Coworking spaces are increasingly popular across London– with over 150 venues now available in the capital, occupied by a growing population of mobile workers. It’s not just freelancers that enjoy the benefits – start-ups with small numbers of employees benefit from the lower costs and established companies appreciate the chance to share ideas.
A number of popular coworking spaces have grown in the Old Street and Shoreditch areas, unsurprisingly due to the growth of technology companies around Silicone Roundabout. Here are our top reasons for using coworking spaces in the area.
1. Build relationships and network
A key element to growing any business is building a strong network. After all, don’t they say it’s all about who you know!
Many coworking spaces operate on a membership basis, growing a strong community within the office walls of different industries and skills. The operator of the space will offer networking events, cocktail evenings and so on, designed to bring members together.
It’s a great way to meet people with skills you may need in the future, but also offers an opportunity for smaller businesses to meet key people in the companies they hope to work with going forward.
2. Develop ideas
You might think coworking spaces are primarily for the lone worker or freelancer operating on a budget, but many larger and established businesses have memberships for their employees. After all, why limit yourself to your own four walls, when in a coworking space you mingle with a far wider pool, all offering ideas and brainstorming together.
Research also suggests that being in a thriving and energetic environment helps boost your creativity. Rather than being distracted, coworking can help focus you on the task at hand.
3. Lower costs
Everyone knows that floor space in London comes at a premium, particularly in the affluent and tech focused areas such as Old Street.
Shoreditch in particular has seen huge increases in prices in recent years as the area has transformed into a tech hub. By keeping costs down, start-ups have more chance of getting off the ground, while keeping themselves in the centre of the best districts.
Buying memberships to coworking spaces means you have all the facilities of a private office, but at a much-reduced price.
For example, many coworking spaces include extras such as a fully stocked kitchen, with open access to members in search of food and drink. Some offer a bar on site, while others may have an indoor garden or outdoor space for you to relax in, away from the hubbub of the streets outside.
There are, of course, the facilities you expect from your own office. Super-fast broadband, unlimited printing, ergonomic office furniture and the office cleaner, all included in the cost.
5. Space and control
Many coworking facilities will have separate spaces, giving you a quiet room for deep thought, or an open plan room for mingling and collaboration.
With open access 24 hours a day, it also places you in control of your work-life balance. As many home-workers will acknowledge, there are more distractions in a home office, working alone, than there are in a busy, vibrant but work-focused atmosphere.
6. Room to move
The advantage of having membership to a coworking space is that, if you decide you need to move closer to home, or another part of the city, you can just pack your bag and go, without having to pick up more than your laptop.
Of course, even the most lightweight of businesses often have additional gear to carry – pop up banners for presentations, samples of your product to show clients or hardware and even paper files. It’s not something you want to lug about to your coworking space every day, particularly during the morning commute. By renting a small locker – with sizes starting from 1m³ – from Urban Locker, you’ve got everything you need on hand, without cluttering up your mobile office.
But which coworking space is right for you?
Well, luckily there is plenty of choice in Shoreditch, so you can find the right coworking space, right in the heart of London’s tech hub. Not far from Urban Locker there’s The Trampery, Old Street, with a 50-desk open plan office and private members lounge.
Just off of Old Street Roundabout, is WeWork, one of the more recognised coworking operators, offering either single desk or private office options. As an international brand, your membership gives you access to WeWork locations around the world, a great choice for globetrotters.