As more and more of us work somewhere other than a traditional office or become part of the 'gig economy', there has been a dramatic increase in the number of co-working spaces popping up in major towns and cities throughout the UK.
Marketed as a more work-focussed alternative to coffee shops, co-working spaces usually charge a small fee per day, or month, in exchange for space to work, and necessary facilities such as power, wireless internet and often simple refreshments such as tea and coffee.
Co-working spaces range in style and quality, and price. At the cheaper end of the market, long communal bench desks and bench seating often feature. Slightly more upmarket are those which offer individual desks, or even 'accoustic pods' such as you might see in a more traditional open-plan office space.
At the upper end of the co-working market, and price range, though are a select few modern, stylish and upmarket spaces designed to be pleasant social arenas in which to spend your working day, rather than merely a place to park your laptop.
One such premium example is Thomas House in Victoria, London. Constructed in 1989 to match the Regency-style properties in the area, the building has now been converted into a stylish open-plan co-working space.
Thomas House now incorporates a variety of workspaces, from breakfast bar style seating to comfy breakout seating, large open plan desks and private booths. The lighting is subdued and classy, and any visitor could easily be forgiven for thinking they have walked into the London base of a major technology company.
Other features available at Thomas House, for members of the co-working space, include a library, gym, drinks bar, meditation room and a roof terrace boasting impressive views across the City of London.
In common with many co-working spaces, Thomas House has been set up very much to encourage mixing and socialising between the buildings many users, who span different professions and organisations. Although the building has two distinct wings, all of the communal facilities have been placed in the central area of the building, allowing people to mingle easily and encouraging spontaneous interactions.
More spaces like Thomas House are appearing throughout the country every day, as a great value alternative to owning or renting increasingly pricey office space.