By Nicole O’Brien CEO of Fishburners
As national lockdowns ease the Australian workforce is slowly returning to offices and community spaces. Much has been speculated about what this will mean for co-working spaces and the startup community. Through deep conversations and observations, we at Fishburners have identified four key factors that we believe will be driving the new future.
1 – COMMUNITY IS STILL NEEDED
The need for a supportive community is very much apparent amongst early stage startups. While the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on physical co-working activity, Fishburners found the need for a supportive community is alive and well amongst early stage startups. The attendance of online events and community meetups more than doubled since March and virtual communication between founders has increased between 40%-400% on all Fishburners channels.
2 – ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS SET TO RISE
Throughout human history, crises have been pivotal in developing our societies and solving new problems. The COVID-19 pandemic will be no exception, with entrepreneurs already rising to the multitude of challenges. Not only are new self-starter opportunities popping up, but employment security and job forecasts are severely strained or challenged. This means there are many more people looking for empowerment to grow a successful business and gain financial freedom on their own. Fishburners is already seeing the rise of entirely new businesses in e-learning, collaboration, community, events and e-health within our own community.
3- THERE IS A NEW MIX OF WORKING EMERGING
Using the best of both virtual and physical worlds will soon be the new working normal. While the pandemic accelerates growth in online activity in all sectors and the world’s workforce gears up to return to their previous structures, people will be looking for ways for the two working methods to go hand in hand. Fishburners has found that entrepreneurs are now looking for a mix of dedicated spaces outside the home to allow them to focus on their business, as well as integrate virtual platforms that allow them to stay plugged in from anywhere. To facilitate this, Fishburners is expanding its virtual horizons with a dedicated online Founders Hub to empower current and aspiring entrepreneurs across Australia with an inspiring, informative and inclusive platform to get the resources, knowledge and connections they need to grow their business, affordably and conveniently. Fishburners has been developing its virtual assets for more than 5 years, and was early to market with its first virtual membership announced in 2018 and proving a popular option amongst flexible and regional workers.
4 – STARTUPS ARE IN A GOOD POSITION DUE TO STAYING AGILE
Most startup structures are built to adapt to changing circumstances with new products, services and business models. Startups typically are leaner and have more flexibility than large corporate enterprises and this allows them to make changes as markets fluctuate, consolidate models and serve customers with rapid response solutions. Fishburners is no different and we are also tasked with moving with the needs of the time. While investments might tighten for a short time, the Australia startup community’s ability to remain agile, use lean manageable mechanisms and keep our finger on the pulse, will hold us in good stead for years to come.