that people want a different relationship with work. Today, if you’re not collaborating, then you’re not in business. What we do today, in terms of co-working would be impossible to achieve without technology.
6. In three words describe your vision for the future of the built environment.
Flexible, distributed, collaborative