5 Reasons Why Co-Working Doesn’t Have To Sacrifice Privacy

Co-working sometimes gets an unfair reputation for sacrificing privacy and quiet. In fact, the opposite is often true. Sharing office space can be a fantastically secure and productive way of working and we want to dispel any myths that say otherwise.

In this article, we run through the reasons why it is certainly not the case that co-working sacrifices privacy. We also look at specific efforts made by co-working business centres like Us & Co make to make sure that their members have a quiet, productive, personal space to work in.


 

1. How office layout ensures privacy

From the spacing of desks to the selection of furniture, a lot of thought and planning goes into the layout of a co-working space. Panels on the side of desks ensure that every individual worker can work on confidential projects without being overlooked. Break-out spaces are also typically kept very separate to working stations, with dedicated areas or rooms for breaks and lunches. This means that the coffee-break chatter doesn’t distract fellow co-workers who are sat at their desks.

 

Interior of Us & Co, laid out to ensure privacy for office workers   Us&co Office Desk Space

 


 

2. Secure buildings

Despite a misguided perception to the contrary, co-working spaces don’t allow just anybody to  ‘come-and-go’ as they please. Shared offices often adopt fob-card entry systems, door codes or networked entry key cards. This means that only paying members can gain entrance to the space.

Similarly important is the efforts put in place to protect co-workers’ personal belongings. From dedicated bike storage space to personal lockable cabinets, co-working doesn’t have to mean the hassle of taking everything with you every time you leave the office.


 

3. Secure internet connection

Privacy and security are no longer essential in just a physical sense, but are also crucial from a digital perspective. Compared to consumer and retail online fraud, which have been declining in recent years, cybercrime against businesses in the UK has grown by a worrying 63% since early 2017.

It is therefore a growing priority for co-working spaces and shared offices to provide their members with secure, fast internet connection. For example, all At Us & Co members have access to our super fast and highly secure WiFi, the cost of which is fully included in the up-front membership fees. We have a 1gb resilient internet line that allows for an average upload/download speed of 70mbs per second, meaning that members can surf with confidence.


 

4. Private meetings rooms

Privacy in co-working spaces doesn’t end with the work you do while sat at your desk. Many co-working brands offer private bookable meeting rooms, specially designed to keep your discussions among your team only. Sound-proofing panels are often installed on the walls of meeting rooms to stop your conversation spilling out. Similarly, frosted glass doors and windows are a great addition to a private meeting room, preventing anyone from seeing in whilst still allowing for the essential flow of natural light.

 

Us&co Boardroom - perfect for private meetings

 


 

See for yourself how conducive co-working set-ups are to privacy and productivity, by booking a tour at one of our business centres in London Monument or Dublin St. Stephen’s Green.

Co-Working & Private Office Memberships With No Hidden Costs

Infographic Of The Inclusions Of Us And Co's Co-Working Memberships

 

Here at Us & Co, we guarantee that our co-working and private office members will never face any hidden costs.

 

Whether you’re looking to rent private offices to single desks, we are up-front about everything that is included in your membership fees and will never ask you to pay more for the ‘extra things’ that make up your co-working experience.

We understand how frustrating it can be to be forced to pay additional fees for every little thing. From cleaning services and storage to fast WiFi and printing, co-workers are often charged extra for services that you would be forgiven for assuming were part of what they’ve already paid.

Hidden costs outside of membership fees are, unfortunately, fairly common practice in the co-working and private office industries. We are determined to be different.

 

Our Membership Fees

 

The below is a breakdown of the varying membership fees for our professional, shared workspace in London Monument:

Serviced Private Offices: From £650 + VAT per desk, per month

Fixed Desk Co-Working: From £595 + VAT per month

Hot Desk Co-Working: From £35 + VAT per day or £295 + VAT per month

 

For our Dublin 2, St. Stephen’s Green business centre, membership fees are as follows:

Serviced Private Offices: From €950 + VAT per desk, per month

Fixed Desk Co-Working: From €550 + VAT per month

Hot Desk Co-Working: From €350 + VAT per month

 

If you are interested in learning more about private office hire or co-working, please check out the rest of our website. If you would like to find out more or book at tour at either of our spaces, please give us a phonecall on 020 3031 3535 (London) or +353 (1) 529 4100 (Dublin). Alternatively, you can contact us here.

 

 

 

 


The Ultimate Guide For Start-Ups In London

Download our FREE e-book discussing the London start-up scene and our top tips for thriving as a start-up in the UK capital. Click the link below to download.

