Guest post by Jilian Woods
Starting a business is not an easy task; you need to count every penny to bring your expenditures to a minimum and survive in the first, most challenging 1-2 years. Thus, spending a lion share of your modest initial earnings on office rent is a luxury, especially if you reside in London – a city with draconian rent rates.
But how can you advance in business if your home apartment is not conducive to concentrated work and productivity? A good, affordable option is to rent a desk in a coworking space. What’s more, London, as a vibrant capital of business startups, offers many free spaces for productive work, networking, and creative exchange of ideas.
Here we offer a detailed insight into how to find an ideal, affordable place for sparing an hour or two between meetings with clients and investors.
Why Is Coworking the Right Choice?
Having your office meet with the team, clients, and potential partners is a much more stable business option.
But the times change, and many people started dreading fixed office spaces, turning into digital nomads – those who work in different places and countries to get inspired, remain resourceful and keep the sharpness of insights. As it gives the desired flexibility and freedom that office workers dream of, many have adopted the trend.
So, if you are a freelancer or a remote worker seeking flexibility and inspiration, changing the workspace from time to time will benefit your creativity for sure.
Some other gains of choosing coworking spaces over fixed office space are:
- Cheaper rent (for those who don’t work from 9 to 5 every day and need to spare only a couple of hours for work from time to time).
- Location flexibility (you may need to meet clients in different London districts, so travelling to many distant locations may eat all the business hours).
- Diversity of environments (one day, you might need a vibrant, busy atmosphere of a coffee shop to get creative, while on other days, all you need is silence).
- Networking (when you wander among different coworking spaces, you met different people to learn from them, get inspired by their stories, or establish vital business contacts).
Choosing a coworking space is a win-win situation for most start-ups who don’t have a huge team to host and are on a budget. Now that we’ve clarified that coworking is good for you let’s choose the coworking space to fit your preferences and spirit.
Spoiler: all spaces we consider here are either free or minimally priced, so the budget criterion doesn’t apply here.
How to Start the Coworking Search?
Those who want to make sure the coworking space fits them and a spot for them today can first conduct some online search and shop around. London features plenty of outstanding coworking options, and you’re sure to have a wide choice of options.
The two most popular web search platforms geared specifically to coworking are.
This is an online marketplace of office spaces, for long-term and hourly rent, in London. The options offered here will suit any demands and budgets, while the search is very comfortable, featuring over 1,500 options in different parts of the city. Besides, you can take the guesswork out of finding a spot in a coworking space, booking a desk in advance.
Nomad Space (nomadspace.co.uk)
This platform also deals with the rent of coworking spots and is specifically geared to digital nomads. If you seek flexibility but at the same time long for the sense of community, Nomad Space has many alternatives on offer.
10 Free Coworking Spaces in London to Explore
Though London might seem to be a super-expensive city whatever you need, there are still some surprisingly accessible spaces for working, communicating, and collaborating. Most of them are located in the hotel lobbies, public libraries, or specialised cafes.
Let’s consider the top 10 recommended free spaces for freelancers to sneak a couple of hours for work.
#1. Ace Hotel’s Lobby
Freelancers and entrepreneurs alike prefer Ace Hotel’s lobby for work as it’s a highly welcoming place with comfortable working seats and incredible views from the rooftop bar where you can take a rest after a productive work session.
#2. The Barbican Center
Those with an artistic, creative spirit will surely appreciate the Barbican Center – a concentration of art-based entertainment and free workspace. With free, speedy Wi-Fi, you can have all work done quickly, attending some great exhibitions or art shows during coffee breaks.
#3. The Brew Eagle Coffee House
This coffee house enjoys a reputation as a vibrant centre where tech startup creators meet to eat, drink good coffee, network, and generate new ideas. You’ll be thrilled with the unique combination of speedy Wi-Fi, delicious food, and a great French wine bar open until late.
#4. City Business Library
This is one of London’s largest libraries, with excellent Wi-Fi and a super-quiet atmosphere to help you concentrate on a vital project. Besides, the library hosts some SEO or marketing events for attendees.
#5. Tate Modern
At Tate, you’re sure to get inspired for a new business idea. The combination of splendid city views, great food, and this place’s creative spirit leave nobody indifferent.
#6. Campus London
Google’s startup hub in the UK, Campus London, is a must-attend for every tech entrepreneur or freelancer. Cosy cafes, great people, and many educational events make it a desired coworking space for many.
#7. Bethnal Green Library
The old Victorian building where the library is located encapsulates the wisdom and creativity of century-long human intellectual effort. You’re sure to enjoy its great atmosphere if you decide to get a working spot there.
#8. Westminster Reference Library
Once home to Isaac Newton, the Westminster Reference Library building is the epitome of British history and inspiration. Most freelancers work in the Art & Design Library section.
#9. Pullman Hotel
If you need to get some work done, meet with a prospective client, or enjoy an elegant environment, the Pullman Hotel is a perfect fit. Its location close to St. Pancreas International makes it a favourite place for startup owners’ meetings and freelancers’ quick work sessions.
#10. Hoxton Hotel
Looking for a quieter free space for a couple of hours of concentrated work? Then Hoxton will be an ideal location, with fireplaces in the lobby and the loft feel of exposed bricks on the walls. Hoxton’s courtyard is a place of serene, comfortable thinking, while the Hoxton Grill restaurant will surprise even sophisticated gourmets.
Yes, we promised to speak only about free coworking spaces. Yet, there are some unique options for a fee that you may consider as your business budget grows. Let’s stop briefly at two options that many London freelancers choose because of their unique locations and atmosphere.
The Office Group
The Office Group currently offers coworking spaces in 29 locations across London and serves 15,000+ members. Their offices offer a cafeteria and kitchens, lockers for valuable belongings that you don’t want to take to the desk with you, and meeting rooms.
Monthly membership costs around 300 pounds for a hot desk and 550 pounds for a dedicated desk, but you receive access to any of the 29 offices whenever you like. The offices feature unique, luxurious interior design and are ideal for producing the right impression on your investors.
This coworking space’s unique location on the corner of Old Street and Shoreditch High Street contributes to its popularity among various freelancers.
The place is old and enjoys a reputation as a social club among its dedicated visitors. Its opening hours allow you to spend time working from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., while the pay is highly flexible – 3 pounds per hour or 15 pounds per day once the time you spend there exceeds 5 hours.
About the author
Jilian Woods is a freelance journalist and a contributing writer with more than 4 years of writing experience. Being an essay writer at Grademiners, as well as freelance creative writer, she sees her purpose in producing and sharing relevant content with people who are willing to expand their knowledge base and learn something new.