When is an office not an office? When it’s a cool co-working space, complete with a cafe, bar, restaurant, gym, terrace and everything you could ever dream of to pep up your 9-5. With the rise of freelance culture and techie start-ups, it seems we all need more flexible workspaces, and when a coffee shop with patchy wi-fi just won’t cut it, these places will, whether you’re a lone wolf in search of a desk with benefits or a growing business after flexibility…
Lead image: The Ministry at Ministry of Sound (photo: James Jones)
1 Pavilion, the City & Kensington
Pavilion now has two London locations, one in Kensington and one in the City, plus a third soon to open in St James’. Pavilion City is a huge, 12-floor development with five floors of serviced office space, smart, industrial-chic interior design and one of the largest rooftop gardens in central London. Workspace options range from hot desks to penthouse office suites, or you could just pop into the cafe for a coffee and take advantage of the fast free wi-fi. Additional facilities include meeting rooms, lounges, showers, laundry, secretarial support and even bike storage and an on-site cycle repair shop. Foodies will be content, too. On-site there’s Drake & Morgan’s The Listing, while The Ivy Kensington Brasserie is incorporated into the Kensington branch. For an additional £25, you can get dual membership for both venues.
Price: Desks from £275pm
Flexibility: Both 3 month and 12 month contracts available on hot desks. For private offices, simple contracts mean you can adapt your membership as your business grows
Opening hours: Both locations are open 24/7, 365 days a year with key card access
Location: City Pavilion is right next to Cannon Street station. Kensington Pavilion is 2-minute walk to High Street Kensington Tube
Lunch options: City Pavilion has The Listing on site, while Kensington has The Ivy Kensington Brasserie
Further information: pavilionoffices.com
2 Fora, various locations
One of the trendier picks in London with many more locations opening up soon, Fora has plenty of amenities from personal lockers to free coffee and a gym. Fora offers communal open-desk areas, meeting rooms, study areas, presentation areas and sound-proofed phone pods, and larger enterprises can also rent out an OwnedOffice with workspace for all the team. This place has a modern, warehouse-chic vibe, a friendly concierge team and a cafe space to the front for those who just want to nip in and use the wifi for the price of a coffee. As of June 2018, Fora has locations in the Clerkenwell/Shoreditch area, with eight more locations due to open by 2020, starting with launches in Borough and Reading in July 2018.
Price: Desks from £425pm
Flexibility: Choose from anOpen Desk, Owned Desk or Owned Office
Opening hours: Open 24 hours during weekdays and 9am-11pm on Saturday
Location: No more than a 10 minute walk from a tube station
Lunch options: Award-winning chef Stevie Parle’s Italian restaurant, Palatino, is on site
Further information: foraspace.com
3 The Ministry, Borough
Global entertainment brand Ministry of Sound has dipped its toes into the co-working space market and opened The Ministry on 2 July. The Ministry is a unique blend of a private members club and a co-working space designed by Squire and Partners. An ideal fit for The Ministry are creative companies and professionals working in music, media culture and technology. Collaboration between different companies working in the space is of high priority. Included in the location is a 70-foot bar serving tea and coffee during the day, and harder drinks at night. There is also a full service restaurant. Other facilities include an immersive technology studio, a 36-seater cinema, sound proof production suites and serviced meeting rooms where you can order lunch at the push of a button.
Price: Memberships start at £60/month with a £90 registration fee
Flexibility: Choose from a club membership, private office, open office or fixed desks
Opening hours: 24/7 (just let them know)
Location: Short walk to Borough or Elephant & Castle
Lunch options: Restaurant on site along with coffee/tea
79-81 Borough Road SE1 1DN; theministry.com
4 Huckletree, various locations
Huckletree has three London locations, in White City, Clerkenwell and Shoreditch. A big supporter of startups, entrepreneurs and freelancers looking for places to work, Huckletree has a more accessible price point than most, and is all about the community – bringing creative minds together to forge new ideas (and actually make them happen). They also offer a wellbeing programme to help you out with that tricky work-life balance, from hip-hop yoga to mass meditation. Huckletree offers four different membership options, whether you want to work 10 days per month or lease your own studio.
Price: Prices from £175pm
Flexibility: Choose fromLight, Unlimited, Resident and Studio
Opening hours: Varies by location
Location: All a five-minute walk from the tube (for White City, use White City or Wood Lane stations; for Shoreditch, use Moorgate; for Clerkenwell, use Barbican)
Lunch options: Nothing in-house, but good options close by
Further information: huckletree.com
5 42 Acres, Shoreditch
42 Acres provides a different vibe to the co-working space market with a relaxed feel. Part of the tranquility while working is options for sitting or standing desks, yoga classes and homemade soup. If that doesn’t suit your needs completely, natural movement classes, guided meditations and sound baths are included as a member. Cozy up on their couches, sit on a pillow on the floor or use a standing desk. High ceilings and natural light are also key aspects to this spot. For a part time membership.
