The days of us all being tied to desks are over - flexible working hours are becoming more and more common, with many of us choosing to split time between the office and home. There are many proven benefits to working from home, such as increased productivity, fewer sick days, higher levels of employee satisfaction and staff reporting a better work-life balance. But there are drawbacks too - lack of interaction with employees and peers can lead to feelings of isolation. People can also experience cabin fever as a result of not leaving their house for long periods of time.
The solution? Remote working outside your home. You might be familiar with the classic cowork spaces in London such as Soho House, We Work and Uncommon, which are popular among start-ups and individual businesses. But the problem with these is the cost – they're great options if you're a regular remote worker but if you just like to get out of the house or the office from time to time, you need a bank of solid working spaces in London where you can decamp for the occasional afternoon.
However, there are plenty of other amazing spots in London that you can head to when you need a place to study in London, or a break from working in your flat, and most of them won’t even cost you a penny to use. There are countless restaurants, cafés and bars that have free WiFi, free-flowing coffee and comfy seating. Being restaurants and cafes, you are naturally expected to buy something while you’re there, but if you purchase the odd coffee here and there, not to mention your lunch, these establishments will be happy to have you. You might even decide after a long day’s work, to treat yourself to dinner out too. Our list of work spaces also includes the best cafes to work in London, where you're guaranteed great coffee and a comfy place to hunker over your laptop for a few hours.
With so many different co-working spots to choose from in London, we’ve put together a guide below to our favourite places to work from home in each area, so you don’t even have to travel too far from your own postcode.
Where to work remotely in east London
To the east, you'll find plenty of trendy coffee shops where laptops are more than welcome, as well as a few slick, modern hotels with lobbies and lounges that are well-equipped for remote workers.
One Hundred Shoreditch
What: The space previously known as the Ace Hotel is well-known as a remote working hotspot - just pop into the ground floor lobby and you’ll see lots of tables with power points, as well as a communal work table in the centre. The excellent coffee shop next door keeps you charged through the day too.
Where: 100 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JQ
Book now: One Hundred Shoreditch
Paradise Green, Liverpool Street
What: The Daisy Green Collective has sites all over London that are great for remote working, but we especially love Paradise Green - it’s big for a start, but proximity to Liverpool Street, friendly vibe and excellent coffee also help to seal the deal.
Where: 100 Bishopsgate, EC2M 1GT
Book now: Paradise Green
What: Fernando Trocca’s laid-back London restaurant and cafe has a huge site in the middle of Shoreditch. It’s not immediately obvious, but the restaurant is actually attached to the Hart Hotel next door, and you’re welcome to work in either (we like to get a pastry from Mostrador and take it into the lovely Hart Hotel lobby next door).
Where: 61-67 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HU
Book now: Mostrador
cloudM at citizenM Tower of London, Tower Hill
What: CitizenM hotels are often good places to do a bit of remote working, but we particularly love the cloudM lounge bar at the Tower of London hotel. Every time you glance up from your screen you’ll get a seventh floor view across London towards The Shard, and there’s usually plenty of space too.
Where: 40 Trinity Square, EC3N 4DJ
Book now: cloudM at citizenM Tower of London
Hoxton Grill, Shoreditch
What: The scarlet red leather booths at Hoxton Grill are highly sought after by freelance folk who are looking to chow down while working on their latest projects. The restaurant’s hearty menu of diner classics - think mac ‘n’ cheese and strip steak - is sure to keep you well-fueled for a productive day of working.
Where: 81 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HU
Book now: Hoxton Grill
Serata Hall, Shoreditch
What: Serata Hall is the latest addition from Albion & East, the group responsible for popular Brixton joints Canova Hall and Pacifica Burger & Cocktail Bar, as well as Hackney destination Martello Hall. This new opening, located on Old Street roundabout is a multi-use space that is a remote worker’s dream – we're talking unlimited coffee and complimentary wifi. The bakery and all-day restaurant serves up signature pizzas and home-made pasta, meaning you can have a cracking lunch (or if you’re burning the midnight oil, dinner) here, too.
Where: 207 Old Street, EC1V 9NR
Book now: Serata Hall
What: The Shoreditch Grind, a post-industrial refectory on Old Street’s silicon roundabout, opens for continental-style breakfasts, and offers an all-day roster of cakes, soups and sandwiches. The ‘grind’ of the title refers to freshly roasted and brewed coffee in all its forms, from skinny lattes during the day to espressos in the evening, meaning you can work from dawn 'till dusk (great). The hip coffee shop doubles as a bar at night, so ideal for (ahem) post-work drinks, too. The mini-chain also has locations in London Bridge and Soho and they too welcome keen WFH-ers.
Where: 213 Old Street, EC1V 9NR
Book now: Grind
Where to work remotely in west London
Towards the west, you'll find boujie cafes with Instagrammable brunches galore. But you shouldn't be Instagramming your brunch - you're working!
