The grand search for desk space in London can be a time consuming, confidence breaking and downright frustrating experience. With so many options, considerations and costs to consider, it can sometimes seem easier just to continue working from your bed at home.
But there comes a time in everyone’s life when you get sick of working from home and you need to get out into the real world. And then what? How do you find an office with the desk space to suit your business needs? HOW, I ASK?!
Often the need for a desk space comes when you least expect it – perhaps you woke up this morning and suddenly decided that today was the day that you’re going to go freelance, or you and your geeky friend, Ted, are finally going to set up that tech business and make millions. So what should you and Ted be looking for?
First thing’s first – work out what you’re looking for. There are so many office space options in London that you need to be clear about exactly what you need.
- What is your budget?
- How many desks do you need? Will you need multiple desks at the same time?
- Are you laptop based or do you need to leave a computer monitor, files and other equipment in the office?
- Where in London do you want to work?
- Will you need meeting rooms for when clients come to visit?
- Do you need other facilities such as a kitchen, bike racks, mailing address, or a ping pong table?
- Is networking important to your business and therefore do you need to surround yourself with certain industry professionals?
We told you there was a lot to think about! But once you’ve worked out some answers to these questions, finding an office space will be a lot easier.
So what sort of office would work best for you? Here are three desk space options for you to consider.
Co-working and hot desks
Co-working spaces are one of the most popular choices for freelancers and startups as it is a relaxed and flexible way to access a desk how and when you need it.
Co-working spaces come in many different shapes and sizes with a wide range of facilities, services and price ranges. Many co-working spaces offer flexible pricing depending on how frequently you access a desk and what sort of ‘add-ons’ you require.
A big bonus about this is the networking opportunities they offer. The influx and movement of the types of people working in these offices means you will meet a lot of people working across a wide range of industries. One day you’ll be seated next to a graphic designer, the next day a mathematician. Who knows who you’ll meet next and what work opportunities will stem from it!
A down side of hot desks is that you usually can’t leave your computer or files in the office and you have to cart them to and from work every day. Carrying large computer monitors on the Tube is not fun. Some co-working spaces offer lockers, however security can be an issue for some people who want to leave more lying around the office.
If you’re looking for an even more relaxed hot-desking option, many cafés throughout London (particularly in East London) encourage freelancers to use their tables as hot desks. You can feel very cool hanging out in the hippest coffee shop in Shoreditch with your Apple laptop and flat white, however it can also be a very expensive (and very fattening) way of working. It is very hard to say no to cake when you’ve been staring at it all day and 3 o’clock comes along.
For something a little more permanent, shared offices offer desk space where you can set up your computers, place your files in neat little rows, put your pens in a drawer and leave it there over night.
Shared offices can sometimes be smaller than co-working spaces and you share the area with other businesses. Often offices will be specific about the types of businesses that work there so you will often find yourself working with other companies in similar or complementing industries. This is great for networking and building up your business potential.
You will share facilities such as a communal kitchen, as well as the costs involved in running an office like electricity, water and internet. It is a more affordable way to have a permanent desk space and is a particularly good option for businesses with two or more people. Check out WEWORK above for an example of a space that offers both shared and co-working desks. For alternatives to WeWork check this article.
If you’re looking for a space that you can really call your own, then a private office is the best solution. It is usually the most expensive option, however it gives you the freedom to use the space as you want. There are lots of offices available within larger office buildings, so you can still have the networking opportunities you get from shared offices, however you also can escape into your own private space.
You can set up the space to suit how you work – whether you need meeting rooms, break out sections where you can brainstorm creative ideas, and maybe a ‘fun time’ corner with a television and a PS4 (or if you’re really cool a Nintendo 64!).
So, are you ready to move out of your mum’s kitchen and into a real office? Get searching for your perfect office space today!