Coworking or shared working environments is hardly a new concept but it’s still widely known for being the domain of creatives or those working in IT. Increasingly however sole professionals are joining the fold.

Clarence Professional Group is a Sydney virtual space dedicated to legal professionals. The offices are serviced and come with solicitor chambers. Strong demand has led to another location being opened with the company now boasting more than 300 clients, more than half of which are lawyers.

Both The Law Society of NSW CEO Michael Tidball and NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Lloyd Babb have welcomed the shift to virtual offices.

“The sole practitioner who works and benefits the community and their clients and the Australian economy does terrific work, but work solitaire and work in isolation can become a negative thing,” explained Mr. Tidball.

He goes on to talk about how great it is seeing seasoned practitioners embracing informal mentoring roles and offering support between each other.

Mr. Babb is in agreement with this statement. He admits that this profession is incredibly demanding and challenging, and there are ups and downs. Mr. Babb says, “Everything’s great when you’re at a peak and everything seems pretty awful when you’re in a trough, so it’s lovely to be able to talk to someone in the office next door when that happens.”

He discusses more concerning workplace wellbeing, such as being a part of a group and removing the isolation of working alone.

Director of Clarence, Tony Jansz, talked about an increase in connectivity by utilising coworking, saying, “We are able to enter relationships now with the law society, with Leap, with LexisNexis…” and credits the scale of the business as being the catalyst to undertake negotiations and approach organisations on sole practitioners’ behalves.

Other benefits of coworking include:

  • A more flexible working environment
  • Meeting new people and increasing your professional network
  • Increased productivity- a study found that 85% of people working in shared working spaces reported they are more productive
  • Reducing overhead costs like printers, photocopying and internet
  • Working at an office or location that would usually be out of your budget

So if you are reading this and are a sole professional craving change, coworking could be the way to go. The possibilities and benefits are sure to provide a working solution that allows you to progress professionally.

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