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SPR Site Visit: Work.Life
Waverley House, 9 Noel St, Soho, London W1F 8GQ, 5th February 2020
I was lucky to be among a select group of a dozen or so SPR members who visited Work.Life’s flex office premises in Soho, which they recently opened.
The tour was led by
, who founded Work.Life with Elliot Gold in 2015. The business has expanded rapidly and now incorporates 15 branches, most of which are in fashionable areas of London, including Camden, Bermondsey and Clerkenwell, though they also now have a regional presence in Manchester and Reading.
David explained that Work.Life’s approach is to partner with landlords to enhance the amenity of space they own, with a particular focus on animating the ground floor areas in order to entice new users, to some extent aping retail and coffee shop design. Their premises are generally at the smaller end of the co-working spectrum, scaled at less than 20k square feet, and enable number of different ‘plug and play’ models for users.
The partnership model means that there is no risk to the landlord’s investment value, David stressed, as Work.Life take on all the operational and fit-out responsibilities, allowing owners to reduce voids without the need for any speculative capex. They have recently embarked on a joint venture with Knight Frank called ‘Yours’ to promote their activities in this area.
The tour highlighted the range of options that Work.Life provides to its members (users of the space), including a ‘flex’ option allowing individuals to hot desk across a number of buildings and a ‘resident’ package, which provides private offices priced per desk and is aimed at bigger businesses as well as start-ups. EY have already taken up this arrangement in a number of locations to house teams working on fixed-term projects.
SPR members were also shown the common relaxation and networking spaces available for all members to use (including coffee bar, of course), which clearly have a major role to play in Work.Life’s stated vision of ‘creating a personal work-space experience designed to increase happiness and engagement.’