 

The Ultimate Guide For Startups In London

 

The Ultimate Guide For Start Ups In London Ebook

 


 

A thriving, populous city at the heart of global finance, technology and entrepreneurship, London is one of the most popular locations for start-ups in the world. There are currently an estimated 205,000 start-ups in the city, and that number is expected to continue growing from year to year.

Here at Us & Co, we have witnessed this first-hand. Our clientele of co-workers and private office members includes freelancers, start-ups and SMEs from a range of industries. We’ve seen new brands thrive into flourishing industry leaders and professional partnerships blossom within our very walls.

However, we have also seen the day to day reality of the trials of running a new business, whether you’re a one-man-band or a small team. Especially in big, bustling and expensive cities, the pressures of juggling your workload, finances, professional relationships and company admin can be extreme.

That’s why we’ve put together this Ultimate Guide for Start-ups in London, with our top tips for making the most of being an up-and-coming business in the capital, including:

    • Enhancing Productivity
    • Networking
    • Finding Investors & Crowdfunding
    • Co-Working
    • Attracting The Best Staff
    • Stress Management
    • Learning From Failure

 

If you are interested in learning more about renting private offices, fixed desks, hot-desks or meeting rooms in London or Dublin, please check out our website.

 


7 Tips For Surviving A Long Meeting

Sometimes long meetings are unavoidable. For example, quarterly reviews, training sessions or staff workshops can easily stretch to half a day or even a whole 9 to 5. But these long meetings don’t need to be painful. In this blog, we outline our top tips for making the most of a long meeting, helping you ensure they are enjoyable, engaging and productive.


 

1. Go Somewhere New

One of the best way to energise your team ahead of a big meeting is to offer them a new experience. Give them a break away from the office that they work in every day and meeting rooms that they have already spent many hours in.

This works because the human brain naturally seeks out novelty. In a phenomenon known as the ‘coffee shop effect’, changing scenery has been shown to make workers more motivated, productive and creative, through increasing their levels of dopamine.

We therefore recommend booking external meeting rooms, especially for long meetings. This will offer your team a welcome change from the everyday and help you lead a more productive and impactful session.


 

2. Take Regular Breaks

When you have a lot to cover, it is tempting to try and do so in one long session. However, doing this can significantly impact how useful the overall meeting will be. For both those running a long meeting and those participating, not having regular breaks will naturally reduce an individual’s productivity and ability to contribute.

According to the International Institute for Facilitation and Change, multi-hour meetings should have a break scheduled at least every 90 minutes. Short breaks of just 5 to 10 minutes will make a huge difference to the concentration levels of your team, allowing members to stretch their legs, use the bathroom and drink water. So long as you are clear when participants are expected to return to the meeting room, they will do so re-energised and better equipped to make the most of the session.


 

3. Use A Variety of Mediums

Not everyone in a meeting responds to the same methods. Some people prefer simply listening to a speaker, so they can make their own notes. Others prefer brainstorming on a whiteboard or receiving hand-outs, so they can focus on participation rather than writing. It is therefore essential that a long meeting doesn’t confine itself to a single method of presentation. Otherwise, there will inevitably be some participants who are less likely to get the most of the session. Also, switching up the mediums you use will add variety to the long meeting, helping to keep your team engaged and interested by offering them something new.

There are a great number of mediums that we recommend you take advantage of when running a long meeting. As mentioned, whiteboard brainstorming is a fantastic way to encourage the participation of the whole room. Likewise, easy-to-follow hand-out notes are a hugely effective method of ensuring everyone in the meeting takes away the key points and actions. Other opportunities include: screen presentations, videos, quizzes, worksheets and role-play scenarios.


 

4. Have A Clear Meeting Agenda In Advance

If you are clear from the beginning what a long meeting will entail, you are much more likely to get what you want out of that meeting.

Pre-agreed upon meeting agendas are important because they establish the tone of the meeting. They ensure that everyone involved understands the purpose of the meeting, what needs to be achieved and what they should take away from it. Also, they frame the conversation, helping keep topic points to their allotted time-frames and reducing the possibility of distractions or irrelevant questions derailing the conversation.

Prior to the meeting, contact the participants with your proposed agenda of the topics you want to address. If anyone has any additional topics to add, it is best that you learn this ahead of time so that you can work it into the timeline of the meeting.


 

6. Provide Catering & Drinks

Especially if your long meeting is a recurring, compulsory event – such as a quarterly review – it is important to show your team that you value their attendance and participation. Offering them simple meetings perks, like catering and drinks, can make a significant difference to their enthusiasm. Also, there is the obvious advantage of ensuring that your participants remain hydrated, energised and alert.


