MY RENTADESK IS...
Golden House – I’ve been based there since October 2012. I’d never heard of co-working, but I quickly realised Rentadesk would suit me better than renting a whole office to myself. When you’re setting up on your own, who wants the commitment of a long rental contract? Rentadesk is perfect for me because it’s in central London, has good wifi and there is 24-hour access. When I came to view the place, I knew immediately that it was right for me.
I chose to have a private aka fixed desk because I wanted a space that’s my own and where I could leave my computer equipment and books overnight (hotdeskers take their belongings home at night, or stash them in a Rentadesk locker). Having a permanent desk means I can get to work the minute I arrive at the office in the morning. I also love that my desk has lots of natural sunlight – which is important to me as I spend a lot of time at my computer – and my nearest window overlooks the back garden. Anyone who visits me always says ‘Wow!’ when they see my shared space and the garden view.
JOURNEY TO WORK?
I jump on the Piccadilly line from Southgate to Holborn. From there I walk about ten minutes to Golden House. It is actually a thing I look forward too. There is something about Holborn which is really nice. When I emerge from the tube station, I know it’s ‘work time’ in a great city. People moan about commuting, but I like having a good distance between home and work, as it separates the two in my mind.
It varies depending on the schedule of my clients’ work, and where they need me to be. Sometimes I’ll spend the morning out with clients and then come to Rentadesk around noon. On other days, I’ll come straight here at 9 or 10am. When I arrive, the first thing I do is set up and check emails. In terms of productivity, I wouldn’t say I’m a ‘morning’ or ‘afternoon’ person – I’m pretty steady. The nature of my job is desk based so I take breaks periodically when needed – either in the office garden or a short walk around the local area.
WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?
There are a lot of offices around Holborn, so most of the cafes are busy between 1 and 2pm, so I usually have a late lunch after that. My favourite lunch places are Itsu, Wagamama and the British Museum. I bring my own snacks in – usually a protein bar or a bag of Skittles. Sometimes I’ll extend my lunchtime walk and wander around Covent Garden. I’ll window shop and check out the street performers, surrounded by huge crowds of tourists. The best act so far I have seen has been Iron Man and the Hobbit acting (in character) with each other. Their outfits and dialogue were movie quality!
Usually it’s between 5 and 7pm, although occasionally it is nearer 9pm when I have a deadline looming! If I am leaving early to meet someone for dinner or drinks in the evening, I arrive earlier in the morning so I can make up the time. Travelling during the rush hour isn’t much fun but I listen to music, mainly pop and film scores, which helps. My favourite album at the moment is called ‘For Life’ from a band called Phases. Very catchy tunes.
FAVOURITE LOCAL CAFÉ?
For coffee or a sandwich, I go to Pret a Manger on New Oxford Street. The customer service is great there, I’ve never known such friendly staff! I recently became a fan of Tea and Tattle too, it’s a cosy, quiet coffee shop inside an old bookshop opposite the British Museum, on Great Russell Street. I like the local Wagamama (on Streatham Street) too. Last year I took them up on their offer to visit local workplaces with samples of their healthy food. I had a feeling the other Rentadeskers would appreciate it, and they did!
Argos and Ryman Stationery on Tottenham Court Road – both are handy. The last things I bought from Argos were a lava lamp and a camera. For Ryman, it was highlighters and notebooks.
It would have to be Hubbard & Bell in The Hoxton, on Holborn. It is pretty lively in the evenings – especially on Friday when they have a DJ – yet during the day it’s quiet enough to have meetings there.
The great thing about my job is that everyone needs IT - whatever their sector. I have clients in everything from cosmetic skincare to renewable energy. In addition to helping them, I have been busy developing and selling online courses in MS Excel. It is really fun and I get to teach a tool I love as well as give people some great employable skills. I currently have 10 courses with over 6,000 students enrolled, across more than 120 countries on two major e-learning platforms. I’m passionate about online learning and technology. You can reach a far greater audience than traditional classroom methods allow.
BEST THING ABOUT RENTADESK?
Can I say two things, combined? A great office and a good community of like-minded people. I’m so much more productive working here and it’s a great place to grow my business. I have made some really good friends and it’s always fun to say hi during the course of a day and catch up for a few minutes. Hands down, joining Rentadesk was one of the best decisions I’ve made since I started working for myself.
'Rentadesk People' is a series of interviews self-written by the wonderfully talented and eclectic mix of people who grace us at Rentadesk. If you'd like to become part of the community visit us and say hello!