Published May 17, 2022

Helping SMBs Build Financial Resilience with a new flexible office space model


Written by Daniel Gunning

Member since Jul 7
Read time:
10 mins


Daniel Gunning, CEO, Spacenow 

  • Financial resilience is a major aspect of what Spacenow allows, beyond being able to work from cool spaces. It means businesses are not locked in with long-term leases and spaces they don’t need, they can scale up and down based on needs and levels of activity (today’s economic landscape is pretty uncertain), and it also allows people who want to launch a business to do so while minimising risks 
  • On the other end, Spacenow has helped businesses create new revenue avenues by renting out their unused spaces (i.e hotel rooms or airbnbs transformed into office spaces, photo shooting studios, ghost kitchens, etc). In the case of Elizabeth Walker, she’s for example been able to offer her luxury brands clients very fancy spaces where they can organise product launches, media events, etc. 

Tashi Dorshi, Head of FlexSpace, JLL 

  • As the head of FlexSpace for ANZ, Tashi has seen first hand the move to a more flexible working model across Australia, and businesses’ growing need for a new model. It’s not just about working remotely from home, or implementing a “flexible work” policy - there is a deeper shift needed in the market about how commercial space is used  
  • Tashi can share insights into what commercial landlords are doing with their assets and flex space in response to tenants’ needs

Fiona MacDonald, CEO, ScienceAlert  

  • Our entire team at ScienceAlert works remotely, and we always have. We still get together every quarter (or so - depending on the pandemic!) and use Spacenow to book meeting rooms so we can be in the same space and brainstorm, without needing to rent an office.
  • Spacenow an incredible model, it shows all the options near you, gives you detailed features for different rooms, and allows you to book them easily and instantly.
  • The benefits of a flexible working model for ScienceAlert is that we all get to have the work/life balance we desire. And our staff can actually live in places they can afford to buy homes! We have writers in the Blue Mountains, Newcastle, Melbourne, Canberra, Seattle, Manchester - I'm on the Central Coast. Having all of us live in the same city would mean we'd miss out on the diverse talent we've been able to find by not being restricted by location.
  • We're all more efficient working from home as we don't waste time with meetings and chat. But we use collaboration tools to stay connected and manage our workflow.
  • It's still very important to get together in person though, as that's where the magic happens. But because we don't pay rent for a permanent office, we can splurge on these get-togethers and rent a nice office space and go out for dinner - as well as fly everyone in and get hotel rooms.
  • We enjoy our time as a team and don't feel trapped by having to all live in the same city and give up the time we currently have with our families and pets. 
  • I was promoted to CEO as I had my first child, and I would have never been able to make that work if we'd been in an office 9-5.

Elizabeth Walker, Founder & CEO, Doyen PR

  • Elizabeth is using Spacenow to work flexibly with her team. She believes that a fully flexible office and commercial space model is the future. 
  • Using Spacenow has helped her save money while being able to increase flexibility and agility. 
  • As part of ther PR agency services for luxury brands, she also hosts a lot of events and launches. Clients don’t necessarily have big budgets but still want to be creative. Using Spacenow’s Creative Spaces has helped Elizabeth attract clients and create great wins for them for minimal costs as she can offer them a wide variety of spaces that can be rented out just for the amount of time needed (i.e a few hours, 1x day,...)
  • Elizabeth still has a permanent office space in the city so she can still meet with her team - especially the junior team members who need mentoring. However, she works a lot remotely from home or other flexible spaces, so she only needs to rent out a small office space, which she can also consider renting out on Spacenow when she’s not using it
  • For Elizabeth, the Spacenow marketplace and overall the fully flexible office space model’s main advantage comes down to reducing operational costs and adding value to workers and clients

[Speaker TBC] The Executive Centre - INTRO NOTE + Q&A ONLY

  • Marine to work with TEC speaker to help shape intro note 


The end of JobKeeper, rent relief and other COVID stimulus initiatives are coming to an end. While large organisations will likely be able to bounce back quite easily, these measures will have a serious financial impact on Australian SMBs and start-ups who are already struggling.

It seems everyone is making bold statements about building resilience and embracing , but what are actual immediate solutions small businesses can put in place to both save money, create new revenue avenues, and adapt to a much more flexible and agile business model and workforce?

Proptech start-up Spacenow, which was a finalist of the SmartCompany 2020 Resilience Awards last December, has helped thousands of SMBs across Australia build financial resilience since the start of the pandemic. They've helped workers adapt so they can work remotely without being stuck at home, and helped businesses save money and/or create new revenue avenues by offering a whole new way of using/renting flexible commercial space, any type of space, on the go.

On Wednesday, April 21st @5:30pm at The Executive Centre in Barangaroo (+ in livestream), Spacenow’s CEO Daniel Gunning will be joined by experts including:

  • Tashi Dorjee, Head of Flex Space for JLL
  • Alexi Boyd,  Small Biz Matters host
  • Successful female SMB owners Fiona MacDonald from ScienceAlert and Elizabeth Walker from Maven Luxury who have both fully embraced the flexible commercial and office space model both for their organisation but also to offer new services to their clients, and innovate 

Together, they will discuss:

  • The financial and operational challenges currently faced by SMBs, and the impact the end of Covid stimulus measures is already having, in particular when it comes to commercial space
  • How Aussie businesses can fully tap into the new flexible commercial space opportunity, and resilience success stories from last year
  • Different ways flexible space can be used to save money and/or create new revenue streams for businesses, remove the barriers and lower risk for entrepreneurs looking to launch a business, as well as offer an alternative for remote workers stranded at home without a connection with the wider community
  • SMB owners' own experience using the flexible commercial space model to scale commercial space/office spend up and down - whether they need 1x desk for a remote workers, a meeting room for the day, an event space for a product launch or a full office suite for a month
  • The importance of building a sense of community back and continuing to foster human connections and innovation in a new world where work is something you do, rather than a place you go to
  • How SMBs can shape a new, truly flexible and agile reality for themselves while actually saving money


  • 5:30pm - intro by TEC (5min) 
  • 5:35pm - 6:15pm - Panel discussion moderated by Alexi (40min)
  • 6:15pm - 6:30pm - Q&A moderated by Alexi, and including TEC speaker (15min)
  • 6:30pm - 6:35pm - Closing remarks by Alexi (5min)
  • 6:35pm - 7:30pm - Networking, food & drinks (1h)


Images for socials available here

Promotion copy examples: 

  • Save your spot for a unique Panel Discussion with @Spacenow , @JLL and SMB owners at @TheExecutiveCentre on April 21st to discuss how SMBs can build financial resilience with a new flexible office space model
  • Join me for a panel discussion with  @JLL, @Spacenow and small business owners on April 21st at @TheExecutiveCentre to discuss how SMBs can build financial resilience with a new flexible office space  model
  • End of COVID stimulus and rent relief: let's discuss how SMBs can build financial resilience with a new flexible office space model. Join this unique panel discussion with expert from @JLL, @Spacenow, and female business owners Fiona Macdonald @ScienceAlert & Elizabeth Walker @DoyenPR - April 21st @TheExecutiveCentre

It’s the end of COVID stimulus and we’re entering a future of flexibility. Learn how a new office space model can power financial resilience at this @Spacenow panel event with FlexSpace expert from @JLL and founders of @ScienceAlert & @DoyenPR on Wednesday 21st April at 5:30PM! The event is kindly being hosted by @TheExecutiveCentre in Barangaroo (live-streamed too!). Register hre to guarantee your spot! Hope to see you there