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KAI

Kai, Web Designer & Digital Media Consultant

Kai, Web Designer & Digital Media Consultant

MY RENTADESK IS...

Artist House. I joined Rentadesk in April, 2015. I own my own company – IAK Media – and I mostly work alone so I found it a bit boring being on my own all day. It was difficult to get myself into the working mind-set when you are working from home, so it was great to find a place where I can focus. I’m so much more productive now I’m at Rentadesk.

WHICH PACKAGE?

I am a hotdesker – which means I can sit at any free desk that’s available when I come in. I have a storage locker where I leave my laptop stand, keyboard and mouse overnight. It’s handy not to have to carry all that stuff home at the end of every day. I have a few favourite desks where I like to sit, so I mix it up. 

ARRIVAL TIME?

I like to avoid the morning rush hour, so I usually leave the house at 9am and get in for about 10 or 11am. I live in Barnes, South West London. I take the fast National Rail train to Waterloo and then the Northern Line to Tottenham Court Road. The commute is about an hour door-to-door, which isn’t bad. I am usually on my iPhone playing one of the Final Fantasy games on the iOS.

HOME TIME?

I usually leave the office around 4-5pm. I prefer to work intensively for six hours than to have a long eight-hour day. 

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?

There are a lot of nice Korean restaurants in the area. My favourite is WooJung, which is just below Centre Point (on the junction of Tottenham Court Road and New Oxford Street). I recommend their japchae (sweet potato glass noodles) and tteokbokki (spicy Korean rice cake). Otherwise, I would just go to Sainsbury’s and get ingredients to make my own salad. There’s a decent microwave oven in the Rentadesk kitchen too, which is useful in the winter if I fancy something hot.

FAVOURITE LOCAL CAFÉ?

I like the Benugo cafes at the British Museum. My friend Angelo works there so I sometimes stop by and say hi, get him to give me a tour on his lunch break and grab a bite while I’m there. They have nice falafel salads and wraps. If you want to try something sweet, I would also recommend their affogato, which is a delicious blend of coffee and ice cream – my two favourite things.

AND SHOP?

I love the guitar shops on Denmark Street. I used to do music full-time as a lead guitarist - composing, producing and touring abroad with my heavy metal band. There are fewer guitar shops on Denmark Street than there used to be, but I still like to go there to browse and play. I recently bought a lovely Taylor guitar from Rose Morris and it plays beautifully.

AND BAR?

On Fridays, a few of us from Rentadesk go to The Plough pub downstairs from the office. They give us a 10% discount card as we work in the area, so that's pretty cool. They do some awesome vegetarian fish and chips made from halloumi cheese. It sounds weird but it’s surprisingly good. 

CURRENT PROJECTS?

I’m working on a lot of cool music websites at the moment, helping record labels, music management companies as well as artists to design and develop their online platform. As I have a huge passion for music, it is great to help others make their dream become a reality. 
I have also been involved in working as a digital media consultant for brand new virtual reality app #HackThePlanet for PsychFi. The app features BAFTA-nominated film composer Simon Boswell, as well as famous YouTube stars Stuart Ashen (Ashens), Mr. Weebl & Lee Hardcastle and is available for download on iOS and Android. 

DO YOU EVER COLLABORATE WITH OTHER RENTADESKERS?

Yes – another client is fellow Rentadesker Joanne, who runs Hop Hosiery, a new subscription service for tights. We met in the kitchen at Artist House and she said she was looking for someone to create her new website. It has been really awesome working with her and I have certainly learnt a lot about tights! Joanne’s project is due to launch in early 2016 – it’s exciting stuff. 

BEST THING ABOUT RENTADESK?

Since joining Rentadesk, I’ve been a lot more engaged with my work. I think having an office space makes it easier to get into the work mind-set and increases productivity. It's also a cool place to meet new people doing interesting things and potentially collaborate on projects. James and Haruka at Get New Design do pretty much the same thing as I do, so we often discuss what’s new in the design world. It’s useful to have other like-minded people here to discuss ideas with.

 

'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!

