For many startups and freelancers, to be nestled amongst the well to do residences in Notting Hill, Chiswick and Kensington is merely a pipe dream. Surely the cost of renting office space in West London would be astronomical and out of any small business budget?
Good news, folks! This corner of London is no longer reserved to merchant bankers and high court lawyers. While it’s definitely still catching up with areas such as Camden and Shoreditch, the spread of co-working and shared office spaces throughout London has meant that the cost of renting a workspace within the western quarter has become way more affordable.
With some careful hunting around, there are more options than you’d think for businesses looking to work in West London.
From the hubbub of Hammersmith through to the quieter and leafier zones of South Kensington, there’s a huge range of office styles to choose from.
Not yet convinced that the West is best? Here are some reasons why you should consider setting up shop in West London.
Location is everything
When choosing where to set up office, the location should be a key factor in the decision-making process. Not only is it important to find an office that is a reasonable commute, but it’s also got to be easily accessible by your clients and you should take into consideration any schlepping that you have to do as part of your job.
West London is easily accessible by Tube, overground and bus and areas such as Mayfair, Paddington and Maida Vale just a short walk away from the centre of the city.
For anyone who is a frequent flyer, Heathrow airport isn’t far away via the Piccadilly line so it makes for an easy commute to catch your flight to that meeting in Barcelona, or to collect your international business associate from the airport.
There are some truly amazing offices in West London
East and Central London traditionally have the coolest shared office space but West London is catching up. Spaces like the one by Tog at Paddington are catching on quickly and the quality of co-working and shared spaces are stepping up. There’s almost a bit of a gold rush going on right now and the nicest space is going like hot cakes… gold hot cakes!
Set the bar high
A postcode can say a lot about a business and for some companies, impressing the right people in high places is a crucial part of making an income.
If your main business targets are all located within West London, then you’ll want to be as close to your market as possible. Asking your clients to commute to the other side of the city is not a viable option and it’s a big selling point and easy networking ace to be able to say that you’re close by.
After work fun time
Life can’t be all about work and having an office that’s located near some of London’s best bars, restaurants, cafes and music venues is almost as important as having a good internet connection (you need that to Google where you’re going out tonight. Obvs.)
West London has Kensington Roof Gardens, The Shop NW10 and Evans & Peel plus easy access to the West End for a night of theatre, comedy, or cabaret. Just count it in as ‘team bonding’ and head out with your work colleagues, office buddies or favourite clients.
West London is particularly popular with creative businesses such as architects, fashion designers and design agencies. It’s the most popular spot for high-end designer stores (which hopefully you’ll actually be able to shop in when your business hits the big-time).
West London’s got the vibe of “success” oozing from its every fibre. Release your creative blocks and get inspired by simply stepping outside and walking past the windows on Fulham Road and Kensington High Street or by taking a stroll through the leafy streets of Notting Hill.
There’s also a high chance you’ll bump into someone rich and famous who you can ask for some help on how to be as successful as them…. (or not).
By choosing to work in West London, you’re automatically positioning yourself in one of the strongest economic areas of the UK. According to the West London Business Group, this area contributes a whopping £37 billion to the national economy.
The area has attracted some of the world’s biggest companies including Coca Cola, Disney, Virgin EMI, Chivas Regal, Cisco and British Airways.
Everyone needs a bit of green
Working in an office from 9 to 5 every day can become tedious so making time to get some fresh air and exercise every day can transform the way you feel, boosting those post-lunch energy levels. West London is lucky to have a large number of parks and gardens where you can sit in the sun (if you’re lucky) or go for a lunchtime jog.
Hyde Park and Richmond Park are located nearby and are popular with cyclists, walkers and runners. Some areas are close to the Thames and have beautiful riverside paths that you can follow.
The folk of West London sure know how to dress to impress and you’ll be surrounded by glamour and style on a daily basis. You won’t need to read trashy magazines to discover the latest fashion trends – you’ll be seeing them in the flesh every time you step outside your office.
No one here looks like they’ve fallen through their wardrobe backwards in the morning. West London worker bee’s race around in brands like Reiss, Zadig & Voltaire, Hugo Boss, Zara (for good measure) and ridiculously expensive yoga clothes. If you need a lesson on how to look “put-together” then these guys will give it to you.
It’s a known fact that most freelancers have caffeine flowing through their veins, requiring regular coffee hits to keep them functioning. Cafés are also a great place to meet clients and treat them to a coffee just to show you care.
Fear not – there are plenty of fantastic boutique cafes selling great quality coffee in West London – although maybe not quite as many artisan locations as East London. Whether you need to grab and go or are escaping from the monotony of office life for an hour or so, most offer free wifi so you can keep working while also taking a hard-earned break (this juxtaposition makes perfect sense for us after working in a startup!).
Some of our favourite coffee shops include the Australian owned Barossa in Parson’s Green, Hummingbird Café in Shepherd’s Bush (grab a patronisingly girly cupcake whilst you’re in there) and it’s impossible to go past the amazing French gateaux at Yvon’s Artisan Patisserie in Ealing.
There’s more to the West than grey suits and small dogs and for small businesses and startups thinking about where to rent an office space, West London has a lot to offer. Check out your options and decide what your business needs as far as location, rental costs and access to services and perhaps we’ll be seeing you on the Westside.