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Grab your laptop and step away from the mess and distractions. If you’ve always wanted a beautiful space nearby to go to get some work done, you’ll love what two local ladies have come up with…

Working from home – the dream for many of us. While our traditional colleagues are wrangling with the queues for the 340 in the pouring rain on Penshurst Street, we’re cosy in our pyjamas kicking productivity goals on our brand new MacBook Pros.

The reality of working from home can be very different though: distracting dirty dishes piling up in the sink, kids’ stuff strewn everywhere after the rush of the morning drop-off, hours of Netflix just the push of a button away and the loneliness of having nobody to bounce ideas off.

It was this pain-point that Josephine Borovac and her sister Carmel were trying to solve when they founded their new business venture, Cohive Collective. “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, and a commute time we could not afford. We knew what was really needed 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 a local community, the distractions are removed and it’s an inspiring, productive space. We let the dream idea of flexible home workspaces grow organically, built on trust and community spirit.”

So from this Cohive Collective was born. Think of it like Air Bnb for the coworking world. On the one side, the platform enables people to list their available space to earn 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.

“We used our own homes in Castle Cove and North Ryde as prototypes in 2018,” says Josephine. “Now we have our first Cohive Space in Willoughby. The host of this space was a member at Castle Cove and recognised she should bring the magic to her own home. She still works from Castle Cove and North Ryde on the days when her children are home, and she runs Cohive at her Willoughby home on alternate days.”

There are, of course, the more traditional coworking spaces available but Carmel knows the special possibilities that working in one of Cohive Collective’s spaces can bring. “We are neighbourhood coworking home spaces, and we’re 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, 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. Your tribe will be intimate and the people will be on similar paths.”

For people thinking of becoming hosts there are many benefits too. “Obviously there is the secondary income stream that comes from hosting,” says Josephine. “But our hosts are also finding the opportunity to build a supportive professional network from the comforts of their home, create a better work/life balance with structuring of their working hours, and are combating isolation and loneliness by having their own tribe of like-minded women to share ideas and knowledge with.  A typical host will have the beautiful workspace and great wi-fi but is missing the connections of a supportive community.”

Cohive Collective’s successful model is looking to expand to other areas in the near future but in the meantime our local area is the lucky one! If you are someone who works from home and you’re looking for inspiration in a flexible and affordable way then Cohive Collective could be the perfect fit.

Special offer for WL members: The first 10 people to enquire via email will receive 2 free trial sessions at the Willougby Cohive, just mention Willoughby Living. E: hello@cohive.com.au – the offer is valid for the month of November.