Even back in the pre-COVID-19 olden days, before the pandemic began, many businesses were slowly changing the way they worked. Staff were working more flexibly, some companies were already closing offices or downsizing. Covid was in many ways just an accelerant, albeit a fairly colossal one; a gargantuan dose of paraffin on the smouldering bonfire of change. But what does this period of flux mean for the traditional ‘office’?
Huge head offices have given way to more varied and flexible options, with businesses having to adapt to new ways to accommodate a workforce that may be split between both home and office. The challenge is finding the right workspace to bring colleagues together as and when it’s required. Flexible workspaces are now crucial in providing a service for companies who are looking for versatility, be it a serviced office, a short lease, a meeting space or a hot desk.
For small companies in particular this offers huge benefits for managing overheads and adapting as teams grow and change. Many co-workspaces offer a whole range of resources, ranging from breakout areas, event spaces, communal kitchens and gyms offering working environments which might otherwise be out of reach.
Here are five of our favourite work places located near to us in Reading and Newbury:
Wessex House is our top pick for virtual office space in Newbury. It offers everything a business could need and more, with a fully staffed reception, bookable meeting facilities, flexible coworking space and super fast wifi. Situated on the popular Oxford Road, the centre is just outside of Newbury town centre, offering excellent transport links along with onsite parking.
Filled with charm and period features, this impressive business centre ticks all the boxes for prestige and location. Meeting facilities are available to book by the hour, offering you the flexibility you need. Coworking space is available to book by the day, with fast wifi, tea and coffee included. Don’t be tied down with strict contracts and expensive overheads. Wessex House gives you the flexibility that you need to make those all important business decisions.
We’re real fans of this work space, situated in the heart of Reading in a smart refurbished office building on King’s Road, moments from the Oracle shopping centre and just a short stroll from the station. Work.Life’s space in Reading offers all the features you might expect from a well-established Work space provider, including hot desks, meeting rooms and private offices, as well as a few you might not, including a great roof terrace, provision for pets and a free brekkie every Monday morning! Their hot desking membership even allows you to drop in on any of their other spaces in London and beyond.
Oh and our favourite thing about Work.Life? They’re a certified B Corp, which means they’re meeting the highest standards when it comes to social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Buick Mackane, Newbury
We love this space, and are frequent visitors ourselves for break out meetings. Buick Mackane is a new and independent flexible workspace has recently opened in Newbury town centre, close to town but with the added bonus of car parking at the back should you need it. Many different membership options are available, whether you’re looking for a hot desk to share with a colleague for a morning, or you need a private office for an important meeting. An added bonus is you’re not drawn into contracts and can remain flexible.
The space is certainly set up both to energise and inspire with vibrant decor, and as well as the usual facilities you can expect – fast wi-fi and a kitchen to rustle up some lunch. There’s also an artists studio, an events space and a private phone booth.
The Curious Lounge, Reading
Another of our favourites. Not really an office space, but more of a meeting and collaboration space – as well as just an all-round nice place to be. The Curious Lounge includes a relaxed business lounge and café, as well as comfortable meeting and training rooms, plus it’s just a 2-minute walk from Reading train station. It’s a great environment to work, a welcome change from home-working or a fantastic flexible alternative to serviced office space for teams to collaborate as regularly as they need to. As Curious Lounge say themselves: A place to listen, learn and meet.
With specially-designed membership options, there is something that suits everyone, from team packages with flexible access to dedicated meeting rooms.
You can’t argue with the location for these offices directly opposite Reading Station, in the recently refurbished Thames Tower. Once an eyesore, the tower is now a real landmark and a hive of activity. Situated over multiple contemporary floors, Fora Reading incorporates flexible workspace, bookable event areas, meeting rooms, lounges and a stylish top-floor club room and sky garden. Whether you’re needing a whole floor to yourself, a designated office or just a desk, the Fora experience is engineered to maximise productivity, wellbeing, and overall satisfaction – for people and businesses of all sizes.
Maintaining a positive and productive environment is key to this workplace, which also offers wellness facilities and classes, an inspiring events programme, kitchens, stocked with complimentary tea, coffee, fruit and snacks, plus luxurious showers and a safe place to store your bicycle.