At King’s Cross Office Space we have witnessed the co-working phenomenon sweep the office market over the past two years. This workplace revolution has turned the perception of ‘the office’ on its head and is now estimated to account for 5% of London’s market. At present, co-working is very much the trend and it’s easy to see why. Providing cost effective flexible solutions for new companies, co-working is vital for the growth of start-ups in Britain.
London is fast becoming the tech capital of Europe, and although initially confined to Shoreditch, London’s start-up communities are now forming clusters all across the capital.
Who uses Co-working and why is it so popular?
Co-working space has traditionally attracted freelancers, entrepreneurs and start-up companies, drawn in by its flexibility and relative low cost. Often used within tech and creative sectors, the collaborative atmosphere co-working provides is valuable to the growth and survival of London’s start-ups. Unlike the secretive nature of business in the past, today’s young entrepreneurs are a thriving ecosystem who share ideas and lend skills to the benefit of all.
But it’s not just the young and the new that are welcoming the revolution with open arms. In the Property Week last month Larry Malcic from HOK outlined how designs for the BBC’s New Broadcasting House put heavy influence on collaboration and explained how, due to complex workplace problems, people now need to collaborate not only across departments but across rival organisations. A growing number of larger businesses are seeing the pro’s of a co-working environment, whether to boost productivity or to accommodate flexible projects, showing co-working is no longer a niche but a fundamental tool for modern businesses.
Co-working spaces in London
During its early stages the co-working boom captured the imagination of start-ups in East London, which housed Google Campus. Despite Silicon Roundabout being a fan favourite when it comes to co-working, an increasing number of co-working spots have situated themselves outside of Tech City. Here is a list of some of our favourite co-working spots outside of Silicon Roundabout:
Global office providers WeWork pitch their workspace as a “physical social network” in which tenants are encourage to collaborate through socials, community officers and co-working lounges. WeWork provide flexible contracts and quirky spaces, having housed Buzzfeed, Soundcloud and Festicket. WeWork now has 5 London locations, Moorgate, Soho, Devonshire Square, South Bank and Spitalfields – with a sixth coming soon to Aldgate. Membership gives you access to the online Wework member network, allowing you to collaborate with entrepreneurs across the globe. Despite being arguably more of a serviced office, there is certainly a collective vibe at Wework and this is why it’s on our list of great co-working spots.
Having only opened its doors last month, WorkLife is the latest of co-working spaces to open in London. Based minutes from lock, WorkLife is exactly the workspace Camden has been crying out for. Having had the pleasure of being shown around by co-owner David Kosky, we can testify to WorkLife’s genuine goal to make the perfect workplace. This attitude was summed up by the motif on David’s t-shirt – ‘Thank God it’s Monday’… and by the looks of the current tenants, they seem to agree.
WorkLife is beautifully designed, with bright vibrant meeting rooms, relaxing mood booths and inspiring artwork. They offer flexible membership options which can include desk space and meeting room hours – not to mention delicious free coffee- and provide tenants with a heap of administrative and technical support. Its fully furnished private offices are already bases for MTV and Dr Martens.
Piano Club Brixton
Located in the heart of Brixton, the Piano club is an inspiring co-working space perfect for start-ups and home workers looking for cost effectiveness. With prices in Shoreditch doubling, more and more entrepreneurs have been looking outside of Tech City. Small Tech cluster have recently sprung up in Brixton and Croydon, avoiding the higher rent now associated with East London.
The Piano Club’s design is fantastic; comfortable lounge areas, great access to natural light and inspiring artwork. They offer a month by month membership with no joining fee, perfect for nurturing small businesses and individuals.
Matthews Yard Croydon
Matthews Yard is a creative hub in the centre of Croydon and combines a licensed café, workspace, gallery and a studio theatre. Aimed more towards the arts, Matthews Yard hosts comedy, live music, a local exhibitions as well as The Pop up Cabin, a small retail/trade area, available to hire.