Although Zoe Joseph had planned to open her new business, Co-Work Merimbula, much earlier this year, she is diplomatic about the delays that have meant she hasn’t been able to open the doors until now.
“I’m fairly well practised at accepting what is out of my control,” she laughs.
“And on the upside, people have come out of COVID-19 restrictions with new ideas about working from home, working flexibly and working remotely, which ties in nicely with what we’re offering.”
The Co-Work Merimbula space, situated in the middle of the NSW South Coast town, has been fitted out with three private offices to be let on an annual basis; five desks, which will be rented out monthly; between six and 10 daily desks for hire; and a podcast room.
“We are adhering to COVID-19 regulations so we will only have six daily desks at the moment so we can keep people socially distant,” says Zoe.
The idea for a co-working space sprung from a conversation she had with her friend, Simone Eyles, who had recently moved from Wagga Wagga, where she frequently worked in a similar space.
“Simone really encouraged me to do it,” explains Zoe. “I’m so excited to be opening a business in Merimbula. There’s so much potential here to live in a beautiful coastal location and work remotely.”
Zoe knows firsthand about trying to run a business and the challenges of not having a designated place to work. One of the offices will be a base to run her other business, S.H.E Change, and she is looking forward to working less at her kitchen table, or in her car, as she commutes between her two homes in Bombala and Merimbula.
The entrepreneur was also motivated by seeing so many retail spaces close their doors in Merimbula, even before the past summer’s bushfires and COVID-19 restrictions impacted the local economy.
“I started thinking that maybe what Merimbula needed wasn’t more retail but services that help people stay here, or inspire them to move here,” says Zoe.
“We’ve had lots of expressions of interest, from a diverse range of occupations including authors and psychologists.
“You can work from here for a day, a week, a month or a year, and our long-term customers will have a code so they have 24/7 access.”
To celebrate the opening of Co-Work Merimbula, Zoe is offering the space for free for the remainder of June.
Visit the company’s website and use the code FREE JUNE to register.