From the home of Stylist



In our home-working fantasy, we start the day with warm croissants and a pot of tea before tapping away on our laptop while wearing slippers and taking the odd phone call. But then we did it IRL and found all that home-time a little isolating. When we struggled with a project, we spent a lot of time cleaning the bathroom. And the kitchen. Some of us have to work from home during the Olympics. We know what Boris Johnson thinks: we’re all gorging on cheese and skiving. We’re not though. Most of us need to work. We explore four ways to work effectively without being in the office. (Watching the odd bit of Olympics coverage is allowed.)

Rent a desk

Hot-desking offers flexibility, allowing you to rent a desk in a serviced office by the hour, the day or for longer chunks of time. For £20, you can get access to Near Desk’s network, and then follow the pay-as-you-go pricing plan set by venues across London, Essex and the south coast. Desk Union offers a similar service in Aberdeen and Open Space offers hot desking from £15.50 per day in Hulme in Manchester. Use the referral code EmeraldStreet when booking with Near Desk and you will receive £20 off your first use.

Hold a jelly

So called because the founders were eating Jelly Beans at the time of conception, jellies are free creative co-working groups, which encourage members to share ideas and brainstorm. Jellies take place in cafes, offices and homes, with an emphasis on inspiration and flexibility: share your ideas, ask for help, or just listen. The idea was developed in the US but the global reach is vast, with jellies now taking place throughout the UK and all over the world. Click here for British jellies.

Eat cake and email

Working in a cafe can be rewarding (tea, cake, Beyoncé playing) but it needs to have the right facilities. Work Snug matches your working requirements with a venue. Input your location and it generates work-friendly venues, each with information on power supply, noise level, refreshments and user reviews. The range of venues is impressive and there is a free app, which pinpoints work-friendly venues within your immediate location and displays their vital statistics.

Work in a cloud

We once spent three hours searching our flat for a memory stick that held a very important Power Point presentation. We found it at work. True story. If you’re working away from the office, use a consumer file hosting service such as iCloud (up to 5GB free) or Microsoft Ski Drive (up to 7GB free) to store and transfer your documents. Google Docs is another useful tool for hot deskers: it allows you to share, edit, view and comment on documents for free.


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