Flexible Workspace Australia (FWA) has become the first peak body for the co-working and flexible workspace industry, formed in response to the growing appetite for hybrid work environments across Australia.

FWA brings together Australia’s leading flexible workspace and coworking providers for the first time, including Hub Australia, The Thrive Network, WeWork, Workspace 365, Eastern Innovation, WorkLife, Work Tank, The Executive Centre, IWG, Creative Cubes, The Commons, Liberty Workspaces, Your Desk, Impactiv8, The Hive and WOTSO. Suppliers to the industry have also been a part of its creation, including Bioom, Instant Offices, Rubber Desk, Work Free and Office RnD.

FWA will connect stakeholders as one entity and facilitate an advanced, collaborative network within the industry. A crucial function of the peak body will be representing member interests in dealings with governments and conducting vital research to dissect the rapidly growing sector and support policy development.

The peak body is already working with Victorian Government to deliver a “boosting coworking program” focused on suburban coworking, enabling people to work near home, keep economic activity local and reduce congestion. It has also connected nationally with the Property Council of Australia and Council of Small Business Organisations Australia for rental relief advocacy.

The Thrive network director Fiona Mayor said FWA ultimately strives to create a healthy eco-system and community that encourages idea and resource sharing, allows talents to develop and innovate, and fosters beneficial partnerships. More than this, we want to raise awareness and understanding among peers, partners, end-users and the government to influence policy making in support of the flexible workspace industry.”

“Through extensive programming of professional development events, workshops and seminars, we help our members foster closer relationships within the network and set them up towards more opportunities for growth and success.”

Hub Australia chief executive and founder Brad Krauskopf said the move was an important and exciting step for the industry as Australian workplaces move towards a hybrid and flexible future.

“The time is now for us to join forces to ensure we support future of work demands effectively and represent our interests as an industry,” he said.

“Members, affiliates and supporters can now collaborate to create flexible workplace solutions for businesses of all industry backgrounds and sizes. As a united peak body, the industry can better contribute towards building a diverse network of flexible workspace locations that span across Australia.”

FWA was conceived in 2020 in response to increasing demand for flexible workspace beyond the pandemic.

In 2019, co-working and flexible workspaces accounted for 2.5 per cent all net lettable commercial office in Australia but is forecast to surge post-pandemic as companies, small and large, aim to meet the flexible demands of their team for high quality and adaptable workspace.