With the work landscape changing dramatically in recent times, many women have found themselves struggling to make the work from home routine work for them. You’ll love what two local ladies have come up with that takes the WFH experience to another level.

It’s safe to say for many of us that working from home is not quite the dream concept we thought it would be. We’ve all lived the reality over the past year – sharing the home office with hubby, the cleaner working in the background of your calls, NBN interruptions and WiFi not handling the overload, and the loneliness and lack of connection with others as we find ourselves missing those face-to-face conversations. Work is no less demanding, but it seems that working from home is.

It was these all too familiar pain-points that Josephine and her sister Carmel were trying to solve when they founded their business venture, The Cohive Collective, some years ago. “We saw a gap in the market away from commercial city-based coworking spaces with their expensive memberships especially for freelancers and start-ups, plus extra features and events that as mums we knew we wouldn’t use. We knew what was really needed for women was a local coworking space that’s affordable and intimate, a space where you can ask for help and not be intimidated, where you can share ideas with your tribe, that’s inspiring and productive & without the distractions.”

So from this Cohive was born. Think of it like AirBNB for the coworking world. On the one side, the platform enables women already working from home to open their doors and build their own networking hub all while earning extra income. On the other, Cohive enables independent professionals to book unique, inspiring home spaces from local hosts, giving them a chance to network with local like-minded professionals.

Of course, no one expected what was to come with COVID in 2020, but Cohive easily adjusted to ensure they’re a COVID-safe option. “We take the health and safety of our community seriously,” says Josephine. “We want to ensure our members continue to feel safe coming into our spaces, that’s why we’ve implemented a COVID safety-plan in all of our host homes. We utilise a digital booking /check-in system, ensure the workspaces are thoroughly cleaned, and we have reduced the maximum capacity per day to ensure we follow social distancing guidelines. We also offer a full refund for same-day cancellations made due to COVID-related factors.”

Cohive has already experienced a lot of success in their first coworking spaces and it’s time to bring their offering to other areas. “We have Cohive spaces in Willoughby, Castle Cove, and Ryde with new homes opening soon in Killarney Heights and Orange in regional NSW – an exciting opportunity to support rural communities, ” says Josephine. “With 2020 behind us, we’re now looking to expand to further support those new to the WFH gig and Ku-ring-gai is an area where we have had huge demand.”

There are, of course, more traditional coworking spaces available but Carmel knows the special possibilities that working in one of Cohive’s spaces can bring. “We are neighbourhood home coworking spaces, super convenient – just down the road from where you drop your kids at school, or your local coffee haunt. We are designed to be truly flexible. Freelancers, remote workers, start-ups, and especially working mums, they all need flexibility,” remarks Carmel. “You don’t need to lock in weeks or days in advance with us, you can book on the day and we are so affordable even one power hour at a Cohive will give you value. We do not use the term ‘community’ lightly. Our homes are inviting, inspiring spaces, they are meant to be your home away from home without distractions, a familiar and safe space where you will be known by name.”

Our beautiful area of Ku-ring-gai is the next lucky suburban area that Cohive is looking to expand into. “We’ve got a waitlist of women from the Ku-ring-gai area who are looking to join our community so we’re eager to speak with any local women keen to open their space and build their own little coworking hub. For people thinking of becoming hosts there are many benefits. “Obviously there is the secondary income stream that comes from hosting with our hosts earning on average anywhere from $80-$120 a day,” says Josephine. “But the real magic happens when they build a supportive professional network from the comforts of their home, create a better work/life balance with structuring of their working hours, and combat isolation and loneliness by having their own tribe of like-minded women to share ideas and knowledge with.”

A typical host will have a welcoming home workspace and great WiFi but is missing the connections of a supportive community. They stay in complete control over their Cohive space, choosing the days and times to open that best suits their workweek. And safety and security is at the forefront of Cohive’s values. “Our strict membership validation process and verified booking system provides complete peace of mind when joining as either a member or host.” Josephine adds.

We look forward to Cohive Collective’s successful model expanding into the local area so, if you feel you and your home workspace would be a great addition to the Cohive community, they’d love to hear from you. Any host who signs up in the month of March will receive double the income (“for each paying member’s bum on seat”) who joins their space during the month of April*. 
Register your interest to become a host at https://cohive.com.au/become-a-host and mention this Ku-ring-gai Living post to receive the double income offer or email us at hello@cohive.com.au

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