The Mayfair Townhouse, Mayfair
What: The Mayfair Townhouse combines elegance and charm, and provides a space where you can work or utilise the meeting and event rooms. Settle in to a quiet corner and work alone, or come with a larger group and book areas like ‘Oscar’s study’ - there really is a room for every occasion. Plus, you can head to the Dandy Bar if you’d rather ‘eat and meet’, with an all day dining menu and spaces for meetings or private dining.
Where: 27-41 Half Moon Street, W1J 7BG
Book now: The Mayfair Townhouse
Granger & Co, Chelsea
What: Granger & Co Chelsea is a great option for remote working in West London when you're looking for somewhere a little more high-end than your average café. You will be expected to order from the menu throughout the day if you want to stay, but in return, you'll be able to get cosy on one of the leather banquettes and enjoy treats from the great food and drinks menu.
Where: 237-239 Pavilion Road, SW1X 0BP
Book now: Granger & Co Chelsea
Where to work remotely in south London
Head south of the river for laid-back spots, some of which even offer day passes with unlimited coffee (especially handy on slow Monday mornings).
BRIX, London Bridge
What: This New York-style warehouse certainly has a lot to offer, including private dining, exhibitions, all-day dining, album launches, film screenings, DJ sets and, most importantly, hot desking. To fuel your day of work, enjoy great coffee along with delicious small plates like chilled beetroot soup, grilled Delica pumpkin with avocado and baby kale or tasty sandwiches.
Where: 16 Great Guildford Street, SE1 0HS
Book now: BRIX
What: SHAMAN’s pleasant coffee houses double up as coworking spots, with all the major necessities of WFH life - good WiFi, good snacks and lots of comfortable places to sit. The menu has lots of good lunch options too, and is especially vegan-friendly.
Where: 157 Tower Bridge Road, SE1 3LW
Book now: SHAMAN Bermondsey
Origin Coffee Southwark
What: Quality coffee is a given at Origin sites around London, but Southwark also has plenty of space for remote workers too. Plus, it’s just a few minutes walk from Southwark station, and there are toasties and pastries on offer too.
Where: 84 Scoresby Street, SE1 0XN
Book now: Origin Coffee Southwark
Canova Hall, Brixton
What: Brixton’s ever-cool Canova Hall serves up Italian classics from its all-day menu, which should keep you energised and motivated throughout the working day. The buzzy vibes and post-industrial interiors that are matched with the building’s old profile as Brixton’s Bon Marché department store go down well with the trendy workers of the area – as do the delicious cocktails served in the evening. You can sign up for a weekly or monthly pass to get unlimited free coffee and wifi.
Where: 250 Ferndale Road, SW9 8BQ
Book now: Canova Hall
Rude Health Café, Putney
What: The large communal benches and free wifi scream for remote workers to flock to this Putney caff, which serves up great coffee and nutritious brain food. Bring your laptop down and grab a healthy breakfast before kicking off your day – hearty soups and fresh sandwiches work decently for lunch, too.
Where: 212 New King's Road, SW6 4NZ
Book now: Rude Health Cafe
Where to work remotely in north London
Whether you live in north London, or are just passing through and need to pause somewhere and fire off some emails, you'll be well-catered to by these restaurants and hotels.
St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar, King’s Cross
What: You might be surprised that a bar with a name involving Champagne would be ideal as a remote working spot, but trust us, it is. St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar, located inside St Pancras International Station, turns a third of its dining spaces into workspace tables during the day, complete with sockets and complimentary wifi. This is also ideal for commuters, or if you’re jumping on the Eurostar on business (or holiday), a quick stop here can turn your half-day into an efficient working day.
Where: Kings Cross, N1C 4QL
Book now: St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar
The Standard Library Lounge, King's Cross
What: The Standard Hotel certainly has a lot to offer when it comes to food, thanks to Decimo and Double Standard. But, if it's a quiet place in which to work you're after, look no further than the Library Lounge. Here, you'll find plush sofas, private corners and playful book pairings such as romance and technology, politics and tragedy or order and chaos. You can also order coffee (or cocktails!) from the restaurants within the hotel.
Where: 10 Argyle Street, WC1H 8EG
Book now: The Library Lounge at The Standard
Great Northern Hotel & RAILS Restaurant, King's Cross
What: A convenient place to get some work done whilst you wait for a train (or the Eurostar from St Pancras) Great Northern Hotel’s RAILS Restaurant is big, with lots of space during the day. We especially love the quaint Little Bar, which has a few little tables you can perch on too.
Where: Great Northern Hotel, N1C 4TB
Book now: RAILS Restaurant and Little Bar
What: Pophams has a considerable cult following thanks to its brilliant pasta restaurant and iconic pastries (do you even live in East London if you haven’t eaten a Pophams Marmite and Schlossberger swirl?). It makes a lovely remote working spot during the day too, with plenty of tables and a pleasing wabi-sabi interior vibe.
Where: 19 Prebend Street, N1 8PF
Book now: Pophams Bakery
Fine and Grosso Coffee Station, Finsbury Park
What: Describing itself as 'laptop-friendly' rather than specifically a co-working space, Finsbury Park's Fine and Grosso is a fantastic place to come and work when you're getting bored of your home office, provided that you do buy food and drink throughout the day. If you don't want to worry about how often you need to buy coffees, Fine and Grosso also offers a day pass which can then be spent on food and drink, which we think is a particularly good idea.
