There comes a time in every small business’s life when moving out of the basement into the real world is the next big step. It’s time to pack up your laptop and takedown that motivational wall calendar – it’s time to rent yourself a desk space.
If you’ve already started your search for a desk in London, you may have discovered it can be harder than you expect. With so many options to choose from, criteria to consider, and with the huge demand from other small businesses, it can be an overwhelming experience. Ask any startup business or freelancer who has been in your position – they’ll all nod their heads and give you that “I know what you mean” look.
But keep calm – there’s no need to crawl back to the dark comforts of the basement yet. With our guide on how to rent desk space, you’ll be sitting behind your new office desk before you know it.
Finding your price
Every business, small or large, has a budget it needs to stick to. Working out how much you want to spend on rent, services and facilities are step one in finding the perfect desk.
While London has a reputation of being one of the more expensive cities to work and live in, there are loads of office spaces offering flexible and affordable rental prices for desk space.
Ask what the rental costs include – do you have to pay extra for things like internet and electricity? If you only need the desk for a few days a week, can you receive a discount?
Location, location, location
Choosing where you want your business to be based is an important consideration when renting a work desk. London has little cluster points where certain types of businesses seem to come together like giant magnets. Digital and technology businesses hang out in East London’s Silicon Roundabout while Shoreditch and Camden is home to hipster, mac-using ‘creatives’.
If you want to mingle with the big-shots in business, then setting up office in West and Central London business districts could be a good tactical move. Being able to tell your prospective clients that you’re neighbours is sure to impress. Also it’s easier if you’re an agency working with clients in different areas of London.
Do some research and check out what sort of industries are working in your chosen area of London to see if you’ll fit in.
Committing to desk space
Once you’ve worked out how much you can afford to spend and where you want to be located, you now need to decide on what sort of desk space you need. Should you go for the more casual hot desk or do you want a more permanent desk space? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
- Usually cheaper than a permanent desk
- Great networking opportunities with lots of new people using the space on a daily basis
- Requires less commitment and you can often get discounts if you use the space for fewer days in a week
- Most hot desk rentals include internet and access to other facilities such as a kitchen, lockers and ping pong tables.
- You can’t leave your belongings in the office so if you need a large external screen you might want to consider if you feel like carrying this on the Tube every day (unless there’s lockers)
- Hot desking spaces usually have a lot of other users and you can’t control which chatty/smelly/generally annoying/really hot person decides to sit next to you
- Hot desking offices are usually open plan so meeting with clients in a private space can be an issue – there are often meeting rooms you can book out to get around this.
- You get to call your space your own and you can leave your laptop, screen, files, and coffee cups on your desk overnight
- You will be able to get to know the businesses working around you better as they will be there every day. This can lead to more collaboration opportunities
- Security can be an issue as the space is open to anyone who has access to it so leaving your computer on your desk over the weekend can be hazardous
- Permanent desks are usually a bit more expensive than hot desks
How to find your desk space
So you’ve decided your budget, you know where in London you want to be based and you’ve chosen what sort of desk rental you want. Now what? How do you find your perfect new office desk?
There are lots of ways to go about it – HubbleHQ’s search facility (above) makes it easy to choose where you want to be based, what facilities you need and how much you want to spend on rent. Compare your options and go check out your favourite spaces in person.
Now you’ve found it…
So once you have found your perfect desk space and you’re ready to move in, here are a few things to think about for your first day.
Don’t forget to pack:
- A coffee cup just in case there aren’t any spares in the kitchen
- Noise-cancelling earphones if you work better when you’ve got some peace and quiet
- An emergency tea-bag supply for that 3 o’clock cuppa
- All of the cables for your laptop, phone, miscellaneous technology (we’ve all realised we left our laptop cable at home at some point!).
Remember to introduce yourself to other people in the office – don’t be scared to find out who they are and what they do. Just try not to be that annoying new person who is talking too loudly and interrupting everyone when they’re trying to work. Keep it to chats over the water cooler or in the kitchen at lunch time.
Before you know it, your new office desk will feel as comfortable as your basement and you’ll have met new friends, colleagues and potential clients.