British Columbia

New co-working space in Burnaby part of global trend

A new business in Burnaby, B.C. is hoping to take co-working to the next level, as young entrepreneurs get on board a growing global trend towards office sharing.

'We're mimicking the way we live our lives, no longer is working life isolated,' says Spacekraft's Darryl Bosa

Darryl Bosa has set up Spacekraft, a new space where freelancers and entrepreneurs can share offices and collaborate. (CBC)

As a TV producer, Rene Brar doesn't need a conventional office. He sells TV formats internationally and works with a partner in San Francisco over Skype and Google Docs.

But after a stint working from home with a baby, Brar realized he needed some space of his own — and began co-working, sharing a larger office building with other entrepreneurs in Burnaby, B.C.

"For me it's flexibility. I've been working at home, but I had a baby," he said. "I needed a good space."

Brar is not alone. The trend towards co-working is catching on. By 2018, it's estimated there will be 12,000 coworking buildings around the world. 

It was this growing movement that inspired Darryl Bosa to set up the building where Brar now works, known as Spacekraft.

"We're seeing what the trends are for the future of work — we need open spaces," said Bosa. "We're mimicking the way we live our lives. No longer is working life isolated. It's now really becoming integrated."

Naive creativity

Bosa says his building isn't industry-specific, because he wants tenants to benefit from collaborating with those outside their industry.

"When you have a naive set of eyes and a naive mind, having a discussion with someone from a completely different industry; there's a lot more creativity and excitement that comes out of that."

Bosa's building covers 10,000 square feet and houses 74 desks, 13 private offices, a kitchen, Skype rooms, ping pong room, high speed internet — and a multitude of different businesses all working out of a shared workspace.

Companies can rent private offices starting at $1,000 per month, while individuals who just need a space to work can pay from $500 for 24/7 access to the workspace.

U.S. firm WeWork, which started the trend of co-working a few years ago, is now worth $10 billion. But Bosa says co-working is moving to the next level — his company is even offering health benefits and a speaker series.

David Uy, who rents an office at Spacekraft for his tech startup The Virtual Fantasy League, says the real sell is the collaborative work environment.

"I feel like we're part of one large company and everybody is doing their own thing. We have great programs like, once a week, all the managers get together to talk about problems like a little support system," said Uy.

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