The way we work is changing and increasingly a lot of us can work from almost anywhere. So being chained to the same desk day in, day out seems almost antiquated. And if you're self-employed, frankly why wouldn't you want to get out of your pjs and chat network with some real life humans? Here's a round up of B'hams chicest spots to house you while you hustle.
Best for: Product prototyping
Got an idea you need help bringing into reality? STEAMhouse is probably the place for you. It’s a centre for creative innovation and production, bringing together small business and artists. On Digbeth High Street, the so-called makerspace demonstrates how art, design and curiosity can intersect with the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). You have to apply for a space at STEAMhouse with a project in mind. If you’re accepted, you can benefit from equipment, access to print, digital, metal and wood workshops and skilled technicians to help translate your ideas into prototypes.
Best for: Keeping it fresh
Taking flexible working to the next level is Dispace, a simple concept that makes so much sense it's ridic no-one's done it sooner. Hotel Du Vin, 1000 Trades and Medicine Bakery & Gallery are the current Dispace hangouts in Brum. Once you’re a member, and it’s free to join, you just rock up with your laptop to one of the chosen venues and get to work. And this isn't just a gig for the self-employed, it's available to corporates that want to encourage remote working too. The benefits? You get happy hour discounts, money off food and private meeting spaces. There’s also access to business advisors, if you want them. And crucially, two for one on coffee for double the buzz.
Best for: Impressing your visitors
Alpha Works is high up Alpha Tower. Which is convenient, considering its name. Of all our venues, Alpha Works wins the views category. And aside from giving good vistas, the decor is what sets Alpha Works apart from other co-working spaces. Designed by Orms, the space is cool and vibrant with relaxed breakout rooms that frankly, I'd be pleased to have as my living room. There are options to hot-desk, co-work or rent private office space on flexible month to month contracts.
Best for: Community feel
Impact Hub is much more than a desk in a workspace. They’ve created a community that's experimental and inclusive, where you can work and connect with a community by either joining as an individual, a team or if you’ve got children, they can join too and take part in the hub’s Radical Childcare initiative. Impact Hub is part innovation lab, part business incubator, and part community centre. They also host regular events, such as Open Project Nights where groups can gather to discuss ideas and plan how to take them further.
Best for: Arty types
Melting Pot is a workspace just off Digbeth High Street in an Art Deco style Grade 2 listed building called The Smithfield Garage, for people werking in the creative industries. There is workshop and studio space for large scale projects, as well as casual workspaces and a conference room. The Void is an exhibition space that can be used for workshops, classes or your next art expo. As the saying goes, we've all got an art exhibition in us. Or something. Desks are available by the month, you can hot desk for as little as a tenner a day, or there are more permanent options such as monthly workshop hire.