If you live in London, you will know how difficult it can be to find cosy, quiet and comfortable places to work. Whilst the city is buzzing with busy offices, libraries and cafes, if you want to work remotely it can feel impossible to find a seat - especially one which comes with a plug for your laptop and doesn't come with a chatty group sitting next to you.
But don't worry. One of the great things about London is that it boasts many working spaces - you just need to know the right place to look. Whether you're after a cosy corner, a perfect cup of coffee or a sociable workspace to meet like-minded professionals, London has some excellent remote working cafes and coworking spaces to offer.
Most freelancers in London have heard of WeWork. Boasting a variety of buildings in popular destinations including Shoreditch, Hammersmith and Soho, you won't struggle to find a WeWork in London wherever you're based. Plus, you'll find plenty of IT services and places to plug in your laptop.
WeWork started in 2010, with the aim to build a community where workers felt part of something bigger than a nice office space. They believe in empowering others and moving quickly to challenge entrepreneurs and businesses to be the best. So, whether you're a small start-up looking for an office space in a bigger community building, or you're a lone freelancer trying to find your herd, WeWork is a great place to connect.
But why is WeWork so popular? Offering private offices, co-working spaces and on-demand access, it provides a variety of different options. Some even have dog friendly rooms and showers, too. But it's not for everyone. Matthew Zeitlin at The Guardian looked into WeWork and Adam Neumann, the founder of the company who said, "rather than just renting desks, the company aims to encompass all aspects of people's lives, in both physical and digital worlds." Examining some of the investors of WeWork and the mantra behind it, he questions who the "we" in WeWork is referring to. Read more here, and try a WeWork yourself to decide whether it's your cup of tea.
2. The British Library
The British Library is an excellent place for someone looking to work remotely. Offering desk spaces, private rooms and a great cafe, the library oozes with history and sophistication. You never know who you might come across writing their next masterpiece.
But, unlike WeWork, The British Library isn't a place for collaboration. Most areas are quiet, making it an excellent place to work if you need quiet, focussed time. Whilst anyone can enter and work in the cafe or desk spaces, you will need a reader pass to enter the reading rooms. The cafe on the second floor also operates a no laptop zone in the middle of the day.
The other great thing about the British Library is that it's close to Kings Cross St Pancras, making it well connected and a central point for most Londoners. It has an old, historical atmosphere which helps to focus your mind and celebrate academia.
3. Wellcome Collection "The Reading Room"
Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge the way we think and feel about health. The Reading Room on the second floor is an excellent place to work remotely, especially if you like to be comfortable. Offering cosy cushions and beanbags, it's a popular hotspot amongst students and working professionals alike meaning you'll need to arrive early to get a seat.
Just be aware that most of the beanbag areas don't offer charging facilities for laptops, and you can't really leave your things there. It's fun, comfortable and relaxing - but you might want to head to the library for a longer-term, more functional workspace.
4. Ole and Steen
If you like your work to be accompanied by excellent coffee and delicious sweet treats, look no further than Danish bakery Ole and Steen, which landed on London's baking scene in 2018. Offering a huge variety of cakes, pastries and savoury treats, customers are spoilt for choice - making it an excellent place to work if you want an excuse to stay put.
Like WeWork, there are plenty of Ole and Steen's to choose from, with locations in Richmond, Shepherds Bush and Victoria. Whilst you might struggle to find a seat on a busy day, the bakeries have plenty of plug sockets and you'll come across a variety of working professionals who share your love of Danish delicatessen. The pastries are sophisticated - and so is the vibe.
5. The Hoxton Hotel
If you prefer a calmer atmosphere than a coffee shop but can't quite face the echoing silence of a library, look no further than the Hoxton Hotel. With locations in Shoreditch, Southwark and Holborn, there are several to choose from - all of which offer cosy lobbies which are great places to work. You don't need to be a guest to enjoy velvet cushions, great coffee and the gentle hum of chatter.
If you're not sure whether it's OK to work in a hotel lobby, think again. The Hoxton Hotel website proudly states, "whether you're staying the night, popping in for a coffee [or] setting up camp with a laptop… our lobbies are all-day destinations". So, don't be afraid to take out your laptop and settle down - they have practically forced you to, after all.
6. Google Campus
What can't Google do? If you're looking for a coworking space with plenty of vibrancy, character and interesting people, Google Campus is the place for you. Located in Shoreditch, the Campus offers great coffee, plenty of desks and free WiFi for those who need to regularly use their IT services and stay connected. It's a great place to meet like-minded people and work collaboratively.
It's a bit exclusive, though. You need to sign up to become a member and wait for your application to be accepted.
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