By Josie Finlay
Revealed: The best and worst workspaces 2019
‘Shall we go somewhere else?’ That’s the hopeful call of SCA creatives stuck in a rut. The studio can be an amazing place, but it also can be hell. Hours wading through stacks of old scamps, breathing air flavoured with microwaved leftovers, squinting through the fluorescent lighting, can make fresh ideas seem impossible to find. So we leave the studio in search of inspiration, nice cheap coffee and a gorgeous wifi connection. But where should we go? Find out in my exclusive rundown: it’s Workspace Top Trumps! (n.b. These all have good wifi connection)
Space: Pretty good: lots of solid tables downstairs. It’s underground though, so you lose all sense of time and could emerge from a hardcore session feeling jet lagged. 6
Noise level: Can be noisy at peak times, but generally fine. 6
Refreshments: It’s Pret, so, good. Also the filter coffee is the cheapest out there. 8
Other: Minus 4 points for being a massive, boring chain.
Space: Nice area upstairs, good light level. Only a few tables though and it’s a little bit cold. 7
Noise level: Fine, although I tried to record a voiceover in the cleaning room here once and you could hear the coffee bean grinder and the loo flushing. Do not do this 7
Refreshments: Standard coffee shop fare, pretty good 7
Space: Nice big tables, some natural light 8
Noise level: There always seem to be meetings going on in here. Nothing that can’t be filtered out with headphones but can be distracting 7
Refreshments: Only ever had a coffee here but I enjoyed it ! 8
Other: Plus 3 points for being for a good cause – it’s pay-what-you-can so less privileged people can afford to come here. I think they do some community outreach stuff, plus events and classes.
Space: Good. They know what they are doing here: They’ve reached desk solidity/size/light level nirvana. Plus nice décor, plants etc – very 2019 9
Noise level: Quiet, good for solo work but be careful if you’re doing partner stuff – Coco and I got told off for laughing too loudly about life insurance or something 7
Refreshments: Depends. If you buy normal food and drink it’s good, but you can also go with the pay-as-you-go option and get free tea and coffee. This is a great gesture but the coffee honestly tastes like diluted mud water. However, they also have bottles of water with cucumber shavings in, which is the secret to most ECDs’ success 7
Other: I actually don’t really like the pay-as-you-go system because it stresses me out and I feel like I’m watching the clock instead of working. Minus 3 points.
Tate Britain work room
Space: So nice! Just such a great room. And it’s in the Tate, so you’re surrounded by inspiration. Shame that the tables are so low 8
Noise level: Good. Not many people seem to know about this place 9
Refreshments: There’s free tea and coffee, wish there were biscuits but you can’t take the piss with the taxpayer these days 8
Other: Plus one point because I like it
Joe & The Juice, central London
Space: They have good chairs sometimes, but the tables are hunchback-level low. It’s also really dark. 5
Noise level: THE MUSIC IS CLUB-VOLUME 2
Refreshments: Love their juices, but they could do with filtering the pulp out of their prices if you know what I’m saying! 5
Other: Minus two points for the insanely flirty staff – my theory is that the first rule in the J&TJ employee handbook is ‘Undress every customer with your eyes’. I find this can be distracting.
My current workspace – 10.13 train to Cambridge North, carriage G, aisle seat
Space: Bad. My laptop is resting on my lap because I don’t even have a table. The floor, where all my stuff is (including a big orchid I just bought from M&S), is wet. 1
Noise level: Lots of chat going on in here! 3
Refreshments: I didn’t have time to get a coffee at the station and there’s nothing on the train. Feeling cranky! 1
Other: Plus one point because I managed to write a SCAB, so it can’t be that bad.
So, the winner is the Brixton Pound! Cool! Go there, it’s great. I’ll be in Pret though, because it’s the only place I can afford coffee.
The copy scores 78.5 in the Flesch Reading Ease test