Today’s working industry involves so much more than the repetitive, uninspiring nine to five office work of former years. Nowadays, remote working and flexible hours are the dish of the day, and workers in their droves are seeking new spots where they can get the job done.
We know how important it is to find the right places for remote working, so we set about asking whereabouts in London people spend their working days when they’re not in the office. We discovered an array of hidden gems that are absolutely ideal for getting your thinking cap on, and collected them all in our shiny new Smarter Working Guide to London.
Looking at London’s five key regions – North, South, East, West, and Central – we picked out the cream of the crop so you can find your own little portion of working paradise in the capital. From coffee shops to the new-trend co-working stations, there are loads of great places out there for you to escape.
Read more on remote working:
- Flexible working one year on – has it been a success?
- 4.2m people across the UK now work from home, but trust is a growth barrier
- Workforce flexibility: Raising the productivity bar
The remote working revolution has really taken off in the past ten years, and the working world is a far cry from what it used to be. Chris Ward, a former PR boss, felt the strain of nine to five monotony acutely, and decided to seek refuge in a local coffee shop. This led to a total upheaval in his attitude to his working life, and led to him writing “Out of Office: work where you like & achieve more”.
In his book, Ward explained why the daily grind was getting him down, and how productive and creative he has felt since he made the world outside the office his new working environment. He claims that being closer to the general public while you’re working helps you better tap into what your target audience thinks and wants, ultimately making you better at what you do.
Employees around the country are inclined to agree, which is why so many of them are taking to the streets with their laptops and a headful of ideas.
Along with remote working there’s also the boom in flexible hours, with employees casting off the shackles of the nine to five day and opting instead for a schedule that suits them. Thanks to improved conference calling technology, anyone can attend those crucial catch-up meetings regardless of where they are, so flexible hours and remote working don’t mean employees will be absent when they’re needed.
Most people agree with Ward’s assertion that such a flexible working schedule boosts productivity and creativity, and it certainly does a lot for employee satisfaction, too. Taking control of your working life is empowering, so long as you’re still doing a great job while you’re working in the coffee shop at six in the morning.
But where are these sought-after spots where work is just a piece of cake? Well, unsurprisingly, the coffee shops of London seem to be the most popular choice – bringing the workers of London even closer to their caffeine! In terms of chains, Starbucks came up top – almost 40 per cent head there for working, followed by Costa, Cafe Nero and Pret a Manger.
Coming up just behind coffee shops in the survey results, people are now favouring co-working stations, with 33 respondents selecting them as their favoured destination. A further 24 people said that they simply go to a nearby library, museum or pub, with 18 people preferring to work remotely from a hotel.
However, those who prefer somewhere a little bit more tailored to their working needs are seeking out the new co-working stations for somewhere to spend their 7.5 hours. With all the Wi-Fi and plug sockets that you could need, these places are designed specifically for the remote working population.
Within the city of London itself, some regions are more popular with remote workers than others. The people we interviewed rated East and Central London at the top, with 30 per cent of respondents saying that the Mayfair, Soho, and Covent Garden areas are their favoured place for a day’s work.
Attracting a huge range of people from all walks of life, Central London is a thriving spot for a day out of the office, and there are tonnes of great places to grab some food when you’re done too.
Britain’s business landscape is changing, and there are a huge collection of venues that have a lot to offer for the worker looking for a more inspiring place to get creative. Whatever time of day they’re popping in, London’s working population has spoken: remote working is here to stay.
Gareth Foster is marketing director at Powwownow.
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