19/01/2018 - 14:03

Flux expands, innovates

19/01/2018 - 14:03


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The finishing touches are under way at the fitout for Flux’s two new floors at Parmelia House, which feature a shift away from full open plan.

Flux expands, innovates
The stairwell linking both floors is core to the IA Group-designed fitout that aims to create zones where people can bump into each other. Photos: Daniel Carson

The finishing touches are under way at the fitout for Flux’s two new floors at Parmelia House, which feature a shift away from full open plan.  

Within two years of opening on St Georges Terrace, co-working space FLUX has doubled its footprint at Parmelia House, which is owned by joint-venture partner Hawaiian.

Late last year, Flux committed to an additional 1,418 square metres across levels six and seven, extending its original tenancy of the basement, ground floor and level one with total occupancy comprising almost 2,800sqm under a 10-year lease.

Spacecubed founder and managing director Brodie McCulloch, who oversees Flux as part of the co-working hub’s ‘community’, said the expansion provided 56 offices and more than 150 resident desks and co-working spaces, catering to over 450 people per day.

More than 80 per cent of level six had already been leased and about 55 per cent of level seven, with tenants moving in by the end of February, he said.

“The way people work is changing,” said Mr McCulloch, a 2017 40under40 alumnus.

“People want the best opportunities for accessing new ideas and people.

“With 40 per cent of the workforce being made up of millennials by 2020, we are expecting the trend towards working in collaborative spaces  to grow not just with startup companies, but also larger corporates looking to attract and retain the best talent.”

Evidence of this shift was the fact that major companies including Microsoft, environmental consultancy Gaia Resources, Redback Energy and Western Power had taken up space at Flux.

Mr McCulloch said Flux offered more flexibility than traditional leases, with businesses able to easily change staff numbers through desk hire.

“People can come in and set up their desk in the same day, whereas a traditional lease is a three- to six-month process,” he said.

“We were going to put in more open plan and hot desks. Through member feedback we found that, while people wanted access to that, they also wanted their own space.

“This is why we’ve built bi-fold door offices – bigger companies can have their own break-out area, an office, meeting room and open plan.”

A stand-up meeting room, the inclusion of a new virtual and augmented reality lab and agribusiness technology and innovation hub are other features showcased across the two floors at Flux, which have been gutted and refurbished with an internal connecting stairwell.

While there were existing elevators, IA Group regional director WA/SA Nicholas O’Hara, who has overseen the fitout of Flux since its inception, said creating the staircase was core to achieving Flux’s aim of providing an environment that encouraged collaboration and new connections.

“It’s a centrepiece for ‘bump zones’; at the top and bottom of those stairs are areas where people can bump into each other,” Mr O’Hara told Business News

“We’ve created different zones through design – bump areas located between ‘go-to’ destinations (desks), collaborative and flexible areas where anyone can work based on the requirement they have in that particular moment.”

Mr O’Hara said co-working had blurred the barriers between the look and feel of home, cafe and work environments, with Flux embracing an overall industrial design, aiming to appeal to all ages.

“In a few years you’ll see a lot more of what is created here,” he said.

“I think you’ll find the term ‘office’, probably in the next generation, will go; it will be co-working environments.”

Mr McCulloch said he had plans to create more co-working hubs across Perth, including Northbridge and Fremantle, in the next five years. 

“For larger companies, if you’ve got staff that live in Fremantle then they can work in Fremantle three days a week and come into head office twice a week,” he said.

“From an employee retention perspective, that means you can work five minutes from your house and walk into work rather than commuting into the city every day. It will be interesting to see how quickly that shifts.

“Flux, combined with Spacecubed, now manages over 5,000sqm of space including a number of innovation hubs.

“These hubs are focused on areas of competitive advantage including mining, energy, agriculture, health and social impact. We think by increasing our members access to big opportunities we will see high-growth companies more frequently.”

Mr McCulloch said he had worked closely with Hawaiian to ensure Flux wasn’t just a space for his members, but also an amenity to the building and other tenants to utilise its meeting rooms, project and event spaces.

Hawaiian chief executive Russell Gibbs said Flux had been an amazing success.

Hawaiian is proud to be involved with such an innovative business concept helping to grow opportunities here in Perth,” he said. 


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