Whilst many freelancers work from home, there are a large percentage who choose to work from a co-working space. This could be because they don’t have the space for a home office, or maybe they find it hard to focus in a home environment. There are a lot of benefits of working from co-working spaces, such as having other people around – both for company and to bounce ideas off.
According to the Global Coworking Growth Study 2020 coworking just keeps increasing in popularity – with the UK is third place behind the USA and India for having the most coworking spaces – not badconsidering the size of the UK!
I’m fine with my own company and work from home most of the time (I’m lucky to have a home office space) but I do try and sepnd some time each month getting away from home to focus on business development as I find a change of scenery really helps e be more creative and switch me out of business mode.
I’ve checked out some of the co-working spaces on offer in and around where I live, and I share these below.
If you have been to a space I haven’t yet tried, do let me know and I will add it to my list for this year!
Coworking Devon: Buckfastleigh
With very easy access just off the A38, this beautifully located co-working space is run by Jack Dicker of Archlime.
The space has both single and groups of desks, facilitating groups of people going co-working together and has spacious desks, adjustable chairs and lots of powerpoints and USB points for everything you carry with you. They also have a well equipped kitchen facility, and a seperate meeting room if you need to have a meeting with a big screen and good audio-visuals. It’s also dog-friendly!
We had a lovely warm welcome from Jack and Isla, who made sure we had everything we needed during our visit.
The Propeller: Exmouth
Propeller:Exmouth was one of the first venues I tried for co-working and my plan for the day was working on reviewing my website. Thanks to Jim and Jasper for their welcome to this lovely, warm and friendly place.
The Propeller is a social enterprise focussed on bringing together creatives to help them scale their businesses via collaboration and sharing of ideas. They have lots of events planned and also expansion to create a ‘quiet space’ and more meeting room spaces.
A must try if you are thinking of starting to work away from home, and really good prices to rent a desk. There is no parking on site, but I managed to park for free in a local side street and there are plenty of car parks nearby too.
The Nook: Cullompton
The Nook is located just off the Cullompton turning of the M5 on the Kingsmill Ind. Estate, and there is lots of on-road parking and a few spaces out front.
The Nook is a rustic and very warm and friendly space and I felt completely at home – although it was a really cold day and the fire was welcome!
Alongside co-working spaces, The Nook has office space that you can hire and some businesses have also taken up residence, so you can be assured of some great company.
They also have an onsite cafe (open to the public) serving homemade hot and cold food, run by Phillippa. Phillippa’s brownies are to die for – a must try if you are passing!
Devon Business and Education Centre
Located in beautiful East Devon, near Payhembury, Honiton, the Devon Business and Education Centre sits peacefully amongst trees and fields, overlooking a lily pond – you could not find a more relaxing place!
DBEC is a smart, modern and welcoming centre, run by Chris Lorimer of South West Growth Service. The centre provides facilities and meeting spaces for training and meetings, alongside tutoring (including maths and english support, foreign languages and SAT preparation) offered by Mary Lorimer Tutoring.
With a super kitchen where you can serve yourself, along with a disability-friendly bathroom with shower facilities, and a beautiful terrace to enjoy a break, this is most definitely a venue to visit.
Offices at No.1, Barnfield Crescent, Exeter
I really enjoyed my time at Offices at No.1. I had a very warm welcome from Stuart and was shown around this gorgeous building which has been sympathetically restored and has bags of character.
They have kitchens and bathrooms on each floor (with shower rooms too so there’s no reason not to cycle there!)
Whilst Offices at No 1 were offering co-working spaces, much of the office space is now occupied by businesses that have taken up residence, but do contact Stuart if you do fancy co-working there as they may have space.
There is no onsite parking but plenty of local car parks and of course a great bus service.
The Rabbit Hole, The Mount, Venaspace, Exeter
The last but not least (by far) co-working space I worked from was The Rabbit Hole.
Right in the centre of Exeter, across from the bus station development, The Rabbit Hole is the co-working centre of Venaspace, which has permanent office space to hire as well as permanent desks, and also this fabulous co-working space.
Super trendy, with a lovely kitchen area, bar (free beer Friday anyone?) and pool table as well as practical desks and meeting spaces, this is a really lovely space to work from. With low level music, and sounds of bird song, it feels like you’re in a scene from Alice in Wonderland! I think of all the spaces I’ve visited, this has to be my favourite.
To find out more contact 01392 401989.
Are there any other co-working spaces I’ve missed out on – let me know!