Where: 187 Seven Sisters Road, N4 3NG
Book now: Fine and Grosso Coffee Station
Vagabond N7, Holloway Road
What: Sat on Holloway Road, Vagabond N7 is brilliantly suited to remote working thanks to its large wooden tables and early opening hours (from 7:30 am). There are plenty of charging points dotted around this little café too, and if you ever need to escape for a bit of fresh air, it also benefits from an adorable little garden out back.
Where: 105 Holloway Road, N7 8LT
Book now: Vagabond
Brewdog, Various locations
What: You may have to pay a small fee for this one but we think it's well worth it, given the amount that's included in the price. BrewDog has introduced a remote working initiative called ‘Desk Dog’ across a handful of its bars in the UK, including Camden and Clerkenwell in North London, as well as Seven Dials, Shepherd’s Bush, Soho, Shoreditch and Canary Wharf. For £10 a day, you will get unlimited coffee, access to printers, pens and paper – as well as a pint of IPA when the working day is done. Cheers to that.
Where: Various locations
Book now: Brewdog Soho
Drake & Morgan, King's Cross
What: Head to Drake & Morgan in King's Cross for strong WiFi, plenty of plugs and an extensive food and drink menu to keep you fuelled. While you're working, switch to the lovely terrace for a breath of fresh air, and tuck into delicious breakfast foods such as buttermilk pancakes or shakshuka and the likes of seafood risotto with saffron later in the day. At the end of a hard day's work, be sure to try the bar's top-notch Paloma - you've earned it!
Where: 6 Pancras Square, N1C 4AG
Book now: Drake & Morgan
Where to work remotely in central London
You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to work remotely in central London. Expect cafes, museums and everything in between.
Smith's Bar and Grill, Paddington
Bright, light, and relaxed, Smith's Bar and Grill is a great spot in which to sit down and get some work done. Situated near Paddington station, it's easy to get to and even easier to take a seat, order from a wide menu, and work away. Smith's serves breakfast Monday to Friday (amongst other things), so you might choose to sample some beautiful pastries, maple syrup stacked pancakes, or a full English. You're spoilt for choice, and these tasty plates are certain to make the work day zoom by.
Where: 25 Sheldon Square, W2 6EY
Book now: Smith's Bar and Grill
Riding House, Bloomsbury
What: Open all day, Riding House is a buzzy, energetic space that is often packed out with the Fitzrovia media set. There’s a lengthy counter table that is a great spot for setting up your laptop and enjoying coffees and snacks, while if you want a bit more comfort, head to the cosy booths towards the back and treat yourself to a three-course lunch as you work.
Where: 1 Brunswick Centre, Bernard Street, WC1N 1AF
Book now: Riding House
What: This welcome lounge, bar and restaurant opened up smack bang on the corner of Warwick and Brewer Streets in 2023. The closed door may look a little intimidating from the outside but staff are ever so friendly, and during the day you can sit very happily with a coffee and do some work in the lovely art deco lounge area.
Where: 86 Brewer Street, W1F 9UB
Book now: Nessa
Ham Yard Bar, Soho
What: Ham Yard Hotel has a number of little spots where you could perch with a laptop but Ham Yard Bar makes the most sense - the seats are cosy, the coffees are excellent and you’ve got free speedy WiFi on tap. Pop next door into the restaurant for excellent seasonal British cooking.
Where: One Ham Yard, W1D 7DT
Book now: Ham Yard Bar at Ham Yard Hotel
Gatsby's Room at The Beaumont Hotel, Mayfair
What: The thoroughly elegant Gatsby’s Room at The Beaumont Hotel in Mayfair is certainly on the smart end of the working from home scale. If you’re feeling inspired to leave your trackies at home and sit somewhere a little more sophisticated, this is the spot.
Where: Brown Hart Gardens, W1K 6TF
Book now: Gatsby's Room at The Beaumont Hotel
The Wellcome Collection, Fitzrovia
What: This quirky (and free) museum is a great place to work remotely. The reading room on the second floor is a gallery and library rolled into one, with comfy sofas and WiFi to boot. There's even a postbox which allows you to send a card to anywhere in the world for free!
Where: 183 Euston Road, NW1 2BE
Book now: The Wellcome Collection
Dean Street Townhouse, Soho
What: You have to hand it to the Soho House Group for creating this dynamo of a place – the neighbourhood’s media goings-on would practically grind to a halt without it. Start your day with a full English and a cup of strong coffee in the buzzy ground-floor brasserie, then the area’s rakes, wordsmiths and fashionistas are back in again at lunch, making Dean Street Townhouse a great place to people-watch when you want to procrastinate (not that we ever do that).
Where: 69-71 Dean Street, W1D 3SE
Book now: Dean Street Townhouse
Want to hang out with your mates after a day of working on your own? Check out our pick of the best London restaurants for groups.