Rodney Janover, co-founder of Engine House Co-working, is quite content with the time he has. The pandemic gave him more time to enjoy his family, and develop a new business. Meanwhile, Engine House kept ticking along, supporting other entrepreneurs and businesses to adapt and grow flexible.

Cool spaces for business

Rod and his co-founders established their first space in St Kilda in 2017. Previously working in property, Rod was interested in the co-working trend overseas and beginning in Melbourne.

“I wanted to create cool spaces that people really want to spend their days in.”

Co-working spaces like Engine House play an important role in providing flexible support to entrepreneurs and business owners. “You can scale up and scale down really well. Everything’s bundled in to the one price…You don’t have to outlay a lot, or commit long term, or spend time and resources on preparing your own office space.”

Getting stuff done

Balancing time for deep focus and collaboration is a challenge for many entrepreneurs, and co-working spaces have evolved to deliver on both fronts. For Engine House, it was important to retain “the vibe of open co-working.” Rod often sees members leverage each other’s skills and expertise. “There’s an element of cross-pollination that goes on there.”

Rod encourages members to use the range of spaces available to stay productive, avoid distraction and get some privacy when it’s needed. Then when you need a break, you can “get amongst it and make some mates”.

Time for all his roles

Rod describes fatherhood as his “biggest role”, with a daughter born in early 2020. He and his partner Sheree (a successful co-working and business community founder in her own right) aim to share parenting responsibilities. “I feel blessed to have Sheree to share the load. Each of us can do what we want to do in our work and personal lives.”

Parenthood has changed his routine for the better; taking the “morning shift” with his daughter gets him up and going. “What better alarm clock, to see your child smiling?”. He’s learnt to be more organised and efficient, which he reflects will probably translate to his work life during the busier times ahead.

But his aim is to keep his priorities in focus on not overcommit. Exercise towards the middle of the day also plays a role in maintaining his balance and productivity.

“I don’t put a lot of things in my day. I have a calmer life than that.”

New opportunities

With Engine House’s two locations now running smoothly and requiring less of his time, he’s had the opportunity to not only enjoy more family time, but also develop a new business.

Hello Mello, a platform connecting people to health professionals in the medicinal cannabis space, is set to launch in the coming months. Previously planning to continue expanding the co-working portfolio, Rod reflects that his new venture only came about because of the extra time afforded by covid.

“Very grateful for the time and space that I’ve had to explore new things and be with my family.”