The way we work is changing. Self-employment has grown rapidly over the past couple of decades – freelancers now make up around 15 per cent of the working population.
There’s also been a significant rise in start-ups, entrepreneurship and flexible working, meaning more and more of us are looking for places to work outside the traditional office. As a result, the past few years have seen an influx of new workspaces, from the quirky to the professional to the wellness-focused, many featuring members club-style perks. Here’s our guide to the best co-working spaces in London, with individual desks, meeting rooms and office suites available. Prepare for some serious office envy…
There are now four branches of Uncommon across London, in Borough, Highbury & Islington, Liverpool Street and Fulham. All are wellbeing-focused, and use space to promote a healthier way of working, drawing inspiration from Scandinavian design. Plants and greenery are dotted around, personalised music playlists are available and members can benefit from wellness perks like rooftop yoga and healthy juices. Their newest venue near Parsons Green even boats its own Ficus tree, as well as a Zen Garden, allowing al fresco working during the summer months. From £249pm.
With a handful of locations across Clerkenwell and Spitalfields – and many more in the pipeline – Fora offers bright and airy workspaces with communal desk spaces, meeting rooms, phone pods and larger office spaces. With a dedicated wellness suite, on-site Italian restaurant and “wet room” boasting complimentary towels, toiletries, hairdryers and straightners, their Central St location is particularly luxe. From £425pm.
One of the most well-known co-working companies in the world, WeWork have numerous offices across London in locations like Soho, Monument and Tower Bridge. These feature a mixture of big private spaces, office suites and individual desks available for rent, with free coffee, craft beer and a dedicated WeWork app. From £450pm.
The main selling point of The Clubhouse is its private roof terrace, which boasts panoramic views of the city. Located on the 7th and 8th floors of One Angel Court, it attracts business types, with meeting rooms, flexible meeting areas and hot desks available. From £1200pa.
The first co-working venture from the Soho House Group, Soho Works is unsurprisingly chic. Membership is separate to Soho House, although there perks involved – and there’s direct access to Shoreditch House for those who are members of both. Alongside the working areas, you have access to a library, a reading room, a café and a roof terrace, plus a workshop filled with arts and crafts and a 3D printer. Enquire for membership fees.
Imagine taking a break from work to pop downstairs to hear a talk from Hilary Clinton or Serena Williams. That’s the kind of thing you can expect from The Wing, the American members club and co-working space set to open its first London site this Autumn. The brand is built around women’s empowerment, and the London outpost is due to feature a portrait room honouring inspiring British women throughout history. It’s being housed in a five-story townhouse, complete with a tea room and multiple terraces, and if its American branches are anything to go by the interiors will be very trendy – think lots of powder pink, huge windows and custom-made furniture. Prices haven’t yet been announced, but clubs in New York cost $215 per month, or $2,350 a year.
Huckletree have locations in Shoreditch, White City and Clerkenwell, all with a quirky, friendly vibe – founder Gabriela Hersham’s vision was to create ‘a place where the best tech businesses work alongside each other, sharing knowledge and ideas.’ Members benefit from wellness perks like free yoga, running clubs and in-house massages, as well as meditation yurts, urban gardens and relaxing breakout areas. The White City location is ideal for parents: there’s a Kids Studio so members can bring their young children to work, and the Power Parents package offers subsidised membership alongside a programme of events to assist in building a business. From £175pm.
Working in cafes has its benefits, but it also comes with issues. Will there be plugs available? Have you spent enough to warrant your stay? Do you need to order a fifth coffee? The Workroom is a new concept which aims to dispel these anxieties and legitimise the trade-off, allowing freelancers to work in lovely restaurant spaces simply by booking ahead with an app. So far five D&D restaurants have signed up, including Bluebird Chelsea and White City, 100 Wardour St and Fiume – all great eateries, which are busy in the evenings but usually quiet during the day. All are equipped with fast Wi-Fi, plug socks, comfortable seating and complimentary tea, coffee and water. You’re guaranteed a good lunch too – and if you’re lucky you might even get to try some free samples while the chefs work on recipe tasting. £10 for a day pass, bundles available at a reduced rate.