 

7. Try Standing Meetings

Remaining seated for a long meeting is damaging to both your physical health and mental concentration. Instead, you should add an extra element of variety to the session, by encouraging users to spend some of the meeting stood up. You can approach this in a number of ways. For example, you could ask the entire team to stand up around the table; you could encourage individual members to stand at a whiteboard for a particular section; or you could even take the team for a walk to continue the meeting outside.

A 2014 study titled ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ found that teams who stood during meetings were more productive than teams who sat in chairs. Some participants also stated that they found standing meetings tended to pass more quickly, as well as finding it easier to participate.

At Us & Co, we have some specially designed bookable meeting rooms with high tables, which are perfect for standing meetings.

 

standing meeting desk space at us & co monument


5 Ways That Natural Light Improves Workplace Productivity

Research shows that providing workers with access to lots of natural light has a phenomenal impact on their productivity. In this blog, we look at the varying ways that daylight contributes to physical and mental health, efficiency, creativity and overall workplace wellbeing.


 

1. How Plenty Of Daylight Helps You Sleep Better At Night

Neuroscience researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago concluded that there is a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and a worker’s sleep quality. They found that workers in offices with windows slept an average of 46 more minutes per night. They also showed signs of much higher overall sleep quality – with more time typically spent in deep sleep – as well as being less likely to experience sleep talking, sleep walking or snoring.

The reason for this connection comes down to the impact of lighting on a human’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm dictates the body’s release of hormones (especially melatonin), natural sleep-wake cycle, body temperature and a whole range of other crucial bodily functions. Not receiving enough natural daylight during the working day causes major disruption to this rhythm.


 

2. The Impact Of Natural Light On Mental Health

Working for lengthy periods of time without daylight directly increases an individual’s risk of developing mental health issues. Depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) are all linked to disruption to the circadian rhythm. Research also shows that natural light helps people to be generally much happier, calmer and less susceptible to the impact of stress.

Mental health problems currently cost the UK economy an estimated £70-100 billion per year, thanks to loss of productivity and earnings, as well as the burden on our health service. With the average UK adult spending approximately 90% of their waking hours indoors, it is becoming more important than ever that employers prioritise staff wellbeing when selecting office space and consider natural lighting in their decision.


 

3. The Impact Of Natural Light On Physical Health

Another damaging side-effect of not receiving enough natural light is Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is essential for a number of core bodily functions, including regulating the immune system, maintaining body weight and ensuring healthy cognitive function. Deficiencies in the mineral have been conclusively linked to flu, asthma, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. A workplace study conducted by Cohere found that workers in offices without windows took 6.5% more sick leave each year.

Artificial light also contributes to eye problems and migraines. Dim lighting forces the eyes to work much harder in order to see, leading to eye strain and headaches. Overly harsh lighting – florescent lighting in particular – makes it more difficult to focus your vision, and is also a known trigger for eye strain and migraines.


 

4. How Daylight Makes Workers More Productive

It is inarguably easier for workers to learn, think creatively and be productive when they are working somewhere with lots of daylight. Research published by Eco Business showed that workplaces with sufficient daylight saw an uplift of between 5 and 40% in productivity and sales. Studies in schools have similarly shown that pupils retain information far better if regularly taught in classrooms with plenty of windows.

Playwright and Nobel Prize winner George Bernard Shaw was a strong advocate of the value of natural light for boosting his creativity and productivity. He worked for over 20 years in a specially-built writer’s hut that he designed to stand on a mechanical turntable, allowing him to move the whole studio on its axis to follow the sunlight.

Welcome To Us & Co’s Brand New Dublin Work Space

Us & Co is very excited to announce our brand new business centre in St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin 2, which will be opening its doors in October 2018.

Our contemporary, professional and expertly refurbished building at 5 Schoolhouse Lane offers both private offices and flexible co-working in an open-plan environment. At both our London Monument centre and in Dublin 2, we pride ourselves on providing our members with a five-star-service in five-star surroundings.

By way of introduction to Us & Co Dublin, this article will tell you the story behind our decision to choose Dublin as the home of our second business centre, the impact of Brexit on business in the Irish capital and why we believe the city has such strong potential.

 

Birds Eye View Of St Stephen's Green, home of Us & Co's new Dublin work space


 

The Dublin Growth Story

We were keen to grow the Us & Co brand in Dublin, inspired by how well the city has recovered from the problems it suffered following the financial crisis ten years ago.

