Cheap and Free Services for Freelancers and Remote Workers in London
London provides freelancers, start-ups and small businesses a variety of affordable and free services. Everything from inviting workspaces to Wi-Fi hotspots are helping to make doing business easier and more cost effective, whether you are a small businesses or a solo operation. There are also a variety of choices for shared or co-working spaces that help new and growing business build relationships and learn from other innovators.
Shared Office Space
Small operations are often based at home. With co-working and shared office spaces, entrepreneurs and start-ups can work in a professional workspace without having to investing heavily on overhead costs associated with a traditional office. This gives a growing business time to find its footing before moving into a longer-term space. It also provides freelancers with a great place to meet with clients and work without having to always rough it at home.
Shared offices provide freelancers, entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes with a space to work and meet with clients. They feature a range of services, including free Wi-Fi and access to shared resources such as meeting rooms and technology. In addition to flexible lease terms with all-in-one monthly billing, shared offices also provide workstations and offices based on daily and weekly rates. Some co-working spaces also offer free access. London is home to some of the UK's top shared office spaces, including HUB Westminster, Google Campus, The Cube, Club Workspace, and The Office Group.
Technology Services for Freelancers and Start-ups
New technology is changing the way the world does business. It is also helping freelancers and start-ups connect and innovate in ways that were not possible only a decade ago. With cloud computing, freelancers and growing businesses have new ways of working away from home or the office. Cloud computing is a great way to store files and access them from anywhere, including co-working offices or freelancer-friendly spaces like a café or library. Hot desking is also making it easier for start-up and growing businesses to make small offices spaces work. Businesses can save money and space with hot desks, especially if they have a mobile workforce that typically is not in the office at the same time.
Free access to wireless Internet has also become a good way to cut costs and do business, especially for remote workers. Wi-Fi hotspots across the capital are practical resources for entrepreneurs and freelances to work from almost anywhere, whether it is a café or on the London Underground. In recent years, companies such as The Cloud, O2, Virgin Media and BT are improving wireless internet access across London. Stadiums, shopping centres, rail stations, restaurants, bars and shops are increasingly offering free Wi-Fi. This makes doing business possible from practically anywhere in London. With O2's outdoor wireless network in Central London, it's even possible to work in green spaces and places like Trafalgar Square.
Business Incubators and Hubs
London is home to some of Europe's top business incubators, particularly for businesses in the technology sector. Business incubators provide welcoming spaces for entrepreneurs and start-ups to learn and develop. Supports and tools such as mentoring and training help build ideas into viable and marketable products and services. Incubators provide focused help to help businesses grow faster into sustainable operations. They also typically provide financing to new companies that show promise.
London is also home to major sector hubs, including Tech City. The technology cluster supports and promotes the growth of high tech companies in the capital, including innovative start-ups. Tech City is also attracting leading companies from around the world to London in the hopes of creating Europe's most important digital capital. The London's Artist Quarter is also emerging as a leading art cluster and hub in East London. The area is seeing a growth in galleries, artists and studios thanks to revitalisation efforts in the East End, particularly around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Start-Up and Freelancer Friendly Spaces in London
Coffee shops have become a staple for freelancers. They provide a relaxing space to write and think. They are also convenient places to meet with clients and other freelancers. Most coffee shops in London offer free Wi-Fi, from chains like Costa Coffee and Starbucks to independent cafes like Ray's Jazz Café in London's West End.
London is full of spaces that cater to freelance work and welcome new businesses that are just starting up. Places like 90 Main Yard, the Google Campus and Mozilla London provide collaborative spaces for freelancers and entrepreneurs to work and meet. In addition to free Wi-Fi and a relaxed environment, many of these collaborative spaces provide support services such as access to meeting rooms.
There are also less obvious freelancer and start-up friendly spaces, such as the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre and the British Library. These popular locations are associated more with culture and tourism than business, but they provide welcoming environments for freelancers. Like much of London, they also offer free Wi-Fi access.