Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Rise and Rise of the Live-Work Set

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Rise and Rise of the Live-Work Set

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SPITTLES

YOU have an idea and a laptop but no office and no secretarial back-up.Space at home is limited and, besides, you want to get out and mix withlike-minded people in a convivial working environment.

Oh, and you can only afford a cheap commercial rent.

Don't despair. There are more opportunities than you probably realise. Businesscentres are an obvious solution for people who need space in a hurry. Officesare available for short periods and come with a menu of paid-for extras on tap.

There are even plug-and-go packages for part-timers and "virtual" offices formobile workers who are on the road a lot but need a business address andsomeone to handle post and phone calls..

Eoffice is a Soho centre that targets the capital's media workers andfreelancers.

For an individual, a work station typically costs [pounds sterling]500 plus VAT per month.

The cost of a virtual office service is [pounds sterling]130 a month, while "hot desking"starts at just [pounds sterling]5 an hour. Customers have internet access and can pay for videoconferencing and meeting rooms as and when required; there are break-out areasfor relaxing and "quiet booths" for one-toone meetings.

Yet for many sole traders and entrepreneurs, living and working under one roofis the most affordable and convenient solution.

"A Department of Trade and Industry survey from 2007 shows that 41 per cent ofUK businesses are being run from home and it's plausible to suggest that in 10years time the majority of UK businesses will be based at home," says TimDwelly, director of the Live Work Network, a think-tank that seeks to promotelive-work.

Mr Dwelly argues that there are compelling reasons for planners, politiciansand developers to embrace live-work.

Broadband technology has made it much easier to run a business from home. …

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