Sharing an office or desk space is an excellent alternative for those who don’t want the commitment of leasing their own office. It offers more flexibility and is far more cost effective, particularly for freelancers or small teams.
Co-sharing also allows for simultaneous networking, often a big benefit for start-ups and those looking for new business or collaborators.
In co-working spaces you’ll find an emphasis on communal involvement or mutual professions such as digital entrepreneurs or tech enterprises. Options include having a dedicated desk, individual and private offices, communal areas and hot-desking.
Admittedly, if you’re paying at the lower end of the scale for co-sharing, then both luxury and privacy may not be all entirely yours, however there are excellent choices for all budgets.
Here we’ve provided a round-up of some of the best co-sharing facilities across the UK:
London has a real abundance of co-sharing facilities. That said, be prepared to pay a premium for the benefit of having access to the financial, tech and creative hub of the UK.
One of the largest players in co-working space management is the international company Wework; a start-up now worth well over $5 billion. Wework owns eight offices in London and provides amazing interior design, coffee, weekly events and more. The lowest options start from £325 a month for a dedicated desk and £575 a month for a private office for one person.
For a cheaper option and less prescriptive approach to who joins their space, is no-frills Winkley Street Studios in Bethnal Green. They even do daily rates here, which allows for a much greater degree of flexibility, as well as offering discounts on multiple month signups. Prices are £25 per day, £80 per week and £250 per month.
Manchester’s The Sharp Project is the city’s flagship digital production complex based in the old Sharp Electronics warehouse; a site occupying 200,000 square feet. Hosting offices, workspaces, stages and studios, the emphasis is strong on the creative digital sector as all occupants work in the industry. Prices start from a single office (floorspace 8ft x 20ft) at a cost of £55 per week and power/connectivity at an additional charge.
Meanwhile Creative has the syndicate on Bristol co-workspaces, providing highly affordable and accessible coworking spaces over four different sites. Pithay Studios in the city centre offers not only a gym, café and a bike shop, but also an excellent rate on desks at £90 per month and private spaces from £180 per month.
While the achingly cool Spike Island (an international centre for the development of contemporary art and design) rarely has any spaces available, there are lots of alternative co-sharing and creative collectives in Bristol to choose from.
There’s currently lots of rumours of coming-soon co-working spaces Brighton, but not an awful lot currently available. Thankfully there are many coffee shops with good wifi to make up for it.
The Werks is the best bet for availability and multiple sites spread out across Brighton and Hove. The social enterprise offers packages / prices, which are on application through their website.
In the laines there’s also the Skiff, which is small but nicely decked out with a meeting room available to hire upstairs. It also houses a number of digital / PR people with permanent and hot desking options available. Prices range from £49 per month to £299.
We’ve been lucky enough to be accepted into the offices and co-working space of Entrepreneurial Spark. As of February we’ll have six months free business mentor support, wifi, office space and member events. We’ll be sharing with other entrepreneurs and small businesses, as well as the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce and Angels Den. We’ll be documenting our progress and experiences on the blog, so check back in the coming weeks for updates.
The Skiff in Brighton
If you fancy a complete change of scenery, check out Hubud in Bali. A fantastic blend of amazing weather, partnerships with co-working spaces in Australia and New York, alongside the promotion of a sustainable lifestyle. There is even a relocation package to help you settle into your new environment. Casual co-working starts from $60 a month for 25 hours.