Co-working hubs are growing rapidly in popularity across Melbourne indicating a shift in the way we are choosing to work.

Research conducted by property experts Knight Frank has found the amount of space occupied by co-working hubs has risen by a significant 750 per cent in the past three years.

Co-working environments are places where different businesses work together in common, shared, rented spaces.

Their growing popularity has been attributed to the rise of freelancers and startups, technological change, a shift toward self-employment and greater numbers of Gen Y workers.

The extent to which economic transformation is now reflected in the use of commercial space has been documented by Knight Frank's research on the spread of co-working space across Melbourne.

In Melbourne, there are now 152 co-working spaces, comprising 58,880 square metres. Sixteen new spaces have opened this year, adding 13,000 square metres to the sector.

The majority of co-working operators are located in the city fringe in converted warehouses or factories. But a number are also choosing to locate in new office developments.

In Melbourne, there are 15 spaces occupying more than 1,000 square metres. The largest operator, Hub Melbourne, will take up 3,900 square metres in October in the Mail Exchange Building, at 693 Bourke Street in the city centre.

The average size of co-working hubs in Melbourne is 385 square metres. There are 84 operators occupying between the 100 square metres to 500 square metre spaces, according to the Knight Frank research.

Co-working spaces account for 0.8 per cent of total office stock throughout Melbourne.

The city centre has the second largest volume of co-working space totalling 16,935 square metres with 32 operators.

ProviderRankTotal sq m
Hub Melbourne13,900
Team Square23,100
ACMI X52,000
The Commons61,600
The Cluster71,600
The Arcade Melbourne81,230
Magic Johnston91,200

Global co-working giant WeWork is set to open its first Australian venue in Martin Place Sydney later this year and there is speculation about the group, dubbed the UBER or AirBandB of property, will set up shop in Melbourne.

The US giant has been linked as a potential tenant for several addresses, including at 161 Collins Street and Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter in Docklands.