During our recent success in putting together the ultimate guide for remote working in London, we stumbled across some truly quirky spaces where you’re welcome to sit and work; and they might just change your remote working experience all together.
If there’s one thing we know (besides providing a conference calling service that you can rely on), it’s that being able to attend a yoga class, or even play with Lego in a meeting, as part of your remote working day makes these places a lot more interesting than your average office space. Needless to say, there’s a more than just free Wi-Fi here!
How many work spaces can you name that inspire positive thinking and happiness whilst working? None? Well owner Ruth told us that “The Canvas runs events, workshops and performances that are designed to cheer you up and make you feel better”. They have lunchtime yoga sessions and weekly choir session, so if that’s not quirky, we’re not sure what is.
But that’s not all. Of course, there’s free Wi-Fi and power sockets for chargers, but there’s much more on offer, says Ruth. “Our walls are home to the thoughts, ideas, secrets and stories of our customers, so you’ll be surrounded by inspiration and creativity as you work”; an aspect that freelancers, website and app designers, fashion and music folk, students, and artists would agree on.
Bar and arts venue The Peckham Pelican will happily let you use its chairs for sitting and tables for working. While doing so, make sure you take the opportunity to network with the eclectic range of working people that their space attracts.
There’s “a mix of artists, students and designers,” says co-founder Stu, and even “a freelance bonsai tree arboriculturist who comes in most weeks” should your startup enterprise need one or several small Japanese trees cultivated or managed. What traditional office building can offer that?
It also doubles as an exhibition space for fresh-faced artists, so even while you’re “taking a break” and staring into space, there’s a chance you can be inspired to come up with a great idea, or perfect conclusion to that document.
Is a normal (boring) meeting really necessary? According to Kings Cross café-come-bar-come-workspace Drink, Shop, Do, the answer is most definitely no. As well as providing a “friendly and relaxed atmosphere” they told us they give people the opportunity “to mix fun activities like ‘Lego Robots’ alongside meetings”.
In your lunch break or after work, there are plenty of activities on. From colouring-in of hip-hop idols to temporary tattoo parlour and quizzes to making silver rings, Drink, Shop, Do aren’t afraid to colour outside the lines with what they have to offer.
How does a “thinking and drinking event” sound to you? Pretty good, right? Well that’s the kind of thing you could be in for if you settle down with your laptop at Stories on Broadway Market. According to our chat with them, that involves things like their weekly Bored to Board night of board gaming and fortnightly slot car racing (i.e. Scalextric).
They’ve got comfortable, communal, bench-type seating which is ideal for brainstorms or getting to know interesting characters sat at the end of your table – although their twice weekly live music might make chatting hard in the evenings…but we can let it slide.
So, you’ve got that friend who keeps banging on about all these ‘amazing’ things that happened during the year they worked in Australia. Well, feel boring and envious no longer – you can spend your next work-from-home day at Barossa, an Australian coffee house and kitchen that’s all about people stopping in for a ‘Bondi brekkie’ while they finish off a big report or something. Sounds better than working on a farm for a visa to us.
Not only can you perform that traditional Australian rite of passage of eating a kangaroo steak sandwich during a working lunch, you can do it in Barossa’s private summer garden. How many of your colleagues and contacts do their emails surrounded by the scent of flowers? Plus, owner Indy Chatwell says they “have events going on in the evening with people hiring out the venue which is always fun!” We don’t doubt it.
So, there. We think it’s now safe to say that if you want to knuckle down to get your work done in a place that’s a little out of the ordinary in the capital, you’ve got a few ideas. To find out more, take a look at our our free ebook for the Smarter Working Guide to London.