Gone are the days of Dolly Parton’s working 9-5; more and more people are self-employed and gearing towards the startup culture. But even those who are in regular employment are working flexibly and remotely. So, traditional office space is slowly being taken over by a new breed of workspaces. Coffee shops are getting less popular as people want a fixed space, a professional address to call their business home. Coworking is now the way forward and London is filled with tons of cool spots!
I’m taking a look at 10 of my favourite coworking spots in London. There are new places popping up all the time, so I’m not saying these are definitely the best ones in London, but I’ve genuinely been to these places and they’re all amazing.
I’m naturally starting with WeWork because I’ve been renting out a WeWork office for over two years for my digital agency London Creative Designs. It was first attractive to me because of the flexibility of their terms – it’s just a one-month rolling contract!
The workspaces are super creative, which is perfect for my business, and it has the combination of fun and lively communal spaces with amazing sofas, to professional private offices and meeting rooms.
I love the fact that everything is included in your rent – the space, meeting room use, photocopying, stationery (pens, post-its, highlighters etc.), tea, coffee, biscuits and BOOZE! Yes, they’re the only coworking space we’ve seen to permanently have free booze. You can genuinely help yourself and pour yourself a pint whilst you’re at work.
They also run amazing events every single week. With huge names such as Virgin and Deloitte, we’re incredibly lucky as we get to attend them all for free!
Another absolutely major plus in my books, as I travel a lot, is that you can use ANY location in the world!!! They have 637 offices at the time of writing and are likely to have a ton more in the coming months. It really does allow for flexible working.
Therefore, anyone who has international business will absolutely love a WeWork membership. Plus, all the buildings are 24/7 access, so you can have that 4am call with China in a professional environment and drink all the cups of coffee you need to get you through the early start!
Oh, wait… they also allow dogs in the building!!! So, if you have a furry friend, they’re welcome in your office. And if you don’t like me, you get to play with all the cuties anyway!
When I first walked in, it felt more like a hotel than an office space. The suede sofas and luxurious bookcases gave it that sense of luxury. They also have a coffee machine and a selection of teas, but they’re mugs feel so much more homely, with cute artwork on each one. Plus, they have cordial with a sparkling water pump so you can make your own fizzy drinks!
Mindspace also have great meeting rooms, private offices, 24/7 access and event space, so they rival WeWork incredibly well. They don’t have any free booze though! They are also in 12 cities around the world with equally impressive workspaces in each.
TOG stands for The Office Group, and these guys have been around for a while, but I feel they don’t quite get their marketing right. Whenever I’ve received mail from them, I’ve always assumed they were quite corporate from how they portray things. This is not entirely true.
They have some great workspace which definitely has that coworking, cool vibe. They also run fantastic events all over London. These guys are actually basically only London-based, with 38 locations all over London. However, they now have one office in Bristol and one in Leeds. So, they’ve done exceptionally well around London.
These guys also have gyms and roof terraces in their buildings! These are two major pluses in my books. They also have tons of flexible membership options if you just want access to the buildings. From just £50 per month, you can get professional meeting rooms all over London.
I discovered these guys because of their incredible Bottomless Brunchthey do! I didn’t expect to walk into a restaurant and discover incredible coworking space! It’s situated really close to The Ace Hotel, which is an absolute hotspot for entrepreneurs and freelancers in Shoreditch.
Forge & Co is perfect if you’re an individual or a very small team and you’re looking for boutique and classy working space in the heart of Shoreditch. They have communal space, private studios and even meeting rooms for up to 12 people.
Their membership options are so flexible, starting at just a few days!
Now, these guys didn’t really get on my radar until a few business connections kept raving about how much cheaper they are than WeWork. See, I love the fact that most of these office spaces are completely transparent about their prices. WeWork advertises them clearly on their website, and they’re actually genuine. Central Working doesn’t advertise their prices, so I had to inquire and go for a tour.
I visited the “Shoreditch” location, which is basically in Old Street. My first impressions are that it felt more like school, but obviously a cooler version! There definitely wasn’t that trendy co-working feel I get from WeWork or Mindspace. And definitely not luxury like Forge & Co. It definitely did feel more budget.
However, I absolutely love their outdoor space! It was decorated with lights, and I was told that they do barbecues when the weather is nice, which I loved the sound of!
The most intriguing part of Central Working, which actually could become quite lucrative, is their focus on collaboration. They have a money back guarantee if you don’t make a “meaningful connection”. Here’s their wording:
We guarantee a meaningful connection to your business in your first 30 days or you, the founder, get your money back.
A lot of the other coworking spaces we mention have a built-in network, but none of them guarantees that you will get business from it. Definitely, one to check out!
Fora consider themselves the “premium” coworking solution and have taken inspiration from the hospitality industry. They collaborated with London-based architectural company Studio RHE to try and build 20 workspaces over 3-5 years. Fora’s co-founder, Enrico Sanna said: “Our professional spaces and concierge service increase productivity and encourage collaboration.”
They hugely value the design and also the member network. They have 11 locations in London so far with more plans going forward. Membership options start from as a little as £300 per month for the hot desking and then £475 per month for a private office space, which is amongst the cheapest I’ve seen in London considering the style of the place!
Second Home were the ones I would have rented from if I did not go to WeWork. They caught my eye for so many reasons, but their design was the main reason. The fact they called it a second home meant a lot to me considering the insane number of hours I spend working a week.
At the core of all their marketing is this statement:
“Teams at Second Home grow 10 times faster than the national average, thanks to our world-class design, unique services and creative community.”
This is quite some claim, but no actual stats to back it up from what I can see.
I haven’t checked them out since I’ve been a WeWork member so I cannot update you on their fees, and their website doesn’t say anything about them either. They’re quite big on promoting who their current members are, so perhaps feel free to take a look and contact them about their experience at Second Home.
I’m still really impressed at each venue though and just how stunning they are. They hire out their venues for private events, so do check them out if you want somewhere to impress your attendees!
When I first started out in business (wayyyyyy back in 2008 now!), Regus was basically the only office space on the map. They were everywhere! I rented from them as that was the “cool” thing to do. Now they just feel like an airport lounge to me.
However, I noticed that they’ve gone through a major revamp to even incorporate coworking, trying to fit in with the new trend.
Has anyone tried them out lately?
Their prices are incredibly cheap which makes me wonder a little about what they’re offering! I would love to hear from anyone who’s checked out a Regus office lately!
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Today, we’re giving a big shoutout to all you amazing, strong people who have beaten the horrible C-word. No, we’re not talking about coronavirus… for once!
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A harsher way of putting “the early bird catches the worm”! But if there are opportunities out there, then you need to be on the ball to capture them. It’s even more important now as there will be less available.
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