Co-working has revolutionised life for freelancers, providing funky and flexible work space, that won’t break the bank.
More interesting, inspiring and sociable than a home or private office, co-working can also be good for business, with opportunities for networking and collaboration on tap (not to mention free coffee!)
There are over 150 co-working spaces in London alone and they all appeal to a slightly different crowd. Size and location can have an influence on the vibe and culture of a space, as can the services, support and events on offer. So, it’s important to check which best matches your style and way of working before signing up.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your first, next, or just a temporary co-working home, here’s our pick of London’s best spots for freelancers.
• Craving community? Huckletree
Huckletree makes an extra special effort to build and nurture a diverse community, with freelancers and entrepreneurs from all walks of life. With two locations – Shoreditch and Clerkenwell – Huckletree gets to know all potential members before they join, to find out where they’ll fit into the community and who they might like to meet. They also offer ‘pay as you go’ and part-time membership options, to better suit the freelance lifestyle.
• Best on a budget: Ace Hotel
It might look fancy from the outside, but inside the Ace Hotel you’ll find one of the best free co-working spaces in the city. Almost the entire lobby space has been given over to work tables and comfy chairs, with fast Wi-Fi and plenty of charging sockets nearby. There’s also a café for when you need some sustenance, plus it’s open 24/7 for any night owls out there.
If working alongside hundreds of other entrepreneurs and small businesses isn’t your cup of tea, then these more low-key spaces could be for you. Situated in East London – Cook’s Yard in Stepney and Winkley Studios in Bethnal Green – both house just 16 desks each, offering a homely and peaceful environment. They’re also dog-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend with you!
• Caffeine kick? The Coffice
If you love working in cafes but get frustrated by the slow Wi-Fi, lack of plug sockets and feeling like they’re going to kick you out any second, then you’ll love The Coffice. As the name suggests, it’s part coffee shop, part office, so along with superfast Wi-Fi and plug sockets by every chair, you also have access to artisan coffee, tasty treats and even table service. Situated by Old Street Roundabout, it’s free to use and you can stay as long as you like, whether for a full day, or quick stop between meetings. Members of The Work Crowd can claim 50% off hotdesking at The Brew here.
• Work and wellbeing: The Greenhouse
When you’ve been stuck at a desk all day, there’s nothing better than giving your body a good old stretch! And at The Greenhouse you’ve got no excuse not to, with a yoga studio right there on site. This co-working and wellbeing space in Newington Green is home to creative freelancers and entrepreneurs, with space for up to 80 people. It also has a cosy café, giving you plenty of opportunities to take a break and catch up with your fellow co-workers.
• Best for babysitting: Bloomsbury Beginnings
For those juggling the freelance life with looking after little ones, Bloomsbury Beginnings has just the thing. With a co-working space and crèche in the same building, you can get on with your professional endeavours, safe in the knowledge that your bundles of joy are just a few metres away in the on-site crèche. Desks and crèche space are available in three hour slots and you can also take advantage of various events and courses that take place here.
• Always on the move? Workspace
If working from just one area of London is too limiting for you, Workspace has the answer. With 16 co-working business clubs spread all over the Capital, its ‘Everyday, Everywhere’ membership option allows you to use any one of its spaces, any day of the week, with access to networking, collaboration, events, not to mention discounted coffee! So, wherever you happen to find yourself, you always have somewhere to call home. Plus, members of The Work Crowd can claim 50% off at Workspace here.