The widespread economic downturn of 2008/2009 hit Ireland especially hard. It was the first state in the eurozone to officially enter recession, with the Irish Stock Exchange general index plummeting to a 14 year low and the unemployment rate rising from 6.5% to 14.8% in just the space of a year. Dublin, in particular, saw significant unrest – with hundreds of thousands of people demanding that the government to do something about the slumping economy.

Fast forward to 2018 and Dublin is a thriving city, with lots of potential for further growth. It is home to many international companies which are expanding their operations there, making use of the well-educated workforce.

In recent years, Dublin has also established itself as a desirable location for the tech sector. Among others, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Airbnb have all set up headquarters there, spawning growth in other businesses providing services to them.

With current Us & Co members coming from a wide range of sectors and businesses, including the tech industries – we realised that Dublin offers a great opportunity for us.


 

The Impact Of Brexit On Business In Dublin

The impact of the UK referendum result is already noticeable in the city, as – for many companies – Dublin is the best way to access the European Union. The uncertainty of Brexit has meant that many international companies – big and small – have taken the decision to set up bases in Dublin, in order to ensure they can maintain trading relationships within the EU in the medium and long-term.

It is estimated that close to 100 large banks, insurers and law firms are considering Dublin as their EU base and the last two years have seen 1,317 lawyers from England and Wales register for the Roll of Solicitors in Ireland – dubbed an influx of ‘Brexit refugees’. Small businesses, too, are being lured by the Irish city in the wake of Article 50. Back in December 2017, Croke Park stadium in Dublin hosted a dedicated workshop for small businesses around the topic of ‘practical help to navigate Brexit’, which was attended by over 400 small firms.

Companies like these most often want office space with a commitment of two to three years initially, with the opportunity to expand further down the line – which is exactly what we provide at Us & Co with our serviced offices. In fact, we are already seeing direct evidence of this, as our first two clients to to take office space at 5 Schoolhouse Lane have selected the Irish capital for this very reason.


 

What Is The Dublin Co-Working & Private Office Market Like?

The growth of business in Dublin has had an unsurprising knock-on effect on the growth of co-working, hot desking and private office hire in the city, and this market is currently flourishing. As more and more big businesses move to the capital, so too do SMEs, start-ups and freelancers, bringing with them a demand for flexible, professional working space.

The Dublin co-working and private office market is therefore at a really exciting point right now, making the city a clear choice for the Us & Co brand.


 

Why St. Stephen’s Green?

St. Stephen’s Green is arguably ‘the Mayfair’ of Dublin. It is an extremely prestigious area in which to have an office, favoured by the banking and financial services industry. We expect many of our clients to come from these sectors.

In addition, the Irish Government, Trinity College and Grafton Street, Dublin’s prime shopping street are all within five minutes’ walk – as are numerous bars and restaurants. This makes the area very attractive to employers and employees of every business and profession and we expect to attract a wide variety of clients.

 

Bikes In Dublin, Near St. Stephen's Green, the home of Us & Co's Dublin co-working spaceSt Stephen's Green In Autumn, near Us & Co's Dublin co-working space

7 London Party Venues With Fantastic Views

Party season is upon us and -whether you’re organising an event for your colleagues, family or friends – one of the surest ways to host a memorable occasion is to find a venue with a spectacular view. Especially in London, where the skyline changes every corner you turn around, there are some fantastic views available.

To guide you in your selection of London event venues with views that’ll wow your guests, we’ve put together our top recommendations (in no particular order) from across the capital…


 

1. Roof Terrace, Sea Containers Events

The Sea Containers building on London’s South Bank is a hugely iconic space, with its illuminated letters forming a hugely memorable part of the riverside skyline. Although the building is not normally accessible to the public, the Roof Terrace has been opened as a spectacular alfresco event venue that can cater up to 200 guests. Close to the Tate Modern, London Eye and the Southbank Centre, this exclusive space offers a fantastic view of bustling central London.

 

Sea Containers Building, on the London South Bank At Night (1)

Image © Gareth E. Kegg


 

2. Shoreditch Sky Terrace

Shoreditch has a strong reputation as one of the trendiest spots in London, with a plethora of bars, restaurants and clubs. But, if you’re looking to host a party somewhere a bit more exclusive and away from all that, the Shoreditch Sky Terrace is an excellent option. Complete with a BBQ kitchen, comfortable seating and a cutting-edge music system, to help you keep your guests fully entertained. Like the Sea Containers Roof Terrace, this venue is ideally suited for larger groups – as it can comfortably host up to 200 guests.

