Monday, 8 August 2011

Shared office space in Lyttelton – not just a dream

Many of our work situations have changed dramatically since February. Businesses have moved from the city centre to more industrial zones or closed permanently, public transport routes are different, congestion on the roads has increased, and cycle routes are in some cases more treacherous because of both increased traffic and earthquake-damaged road surfaces. Many of us have been forced to come up with new ways to meet work expectations. Working at home is now more common as people choose to put up with the challenges of working in isolation as they exercise choice about where they spend their days. 

Back in March I wrote a small piece in our local paper, the Lyttelton News, about the idea of a shared office here in Lyttelton for people who had flexible work arrangements and who would prefer to work on this side of the hill.   There was plenty of interest, and a group formed to discuss needs, timeframes and visions. The drivers for me in this include: wanting to be near my 2 year old son who is cared for at home while I work part-time; building community; and making new connections in my home town.

Now the dream of sharing office space is about to become reality. Starting this week, a small group from diverse backgrounds (ecology, telecommunications, and cycling) are sharing an office on London Street, with plans to refine the setup and evolve over time.We were keen to just get started, to show people that there are few barriers.  This project is building on the culture of possibility that Lyttelton is famous for. We will keep each other company while at the same time providing a professional work space. We will help revitalise our town centre by just being there. The aim is for this to be a long term arrangement, with possibilities for accommodating a wide variety of work needs. Right now the shared office provides desk space, wireless internet, phone and printing capabilities. Future space may also include workshops, or any other element that we figure out we need. It's even looking like there will be more than one shared office as interest grows.

Now is the time to have input into the plans of property owners that are considering rebuilding. Imagine a purpose-built shared office in the heart of Lyttelton! Once again the earthquakes provide us with the opportunity to think about a new way of being.

Written by Jodi Rees


  1. That sure is one big leap for the people of Lyttleton! The concept of shared office space is relatively new. But more and more people are finding this idea brilliant as it presents lots of advantages for both business owners and employees. For one, entrepreneurs do not have to buy or rent big office spaces. And this setup can promote camaraderie among business owners and their employees.

  2. Shared office space can be good if you are planning to start a new business and don't want to spend money on renting a separate one, a lot of people are doing this nowadays.