London offers a wide variety of coworking spaces located in high spec buildings, complete with modern facilities, no initial capital commitments, and excellent flexibility with no exit costs.
Coworking spaces are highly appealing to businesses for a number of reasons, chief of which being the fact that they’re commonly plug ‘n play, no matter if you’re looking to rent a single desk or an entire floor. With coworking spaces there is no need to worry about buying furniture, committing time and effort to fit outs, and negotiating tedious lease agreements.
In addition to their plug ‘n play nature, coworking spaces in London provide:
- Flexibility: In terms of the cost and length of contracts, which makes this type of space suitable for small businesses and helps them manage their finances better during the initial stages.
- Range of Options: The growing popularity of this office space arrangement means that there is a wide range of options to choose from.
- High Specifications: Modern facilities in high-spec office buildings, whether they are purpose built or refurbished.
- Networking Opportunities: An open plan and communal atmosphere that promotes collaboration, networking, and can help establish new partnerships that could be crucial to the development of a business project.
- Inexpensive Start up: No initial capital or financial commitment required, and no exit or disposal costs.
- London Prestige: Provides an opportunity to enhance brand image due to London’s prestigious reputation as a global business hub.
Coworking Space Inclusions and Exclusions
In London, coworking and shared office space is usually available in two forms: as an all-inclusive membership or in monthly packages that offer access to desk space and numerous extras. The majority of monthly coworking space contracts include:
- Access to furnished shared office space.
- The provision of telecommunications and IT infrastructure (e.g., fibre optic broadband, WiFi, a landline number, voicemail, etc.).
- 24/7 access to the premises, providing tenants with the freedom to work when it suits them best.
- The use of a business address.
- Access to shared facilities, such as kitchen areas, showers, game rooms, individual pods, and lockers. Some centres also offer private rooms that can be used to meet clients, discuss confidential projects, etc. Large coworking providers usually include access to shared facilities in multiple locations, both within the UK and at international level, as part of their membership fee.
- Office security and cleaning services.
On the other hand, typical exclusions include access to telephone headsets (although these can be rented at a fixed fee), the cost of using printing, photocopying, and scanning equipment, and access to storage space.
Your Budget: Typical Coworking Space Costs
Shared office space is mainly used by micro businesses, small business during their initial start-up stages, freelance workers, and other professionals who have limited financial resources and who do not or cannot invest in conventional office space or serviced offices. The typical occupier profile includes young professionals involved in creative industries, ICT, software development, online marketing, PR, graphic design, architecture, and journalism.
Shared Office Space Locations in London
There are currently hundreds of coworking spaces offering shared office space all over London. The most in-demand locations include:
- In and around Tech City, including Clerkenwell, Hoxton, and Shoreditch
- The West End
- Soho and Bloomsbury
- The City, London Bridge, and South Bank
Typical Costs and Budgeting Considerations
All-inclusive membership schemes are usually calculated over a 12-month period and are charged upfront on an annual basis. Otherwise, shared office space is priced per workstation or desk space and fees are based on usage levels (hourly, weekly, monthly, etc.). According to October 2020 statistics published by the Statista Research Department, the average cost of coworking space in Central London sits at £152 per square meter.
- Across the city, monthly costs range depending on if you require a dedicated desk and unlimited access to a venue’s facilities. The lowest rates apply to 12-month contracts, whereas a premium is usually applied to one-off use or short-term contracts.
- The priciest shared spaces are often found in the West End, specifically in Fitzrovia and Mayfair.
- Hot desking is an alternative form of shared space, and rates are lower since desks are not allocated to specific users.
When budgeting for shared office space, it is worth enquiring about rent-free periods or any other discounts that may be available. These are usually offered for contracts of at least 3 months. Discounted rates may also be available to first-time business owners and students.
Reasons to Rent Coworking Space
First-time business owners and entrepreneurs in certain sectors may benefit from additional support services, such as mentoring, drop-in sessions with potential investors, training courses, and workshops. These may be available at some of the biggest shared space operators in the city.
Since shared office space has a strong focus on helping build close-knit business communities, it is also worth considering choosing a coworking space that specialises or attracts businesses from certain industry sectors, as this can vastly maximise the chances of broadening your network of professional contacts. For example, spaces like Google Campus TechHub, Rainmaking Loft, or The Trampery are popular with tech professionals, whereas 90 Mainyard or TechSpace are best suited for creative startups.