 

View Of Shoreditch And The Gherkin


 

3. East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf

One of the most enticing aspects of Canary Wharf is how the modern financial district and the historic dockland sit side-by-side, making it a hugely memorable location for hosting an event, especially in the summer. East Wintergarden is a luxury occasion venue, sitting at the heart of the area, nestled in between the iconic skyscrapers and right on the bank of the river – perfect for impressing your guests.

 

Image of Canary Wharf in the summer party season

East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, a great summer party venue

Second image © Martin Pearce


 

4. The Corinthian Roof Terrace, Kia Oval

This bright, open event venue is the perfect spot for a party with a difference, as it based at the top of the OCS Stand, overlooking the stunning Kia Oval international cricket ground, home of Surrey Cricket Club. Close to Vauxhall and Kennington, this space is considered somewhat of a hidden London gem. With views of the cricket pitch on one side and iconic London landmarks (including the London Eye) on the other, hosting your party at the Corinthian Roof Terrace is a fantastic way to enjoy the best that London has to offer.

 

Kia Oval Cricket Ground In Surrey, a great location for London Summer Parties

Image © Chris Allen

Image Of Red Phone Boxes In Soho, London, home of the Century Club for Summer Parties

Why Co-Working Is Ideal For Start-Up Companies

Here at Us & Co, we get a lot of start-up companies through our door, looking for somewhere reliable to work while they find their feet as a business. We love to watch brands with only a handful of hot-desking, co-working employees thrive and grow into a flourishing company ready to take over a whole floor or private office.

It’s not hard to see why co-working is so suitable for up-and-coming, new companies. Options such as hot-desking or renting a fixed desk mean that you don’t have to put up with the financial commitment of hiring a whole office, the distraction of working from home, or the instability of moving from coffee shop to coffee shop.

So, if you are part of a start-up and are weighing up your day-to-day working options, read on to see why co-working could be the ideal step forward for you.


 

Co-Working Offers Flexibility

Life as a start-up can be unpredictable. Fortunately, fixed-desk or hot desk working is designed to offer you complete freedom to flex with that unpredictability, should you need to. That’s because, unlike with traditional office leases, you’re not tied into extensive contracts. You only pay for the desk space that you need, for as long as you need.

What’s more, co-working is the ideal starting point for a company looking to expand. It offers you the flexibility to begin with just a few desks and then add more and more until you’re ready to take over your own private office – helping you bridge the gap between start-up and thriving new brand.


 

Co-Working Opens Doors To A Wealth Of Facilities

As a start-up, you likely don’t have the funds to focus on creating high-tech meeting rooms, relaxing breakout spaces or barista-style coffee machines. Even getting hold of high-speed internet can often be difficult. But with co-working, all that is taken care of for you.

When you hire a hot desk, for example, you don’t just get access to that single desk. You get access to a variety of additional amenities, often including showers, bike racks, meeting rooms, break rooms, kitchens and even event spaces.

Offering your valued team such fantastic facilities could really help them to buy into your new brand from the get-go, and could prove crucial for employee engagement and retention.


 

Work In The Heart Of The City

It is hugely important when growing your brand to locate your office close to where your customers, clients or potential investors are predominately based, so that you are able to arrange meetings without the hassle and expense of cross-country travel. This often forces you to require space in central London or in other prominent hubs of business, such as Dublin, where rents are high.

Co-working is the most cost-effective way to acquire city centre desk space, particularly when you’re a small team. It makes it affordable to remain close to your contacts, as well as giving you the added perks of popular lunch spots, bars and restaurants right on your doorstep.


 

A Place To Impress

Fostering solid relationships is an essential component to establishing yourself as a start-up. Whether you’re looking to attract and retain talented team-members, impress potential investors or woo clients and customers, being able to meet and greet contacts somewhere professional is integral to making that all-important first impression.

Co-working spaces, such as Us & Co, are dedicated to providing all their members with an office environment that is not only enjoyable, comfortable and attractive to work in on the day-to-day, but offers them a great space to host.

Stylish and easy-to-book meeting rooms are ideal for holding meetings, conference calls or interviews – unless you’re wanting something a bit more informal, in which case co-working provides access to comfortable and spacious breakout spaces where you can chat over a coffee.

CLOSE FORM

Event enquiry

We look forward to planning your next event and welcoming you to Us&Co.

Please fill in the event enquiry form and we will get back to you within 24hrs with food menus and initial quotation.