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How to go to the office without going to ‘your’ office

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samuel brent
Samuel Brent
Sam is a born and bred North Londoner. Growing up in Archway, attending primary school at Montem Juniors in Holloway, and secondary school at Acland Burghley in Tufnell Park. After success with his A-Levels at LA SWAP, he studied film at the London College of Printing (later the London College of Communication) in the Elephant and Castle and then Clerkenwell. This led to working with the Guardian in Farringdon, and a career in Journalism. After years of a miss-spent youth in Camden Town, Sam now lives in Belsize Park with his wife Marina and their two children, Esme and Primrose. Samuel enjoys Gardening and cycling, and is an avid Arsenal fan and works out of his office in Shoreditch.

Once upon a time, if you expressed a wish to work remotely, you’d be met with a resounding ‘no’. The only time off anyone had away from the office was at weekends, on annual leave or, if you were lucky enough to work for a company that offers one, on a sabbatical. 

Then COVID came along and overruled everything and everyone was forced to send their staff home to work for the foreseeable future. 

Although a YouGov survey revealed that most of us working remotely are enjoying it, almost a third say their ideal situation would be ‘remote most of the time, with the option to go into the workplace occasionally.’ 

When asked what we like about remote working, unsurprisingly, ‘no commute’ was top of the list at 68%, with ‘flexible hours’ close behind at 63%. 

So it seems flexible working or coworking spaces are the ideal choice if you want to go to work at the office without actually going to the office. 

Let’s have a look at some of the ways flexible and coworking spaces fulfill all the needs of remote working and turns ‘work from home’ into ‘work from anywhere’.  

When is a commute not a commute?

When you work from home, your commute is probably something along the lines of walking from the bedroom to the kitchen table. Sounds great, doesn’t it? No more traffic jams, school run mums or impatient drivers raising your blood pressure and making you curse the day you were born. 

On the downside, a short trip downstairs doesn’t really get you in the right frame of mind for the working day ahead. 

‘I miss my commute,’ said no one ever (probably) but a short trip to some communal workspace can help you feel you’re going out to work. 

As you’ll be leaving the house and sitting in a building with actual people, you’ll probably put a bit more thought into what you’ll wear too – at the very least, you’ll get out of your pyjamas – which will make you feel more professional.

Networking opportunities

Coworking spaces are the ideal place to meet other professionals to share ideas and get a fresh perspective on your work. The buzz of people around will motivate and inspire and you’ll get to network naturally without the hard sell and awkwardness of formal networking meetings. 

No matter how much the peace and quiet of working at home can be a blessing, it can be a lonely place. Coworking spaces bring you back into the world of people and give you that sense of community but with the bonus of no boss hovering over your shoulder or following you around asking why you’re not at your desk. 

People not your thing? Don’t worry, introverts needn’t be scared off by the thought of coworking spaces being too ‘peopley’ for them. Flexible and coworking spaces all have private rooms you can make use of and, even if your coworking space organises events for its members, with the events not being organised by your company, you don’t need to feel obliged to go. 

Location, location, location

Sometimes the ideal job is in a less than ideal location. Everything else is perfect – the role, the people, the money, the benefits… but it’s in the middle of nowhere in a grey and depressing industrial estate. With flexible spaces and coworking, you’ve got the freedom to work wherever you want, whether that’s near your house, around the corner from your favourite Indian restaurant in London or on top of a cliff with a sea view – you get to choose. 

Facilities

Different coworking spaces have different facilities. Some might have fancy height adjustable desks (like these ones from HADO) and some might have desks not so fancy. What they all will have though is decent wi-fi. You might even get decent coffee, which is probably something your office’s coffee machine doesn’t have. 

All in all, a flexible working or coworking space is the perfect compromise between working from home and working at the office. Where will you choose to work today? 

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