Price: Prices start at £50 per month
Flexibility: Memberships of 4 days/month, 10 days/month or unlimited days/month
Opening hours: Varies based on events
Location: 5 minute walk from Old Street
Lunch options: No in-house restaurant; kitchen is available
66 Leonard Street EC2A 4LW; 42acresshoreditch.com
6 Many Hands, Bermondsey
One of the newest co-working spaces in the market is Many Hands located in Bermondsey. Having opened in March of this year, it has entered the market of co-working with the idea of going above and beyond what you might normally be accustomed to. In terms of office space, they have anything you could want. It could be a hot desk, sound proofed music studio or a blank canvas space. As is the norm with office spaces, they have a café, bar, meeting rooms and yoga classes. The sense of community is also apparent as they do stress the importance of collaboration and working together.
Price: Desks start at £125 and private offices start at £350 per month
Flexibility: Choose from a Hot Desk or Private Office
Opening hours: 24 hour access
Location: 6 minute walk from Bermondsey
Lunch options: Nothing in-house, but there is a kitchen
100 Clements Road SE16 4DG; manyhandslondon.co.uk
7 We Work, 24 locations in London
We Work is an international company that has locations throughout the United States and Asia and even have 38 locations in London. All locations offer amenities such as front-desk service, office supplies and printers, phone booths and IT support. Depending on location, you will be able to choose from a few different desk options from a hot desk to a custom buildout. There are locations offered throughout London which makes it easy to find a convenient location.
Price: Hot desks start at £200pm at some locations
Flexibility: Choose from a custom Buildout, Private Office, Dedicated Desk or Hot Desk (depending on location)
Opening hours: 24/7 building access
Location: All convenient to Tube stations
Lunch options: Depends on location
Further information: wework.com
8 Launch22, King’s Cross
Launch22 is all about helping entrepreneurs get off the ground. In their ‘incubator’ they are willing to help you grow your business into what you want it to be. They have experts and workshops that are included in your membership to give you tips on what to do next. This is the ultimate 21st century co-working space with lounges, foosball tables, standing desks and is even dog-friendly. If you are looking to start your own business, Launch22 might be the perfect place for you.
Price: Packages start at £120 per month
Flexibility: Fixed desks or hot desks available
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8am-8pm
Location: 10 minute walk from King’s Cross St Pancras
Lunch options: Nothing in-house
32 Cubitt Street WC1X 0LR; launch22.co.uk
9 Blooming Founders, Shoreditch
Blooming Founders, formerly Blooms, is a female-focused co-working space located in the Shoreditch area of London. They are looking to help female entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses and are built on community and flexibility. They feature a network of support for females with workshops and spots to bounce ideas off like-minded women. Blooming Founders also has mentors and events to gain more and useful information. There are childcare services, lounges, free coffee/tea, a kitchen and 24-hour member access.
Price: Memberships start at £30 per month
Flexibility: Choose from a Passport, Club, House or Residence package
Opening hours: 24/7 access
Location: 5 minute walk from Liverpool Street
Lunch options: Kitchen
4 Christopher Street EC2A 2BS; bloomingfounders.com
10 Keyboards and Dreams, Farringdon
Keyboards and Dreams offers a co-working office space in what used to be an industrial building from the 80’s. Currently it is home to 12 passionate teams and has housed eight other businesses in the past. Their three-floor location includes meeting rooms, private offices and an open plan with 26 desks. This provides some versatility in who can work at Keyboards and Dreams.
Price: A dedicated desk starts at £300 per month
Flexibility: Choose from dedicated desks or a private office for 10-12 or 16 people
Opening hours: 24/7 access
Location: 5 minute walk from Farringdon
Lunch options: Kitchen and café
34-35 Hatton Garden EC1N 8DX; keyboardsanddreams.com
11 Club Workspace, various locations
There is bound to be a Club Workspace location close to you as they are scattered as far west as Chiswick, as far south as Dulwich, as far east as Bethnal Green and throughout the City. Club Workspace offers four different packages. If you want access to all 19 locations, it’s an option. If you want your own desk, that’s also an option. You can even look at Team Rooms for a bigger company or hangouts at the 10 different Club Workspace hangout locations.
Price: Memberships start at £150/month
Flexibility: Choose from Your Desk, a Hangout or Team Rooms
Opening hours: Currently open 8am-8pm Monday-Friday, but moving to 24 hours soon
Location: Close to tube stations
Lunch options: Varies from location to location
Further information: workspace.co.uk
12 ONDA, locations all over the world
While not a coworking space in itself, ONDA is perfect for the global nomad. ONDA is a carefully curated network of 35 workspaces, 75 members clubs and more than 100 events and experience across the world, so if you regularly find yourself continent hopping, this virtual club will offer you support wherever you find yourself. There are also 11 co-working spaces and seven members clubs on the books in London, including the aforementioned Fora and 42 Acres. ONDA’s fee is £80pm (20% discount if paid annually and for members under 30), which grants you six visits a year per members club and three visits a year per co-working space and health club (for further visits, you can join a specific club or pay a visitor fee).
Price: Memberships from £80pm
Flexibility: About as flexible as it gets
Openings hours: Varies from location to location
Locations: From Perth to Los Angeles and growing
Lunch options: The world is your oyster
Further information: ondalife.com
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