From Cafés to Member’s Clubs – a Freelance Writer’s Choice of Flexible Deskspaces

Working from an office is not exactly rare in London but shifting a day’s duty to a public space isn’t unheard of neither. I’m sure you would agree with me- freelance workers raise your hands !

Basic set up my way

Strong wifi connection and a decent choice of music constitute the basic parameters for me to plug into word-based tasks. All the while I’m sipping on a flat white, feeling no distraction. The places I am about to recommend you offer slightly more then that though. From pastries to salads, no coffee shop gets away with selling coffee (and wifi) only nowadays. So my personal considerations include paying attention towards the type of seating and the height of the tables (!) for instance, because the chosen workspace is to serve my partly slumped body. Afterall if I am to go ahead spending hours writing tasks, doing skype conferences and online research in public I need to sit comfortably. Also, a sober atmosphere, devoid of large groups, is crucial for anyone to maintain their concentration. But then again, if you are absolutely determined to follow a strict schedule you might as well visit one of the public libraries, like The British Library in Euston, where calm and yes, soberness, is guaranteed.

The British Library’s reading room
The British Library’s reading room. Photo by RK Dhawan

Best café vibes in town

Looking for a place to work and be surrounded by likeminded people ? I recommend The Coffeeworks Project by Angel tube station. The desks are arranged on different levels giving the room a spacious and airy feel. Lunch time revellers will be storming the place during lunch hours only, I promise, the rest of the time you find yourself among quiet and hardworking folks meditating at their screens. Their garden is somewhat dreamy and perfect to relocate to for a break or open-air hot desking.

Another gem is located by Waterloo on Lower Marsh, a market street lined with cafes and second-hand shops. There you find the one and only Scooter Café, serving delicious brews in a retro style ambient. The vehicle themed coffee shop is a bit of a journey back in time, moments pass and you forget where you are. When doing your solo work you will appreciate looking up once in a while for the friendly and attentive staff is adding to the surprisingly continental flair.

Literally a second Home

While some of us tend to rotate accessible public desks, others get a membership in pre-conceived and carefully designed workspaces. Second Home Spitalfields, located just off Bricklane in trendy east London offers rotating as well as fixed desk spaces for freelancers. With a pod-like, bulky layout of orange colour the space is striking architecturally. Visited by highly professional clientele networking becomes one of its perks. And coffee is on the house ! But too many ambitious people in one spot might have a daunting effect. What public cafes offer is a sense of anonymity, with potential for surprises.

People working in Second Home Workspace
Second Home Workspace – Holland Park, London, [Image by

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