Traffic approaching Sydney Harbour Bridge. The new “smart work hubs” will ease commuting stress by giving people places to work that are closer to home (Janie Barrett/Fairfax Media/Getty Images)

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Australia pilots hot-desk hot spots for workers in the ’burbs

Australia is piloting “smart work hubs”, hot-desking hotspots that would give people from the suburbs somewhere to do a day’s work – minus the daily grind of commuting into Sydney’s central business district.

Three are already up and running in Western Sydney and two more were announced last week for the Central Coast, north of the city.

Fast broadband, Wi-Fi, video conferencing, meeting spaces and even kitchens will be laid on for corporate workers, freelancers or anyone who can face neither long commutes nor the loneliness and temptations of working from home.

The two new centres will be at Gosford, a city on the Central Coast 76km north of Sydney, and Wyong, a major suburban area of the Central Coast 89km from Sydney.

Together, the new centres will get A$1.5m start-up funding, and will be tested for a year.

Around 40,000 Central Coast residents commute to work every day, which has a big impact on their “work-life balance”, said Chris Holstein, who represents Gosford in the New South Wales legislative assembly.

“By establishing Smart Work Hubs in locations with large commuter populations, we can take advantage of the benefits of using technology to support smart working practices,” he said.

“New technology and high speed broadband are changing the way people work and NSW has much to gain by taking a leading position in this emerging landscape.”