Your Coffice is the new Black

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Fitzroy Street Life

 By now you’re probably familiar with the clack, clack of a keyboard at your local café these days, and wonder what’s going on? It’s the sound of the new workforce, the people who prefer to work from cafes, bars and restaurants, and meet their collaborators and clients anywhere else but their office.

Known as the mobile workforce, orbiting employees, the creative class or even the new nomads, these are the people you’ll see peering over the top of their screens, gazing into the distance or pounding their fingers of fury into the keyboard, getting their deadlines met, their proposals fired out and their next meeting set up.  Some are self-employed, others are creative types looking for a way to disrupt their routine, and others are employees with bosses who work on the basis that the outcomes are what matters to business, not the geographical location of the inputs.

Jo Jo Boyd, a radio broadcaster known as Mama Rock on 88.3 Southern FM works from The Pelican. One day a week she heads to the café where she puts together her show, chooses her tracks, meets Southside musicians, sources CDs and interviews for the show.  A music promoter by trade, she runs Stealth Blond from her home office but always takes meetings and briefs her collaborators from the Pelican. “I love being able to take my dog Lemmy with me to work,  walk to the café and clear my head, use the Wi-Fi and power, and meet like-minded people in a place where the vibe is just right to work, think and play – at the same time!” she said.

Entrepreneur Matt Timson has always worked in odd spots. He’s been a film and television producer and director, and first cottoned onto the Coffee when he was working in Turkey on a shoot. Here he was working with a guy who relocated his office to his beach-house, taking his employees with him, or letting them use remote computers to file their daily work.  Matt now says he’s so used to having a coffice, he’s programmed to be a dysfunctional office worker.  “When my day starts, my house is my home until I walk down to Il Fornaio, get a coffee, answer my emails and have a few meetings. Once I get home, it becomes my office.”

Others really enjoy being able to meet clients without the traditional power play of meeting in an office. It’s neutral territory where people can relax, talk more casually and bring ideas to the table without feeling the stress of an office environment.

Francesco Lammana from The Pelican says “We have about a dozen businesses running from our place in any given week – from tech start-ups to community based organisations through to film directors, social media types, researchers, publicists and talent agencies. There’s even a top-notch commercial director who puts all his storyboards together on our deck, and we’re used to it now. We offer WIFI to our customers, and know when to leave them be to get on with their work.”


Looking for the most popular Coffices? Check out the following places in St Kilda!


Banff Café – 145 Fitzroy St

Barney Allen’s – 14 Fitzroy St

Cacao Fine Chocolates and Pastries – 52 Fitzroy St

Fitzrovia – 155 Fitzroy St

Hotel Urban – 35 Fitzroy St

Il Fornaio – 2 Acland St

Mahjong – 165 Fitzroy St

Miss Jackson – 2/19 Grey St

Milk the Cow – 157 Fitzroy St

St Kilda Pelican – 16 Fitzroy St

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