The life of a freelancer can be a lonely one. Many turn to working in cafes, which brings its own anxiety when you don’t want to surrender your spot despite being at your caffeine limit (as it happens, I'm in that very situation as I write this).
Co-working spaces are nothing new, but many require a regular commitment, which places them out of reach financially. New Perth business My Hustle is solving this problem by turning small bars into casual weekday co-working spaces. My Hustle’s founder, Melissa Bowen, worked as a journalist before starting a consultancy business after having three children. Her family operates Picabar in Northbridge and South Fremantle’s Percy Flint, which is the first bar being offered as a My Hustle space. In addition to offering freelancers somewhere to work, the concept also provides venue owners with another revenue stream.
“It’s been a really difficult time for bars and lots of good venues have closed,” says Bowen. “It doesn’t make sense for a bar like Percy Flint, like lots of small bars in the suburbs, to be open all hours of the day, but the place is sitting there ready to go. It’s comfortable and relaxed. It doesn’t suit everyone, but it suits lots of people.”
Workers can choose between private booths or high communal tables and enjoy free wi-fi, unlimited coffee and tea, and discounts at surrounding businesses. A meeting room also is available, and the bar’s jasmine-filled courtyard makes it easy to get up from your (hot) desk.
“We’ve set up a program of benefits to help the businesses on our strip,” says Bowen. “The Local Hotel is giving 15 per cent off accommodation and lunches, there’s 10 per cent off yoga, and 10 per cent off at the hairdresser. They’re the kind of things we think would help people trying to juggle busy households and small businesses.”
Bowen says her intention is to operate from Percy Flint for six months before approaching other bars. My Hustle plans to handle the booking and marketing of the service, and run personal and business-development workshops in its spaces.
“We’ll have data to show the revenue into the bar, but also what it’s done for business,” she says. “We’re able to track people that book functions, whether business or private. We also give co-workers a keyring they can use over the bar at any time to get 10 per cent off.”
Co-working spaces start at $35 for a half-day and discounts are available for regular bookings. Bookings can be made via myhustle.space.
My Hustle at Percy Flint
211 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Mon to Thu 8am–4pm