Word on the street is that East London with its coffee houses, designer offices and the seriously cool vibe is the place to be, particularly for up and coming small businesses. And yes, while all of these things may be true, surely nothing can really be that good without some hidden dangers.
Before choosing to find an office space in East London, it is necessary to get all of the facts and figures, weigh out the pros and cons and listen to your mother in order to make a truly educated decision.
We’re here to help – below are some of the sad truths about East London and what you can expect when renting office space in this area.
1) You will only drink coffee if it has been made by an Australian barista with floppy hair
Caffeine snob alert – by moving to East London, you will be surrounded by some of the best cafes in the city and your taste buds will become increasingly more pedantic about where your beans have been roasted and what temperature the milk is at.
You will be on a first-name basis with Mark, the Aussie barista at your local, and you’ll stand around discussing the dark chocolate aromas of the latest blend.
2) You’ll waste your lunch hour queuing at the latest pop-up food van
One week you’ll be fighting over pulled pork burritos and the next week it’ll be vegan fried rice, but no matter what that food van is selling, you’ll want a piece of it. The queue will be 300 feet long and they will have sold out by the time you reach the front of the line, but you’re going to stand there and wait your turn.
You could have gone to Subway and been served, fed and back at your desk in half the time but Instagramming a foot-long sub just doesn’t hold the same cred.
3) You’ll start wearing some really weird clothes
Just because it’s cool. When you were little you were taught that just because James or Lucy are wearing double denim and dyeing their hair purple doesn’t mean you should or can. Well now that you’re a grown-up running your own business, you can and you most likely will.
You will become a trend follower, eagerly wearing trousers with elasticated ankles, hats with feathers that make you look like Dick Whittington and sweaters with 90s style logos emblazoned across the chest – just because it’s cool.
4) You will become addicted to craft beer and lose all of your friends
No longer will a pint of Heineken suffice and you will snigger and shake your head at anyone who puts a glass of Coopers Light to their lips. How can they drink that toxic bile? Don’t they have any taste at all?
You’re all about the over-priced bottled brews that have been shipped from America and the furthest corners of New Zealand and that have been handcrafted by men who wear aprons. You will want to sample every craft beer on tap, inhaling deep into the glass before you take a sip, swizzle and swallow. You can really taste the caramelised malt in this one, don’t you agree?
You will soon lose all of your non-easterly friends who get sick of your beer-snob ways, but that’s ok because your fellow craft-brew-office-buddies will keep you company.
5) You’ll instantly age 60 years and join knitting and crochet clubs
What better way to spend a Wednesday evening than sitting around in a circle with a group of friends knitting and discussing last week’s Great British Bake Off? This will be you as soon as you find an office in East London and start joining all of the local Stitch-n-Bitch groups.
You’re not only restricted to knitting – crochet and cross stitch are also popular and macramé is making a comeback. This will work out well when Christmas rolls around; you can make all of your friends and family decorative pot-holders and tissue box covers.
6) You’ll become obsessed about your facial hair
Obviously (hopefully?) this is more of a concern for the men reading this, however, ladies your interest in the facial hair of the men around you will also skyrocket. As soon as you set up shop in East London, your attitude towards the thickness, length, shape and cleanliness of the hairs growing from chins will dramatically escalate.
Boys, you will spend hours grooming, waxing, shaping, and cutting your beards and moustaches in the hope that one day someone will stop you in the street and say, “Good sir, that is impressive facial hair.”
When once you didn’t even bother to run a comb through your hair when you got up in the morning, you will now dedicate a solid 30 minutes to preparing your beard for the day ahead. You will also purchase a large number of mirrors that will be scattered throughout your office in order to check your beard status during the working day.
7) You’ll spend an unnecessarily large amount of money on a really old bike that doesn’t even have gears
If you work in East London, a great way to commute is by bike, saving you the stress of using the Tube whilst also being an environmentally responsible mode of transport. Of course, you can’t just ride any bike – it must be a single speed, vintage Raleigh that you bought from another east-sider for an exorbitant price. Yes, it might be a little rusty, but that just adds extra style and proves it really is retro.
You’ll take your bike everywhere and park it outside really cool coffee shops so that everyone can admire your wheels. Yes, you might get rained on, have cars drive into you and be generally disliked by all motorists, but your fellow East Londoners will give you much respect.
8) You will purchase a small dog
You don’t exist in East London until you own a pug, a French bulldog or a greyhound and you must take it with you everywhere. You will refuse to go into cafés that aren’t ‘dog-friendly’ and you will let the dog have right of way on all footpaths.
Ralph, Blitzer or Fluffy will come to work with you and sit under your desk, patiently waiting for you to take it outside for toilet breaks. You’ll expect everyone to love your dog just as much as you do and refuse to speak to anyone who doesn’t make a fuss of it.
9) You will think all graffiti is art
Even when it’s a large swear word scrawled across your office door, you will stand back and admire the work of local street artists. You’ll go on an organised street graffiti tour and ooh and ahh over the spray-painting techniques used.
You’ll get excited when you turn up to work one day to see that a relatively well-known street artist has decided that your office wall is the perfect location to paint a half-naked lady with a snake for an arm and a goat for a head.
10) You’ll be incapable of removing your sunglasses
It seems that as soon as you move into the east side of London a pair of Ray-Ban originals is surgically attached to your face. No matter how dark it gets, what room you’re in or how late at night it is, those sunglasses will not come off.
Don’t be surprised if you start walking into things, particularly at night if you go to dimly lit bars with doors/poles/chairs/people that get in your way. It’s not your fault – those dark sunglasses make it really hard to see where you’re going.
So now the truth has been revealed…
Ok, so we lied. A little bit. Apart from the bit about the craft beer. And clothes. Ok and the bike. East London with its groovy office spaces, coffee shops, and fun, fabulous and creative locals is one of the best places in London to work in (and it’s where we’re based) – obvs.
So dig out your grandfather’s bow tie and buy yourself a pair of brogues – East London is where it’s at.