As a self-employed business owner, freelancer or sole trader, it’s nice not to be tethered to an office desk. You can work from wherever suits you and be flexible with your location based on projects, meetings and client needs.
Sometimes, the most appealing place to work from is your local cafe or your own home. Other times, your agenda calls for something else.
If you’re visiting central London and looking for somewhere to work, operate on a mobile-only basis, or just need a change of scene, you’ve got a range of options when it comes to finding workspaces. These include:
- Securing a hot desk
- Checking out a nearby co-working space
- Hiring a studio or workshop for the day
- Booking a meeting room
- Paying a visit to your client’s office
We explore each of these in more detail so next time you’re working in the Big Smoke, you’ll know where and how to set yourself up for the day.
Find a hot desk
Hot desking takes the traditional office setup and turns it on its head. Rather than giving people their own permanent desk space, a hot desk can be used by anybody according to availability. This enables workspaces to be used far more flexibly and diversely.
So, if you’re in London and need a desk to sit down and work at for a while, this is a great way to go. You can simply pay for the time you need and move on once you’re done.
A quick Google search for hot desks in London will provide you with a whole host of options to choose from, with varying prices. Some platforms, such as Hubble, have filters for different facilities to make it easier to find a place with everything you need.
Hot desks are now so readily available across the entire city that you don’t always need to book in advance, but unless you’re happy to be very flexible it’s advisable to secure it with a pre-booking.
Check out a nearby co-working space
Although hot desks and co-working spaces often come hand-in-hand, there are nuances between them that might matter to you.
A hot desk will typically be just a desk, quite literally. A co-working space, however, tends to include additional facilities like meeting rooms, breakout areas and a communal cafe.
If you’re looking for a ‘buzzier’ vibe, a more dynamic environment, and the possibility to meet other self-employed professionals like yourself, check out co-working spaces in your desired area.
Businesses or individuals can rent co-working spaces on long-term contracts, but most places will have some form of day pass or short-term hiring option you can take advantage of.
Again, platforms like Hubble and CoWorking London are the perfect way to find co-working spaces near you, within your budget and with the facilities you require.
Hire a studio or workshop
If your work isn’t desk-based and a co-working space or hot desk isn’t what you need, check out workshops or studios for hire in London instead.
If you’re a photographer, for instance, there are plenty of photography studios to book for the day – or however long you need it. If you’re a yoga instructor looking to offer classes in the city, search for fitness studios to hire instead.
If you need a filming or photo location, there are a plethora of websites ready to help you find what you’re looking for too – Peerspace is a great example but there are many more.
You might also be able to find pop-up spaces, such as hiring a chair for one day a week in a salon and using it for your own clients.
Book a meeting room
If you’re in London for meetings but don’t have anywhere to host, book a meeting room ahead of time to ensure you’ve got somewhere quiet and professional to work together.
Coffee shop meetings are lovely from time to time but they’re not always the most productive. Hiring a meeting room will put you all in the right frame of mind to work efficiently and make sure your communication and concentration aren’t disrupted. Find the one that ticks your boxes and book in advance for optimum organisation.
Plus, if you’re meeting clients, having a meeting room reserved will create a great impression and demonstrate your professionalism. This is especially true if it’s a client or a lead you’re meeting for the very first time.
Pay your client’s office a visit
Paying your client – or clients – a visit whilst you’re in London has dual benefits. Firstly, you’ll have secured yourself a place to work for a few hours to help save the cost of a co-working spot or hot desk space.
Secondly, you’ll be spending some valuable quality time nurturing the client relationship.
Making the effort to carve out face-to-face time with your clients is a great way to build the bond and help bolster their loyalty to you. In today’s remote working world, it isn’t always possible to spend much in-person time with clients so if you get the chance, it’s worth putting in the diary.
Just make sure to give them plenty of notice so you can ensure your visit adds real value.
Don’t forget to expense it!
As a self-employed person, if you pay for something like a co-working space and use it entirely for business use, this can be claimed as an allowable expense as part of your tax return.
In other words: the money you spend on hiring a workspace, meeting room, hot desk, etc., is tax deductible, which means you are allowed to claim this cost back against the taxes you pay to HMRC.
You don’t need us to tell you how expensive life in London is these days – so make sure you’re taking advantage of as much tax relief as possible to help protect your cash flow.
If you’re unsure, speak to an accountant who will be able to help ensure you’re claiming all tax relief you’re eligible for and in the most tax-efficient way possible.
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