Shared workspace has become a hot trend recently. Maybe it's the influence of Tech City and its sprawling mass of entrepreneurs, maybe it's the fact that the recession has boosted entrepreneurialism or perhaps it's just the influence of shared workspace pioneer cities like New York. You know how we love to imitate the Big Apple.
For entrepreneurs and their start-ups, this explosion couldn't come soon enough. The benefits of using a shared workspace, whether you're an entrepreneur going solo or a start-up with the first few employees on the pay role, are as plentiful as the rolls Astroturf in Google's offices.
You can keep the overheads low and scale fairly easily. You can foster an atmosphere of shared innovation and bounce ideas off like-minded people. Any problems you have, you are pretty much guaranteed to find someone else who has had the same problem and can talk you through it. Shared workspaces are also a great place to meet potential clients, partners and even employees.
Entrepreneurs in London are certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a space to create the magic from. Here is our top twelve:
With 4 locations in Euston, Paddington, the West End and The
City the spaces are all different. But each venue has been cleverly
designed with mix of open and private spaces as well as handy phone
booths and 'focus booths' for those private phone calls. The chic
yet demure decor of The Office Group could appeal to people who
aren't as interested in astroturf and beanbags. It feels like a
proper place to work.
Based outside London? You can take their business address service and even stay in the apartment overnight. All their locations also have meeting rooms and more permanent office space.
Somewhat unsurprisingly Google has in nailed when it comes to trendy co-working spaces. The campus has been open since March 2012 with the intention of creating an epicentre for innovation in London's Tech City.
TechHub has been a co-working stalwart in East London since 2009, creating a community for technology start-ups and moved into the Google Campus to run the shared workspace there. There are events at the Campus almost every evening, hosting anything from demo nights where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to advice workshops on bootstrapping your business.
CEO of Central Working James Layfield was voted EO Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012. There are currently three locations for CW, the original space is in Bloomsbury, they have a space in Shoreditch and also a corner of the Google Campus.
The ethos of the space is to actively help its members to achieve business success through making connections for people and offering support and advice.
All of the spaces come complete with jazzy furniture and a cafe.
Founded in London in 2010 and since spread to New York, The Cube bills itself as an innovation space rather than just a place to rest a desk. The space is based in east London but it isn't a technology only workspace and has innovators from various fields including science, fashion and social impact.
The spaces are run by innovation agency Idea Engineering and host a number of events to help to inspire and support the entrepreneurs and businesses based there.
With three spaces, one in Putney, Borough and The City you'd be hard pushed not to find one of Co-Work's venues to suit you and your business. They come with the usual funky décor (including a gold putting rug in The City space) and don't require a deposit or minimum stay.
Milkshake fans will love this one. It's a shared workspace directly above Ed's Diner at the top of Old Compton Street. It's big windows look down over the bustle of Soho and it comes with a bar and roof terrace.
The space caters mainly for those working within the creative industries.
Technology entrepreneur Charles Armstrong founded Shoreditch-based, The Trampery in 2009. It's quirky design puts it up there with some of the coolest working spaces London has to offer and free tea and coffee is a pretty good sweetener as well.
Third Door is an integrated workspace with onsite, flexible daycare. Entrepreneurs with children can come along and do some work while their children are taken care of in the same building. Based in Putney, the award winning working space can help you to juggle that work/life balance with a bit more ease.
A thriving hub of creative space spread over London. With offices in Clerkenwell, London Bridge, Kennington, Chiswick and Bankside this initiative is giving entrepreneurs a sleek space in which to grow a business. The great thing about Club Workspace is that members can add additional services to their bow, such as a business mailbox, lockers, printing and a meeting and event space.
A co-working space to suit entrepreneurs, start-ups and freelances, metroLAB is based in-between St Pancras and Camden so if you need to jump on the EuroStar you're in the right place. As well as a place to set up shop, MeteroLAB also offers a range of different business services including administrative support and graphic design.
Piano Club is smack bang in the middle of Brixton and caters for entrepreneurs, all the way up to SMEs. There are social gatherings by the bucket load and business masterclasses to take advantage of.
This one's just for the fairer sex. Launched by legendary PR guru Lynne Franks, B-Hive is a space where like-minded women can come together in a feminine space to network and do business. You can find one of their offices in London, Bristol and Manchester.
For more information on Prelude visit www.preludegroup.co.uk