I discovered The Commons when I was recently living in Australia. I was fortunate to work in one of their creative spaces in South Melbourne. Going to work was fun and enjoyable due to the community and the environment they were building and it was hard to leave behind.
In 2020 THE GOOD PET HOME will be running a series profiling dog-friendly workspaces and it seemed only fitting to profile The Commons first. I caught up with CEO and Co-Founder Cliff Ho to hear what makes The Commons special and unique.
For people who have never heard of The Commons are you able to briefly explain what it is?
We’re a shared workspace, mindfully designed to help people connect and grow both personally and professionally.
How did start?
We started back in 2016, I was running my video production company at the time and needed a studio and office space, we thought it would be great to share the office with other creatives. What started as a side business is now my main business.
What's unique about The Commons compared to other co-working spaces?
All of our spaces are designed with meticulous attention to detail and the age-old idea of form follows function. Every feature of The Commons has been created to improve efficacy and general wellbeing of our members (including increased happiness with having dogs at work)! We also host a range of community and cultural events to inspire and encourage collaboration and new ideas. We offer scholarships to organisations committed to changing the world, such as Co-Ground, 1 Million Women and OnePlate. We’re also supporting solar and wind to help offset our energy-related carbon emissions as sustainability and environmental consciousness are key values of ours... Just to name a few!
Why did you decide to make it a dog-friendly space?
We read countless articles on the benefits to wellbeing and morale of having dogs at work, so the decision was easy — You can’t ignore the facts!
How do your members react to the dogs being around? And do they behave themselves? (that's the dogs!)
We actually have a probation for all potential ‘Doggo’s of The Commons’ just to make sure they’re friendly and well behaved! Our members and our Community Team love having dogs around and are constantly sharing cute photos with us on socials.
Do you own a pet?
I’m actually allergic to dogs so don't have one, but love them and always grew up with them as a kid! Now the dogs of The Commons are my pets!
What's next on the horizon for The Commons?
We’re set to open our fifth site in Cremorne a little later this year! It’s going to be our biggest space yet with multipurpose event spaces, a rooftop beer garden and arcade room!
The Commons is located in Melbourne and Sydney. Now if only they could open a space in New Zealand. Fingers crossed!
Author: Jodie Sinclair