Saturday 3 September 2016

Co-Working or the Rucksack Office

The Essentials of Office life
The image is of my Northern Powerhouse office. You will appreciate the choice of brand THE NORTH FACE to represent that my travelling office has gone North - mostly it only gets as far as York, which can be reached from my London office in 2 hours preferably by the very comfortable services of the Grand Central Railway

When starting as a solo most of us think about working from home. However there are other choices. You can choose a managed office that provides services. My London office is like that. The staff are brilliant. They are there to receive your clients and answer your calls. If you need a proper professional office then I heartily recommend LEO. (Please note that I am not being paid to advertise any of the businesses I mention here. )

The next alternative is a shared work space and these are now popping up all over - some private - some chains - some sponsored by other companies with a spot of space to spare. I attended a meeting in the WEWORK space in Moorgate recently. This is an American concept business and it rejoices in making a buzz. Noise seems to be positively encouraged. Some people may find this invigorating, but it makes discussions and presentations really hard even in an allegedly private space. Probably not for a lawyer intending to do real work, but maybe good for finding potential clients. Being American they are open about their pricing structures too, which is useful when budgeting your start up costs. This particular business has not penetrated beyond London yet.

For a lawyer to survive at a hot desk you are certainly going to need a pair of noise-cancelling head phones. Wireless ones would be best if you are liable to forget that you have them on when going for a coffee or a comfort break. If you want to look an Apple geek and on trend then I suppose it must be BEATS but that wouldn't really be my style.

Even if you work from home meeting facilities are something you may need. The office providers generally do meeting rooms for hire. The other possibility is your professional body. The IET has Savoy Place which couldn't be in a better location the right side of Waterloo Bridge and their meeting rooms are free to members - deal! The Law Society has a library but meeting rooms seem to have become a separate commercial operation. I remember once being interviewed there many years ago. It was not  a pleasant experience.

So what is the consensus for a successful solo live - the full managed office or working on your bed at home with a laptop ?


  1. I manage by home working for most of the time, and a visit to the local city library for "quiet" time when drafting patents. It seems to work quite well.

    1. You dont live in York - their libraries are more vibrant than that. I think the bus to Leeds and a Patlib library would be needed

  2. You are correct. But, I'm not saying the library in question is quiet - it just doesn't have the distractions of a home office, and (perhaps paradoxically) I find it more conducive to "getting one's head down".

  3. Had the great fortune to be able to work from home in a renovated barn separate from the house...calm, and all mod-cons, with the added advantage of being physically forced to get out of my executive office chair to attend to the call of nature back in the house - now in rented office space after moving house, not only is the toilet closer, so a reduction in physical activity once at the office, but I have to drive to work and pay rent...having said that, I'm a damn sight easier to find now for my clients than before. Swings and roundabouts as they say.