Not ready to make the financial commitment to a permanent desk but sick of the same old coffee shop? Here are five other options when it comes to working spaces for freelancers – and all cost significantly less than the £6,000 per year that many entrepreneurs in London spend in cafes and restaurants between meetings.
(1) Free pop-up coworking
From 14 January to 26 February, The Office Group has opened up Albert House, a workspace building just off of Old Street roundabout in London, to anyone who would like to give coworking a try. The space includes moveable desks and comfy armchairs, as well as books and artwork to inspire nomadic workers struggling for inspiration. Elsewhere in the country, Jelly Liverpool offers regular popup coworking events at locations throughout the city.
(2) The gym
Many of the branches of major gym chains including Virgin Active, David Lloyd and Bannatyne’s have “club lounges” with comfy seats and good WiFi which are perfect for getting work done in – and some even have boardrooms bookable for meetings. With 65 per cent of those surveyed by Bupa recently of the belief that they would be more productive if they exercised more, working in a fitness-focused space should also make taking a break from emails to work out easier.
(3) Members’ clubs
Though applying for membership can take time – and yearly fees might seem expensive if you don’t plan to use the club regularly – having a secure space where you don’t have to ask someone to watch your laptop when you need to use the bathroom is invaluable, and many offer lots of other benefits too, including talks and masterclasses – not to mention impressive libraries in many older, more traditional ones. In London, The Landsdowne Club’s regular networking breakfasts make it particularly good for entrepreneurs looking for a base in London, while the St James’s Club is home to the Manchester Business Network.
(4) Gallery and theatre lobbies
Often empty and tranquil during weekday mornings, many public spaces have fast internet, excellent transport links and comfortable seating, as well as interesting lunchtime events to reenergise remote workers who need a boost of inspiration. Just minutes away from Waterloo station, The Royal Festival Hall, which is open 364 days a year, makes a particularly good base in London.
(5) Airport lounges
Not just the preserve of those with a first class ticket in hand, almost all UK airports and many worldwide business destinations offer lounges that can be pre-booked online for less than the cost of an extra bag. Available for up to three hours before your flight, such spaces offer tranquillity, plug sockets and unlimited refreshments, making the entry fee well worth it.
When your young business has got to the stage where you’re beginning to think about permanent space, have a look at our guide to finding your first office space.
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