JOANNE

Joanne Walsh, Founder of Hop Hosiery

Joanne Walsh, Founder of Hop Hosiery

MY RENTADESK IS…

Artist House. I joined Rentadesk in August 2015. I had just started to get serious about my business idea Hop Hosiery – a tights subscription service – but I was procrastinating at home. Working from coffee shops didn’t work for me either, so I went online and found Rentadesk. I booked a viewing for the next day and signed up immediately. 

WHICH PACKAGE?

I subscribe to the ‘Hot desk quarter time’ package, which means I’m here up to 50 hours per month. By day I’m a senior management consultant for one of the ‘big four’ professional services firms, so I mainly come to Rentadesk during the evenings and weekends. But I also do the occasional weekday, as I’m dedicating all my annual leave to getting my business up and running this year. It’s great that Rentadesk is so flexible so I can come and go round the clock – very few co-working spaces are so accommodating. 

HAVE YOU BECOME MORE PRODUCTIVE SINCE JOINING RENTADESK?

Definitely. When I joined Rentadesk Hop Hosiery was just a pipe dream which I’d been trying to bring to life for three months but I hadn’t made much progress. Within six weeks of joining Rentadesk, I’d signed a contract to have my website designed, developed my logo and brand essentials, learned what a press release was (seriously, I had no clue) and engaged with a large range of suppliers from Italy, Poland, UK and Turkey, in a bid to find the perfect tights. After a lot of talking and thinking, finally I was actually doing it! That was very exciting.

ARRIVAL TIME?

Usually around 10am. I often set my alarm for 6.30am hoping I’ll go to spin class, do 100 sit-ups, blend my Nutribullet like Bleddyn (the resident smoothie junkie who runs Artist House) and be at my desk by 8.30am. But instead, I snooze for an hour, drag myself into the shower and cycle to the office for 10am. I make a cafetiere of coffee (tea, coffee and biscuits are all included in the price at Rentadesk) and I’m ready to crack on with the day ahead. I’m most productive between 11am and 3pm, although sometimes I find I get a late-night burst of concentration and energy – in which case I’ll stay until 11pm. 

HOME TIME?

It varies, as I don’t have a regular routine. If it’s Monday to Thursday and I’ve done a day at the office, I’ll typically leave between 6 and 7pm. If I’m in the office on a weekend it’s likely I’m there for the long haul and will leave the office in the late evening but try to get home for 11pm. On Fridays I usually head to the Plough pub downstairs at around 6pm – a crowd of Rentadeskers usually goes to celebrate the end of the week. I did that on my first ever day at Rentadesk and everyone was so friendly that I remember feeling like I’d been working here forever. 

JOURNEY TO WORK?

I live in Camden and typically cycle to work in 15 minutes (I love my old Dutch style bike – and no, I don’t do Lycra!). If it’s raining the bus is really quick too, taking me about 30 minutes door-to-door. I take the number 29 to the British Museum. From there it’s a two-minute walk to Artist House. 

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?

I try to bring my own healthy food which is usually last night’s leftovers (handily there’s a microwave in the kitchens at Rentadesk) but when that fails I’ll admit defeat and buy a sandwich from Pret a Manger on New Oxford Street (their chicken and bacon is a firm favourite). It’s fun to eat with other Rentadeskers at the communal table. I’m always fascinated by other people’s lunches as they’re way more exotic than mine! I ask where they got it from so I can be more adventurous next time. My boyfriend works in Holborn, so sometimes we meet in Russell Square Gardens (five minutes’ walk away) and eat in the sunshine together, if the weather allows and we can find a free bench. It’s a popular spot!

FAVOURITE LOCAL CAFÉ?

Tea and Tattle opposite the British Museum – it’s perfect for a cuppa and sandwich, and even better if you go with friends for the delicious afternoon tea. (Try the scones with a huge selection of exotic jams). There’s also a little café called Ruskins on Museum Street, which does a killer bacon and egg breakfast baguette. If you’re feeling tired or had one too many last night, that will sort you out.

…AND SHOP?

Covent Garden is about a 5-10 minute walk – and it’s pretty bad for my bank card having Reiss, Banana Republic and MAC on the doorstep! I’m also keen to explore the unique shops right by the office such as the London Review Bookshop on Bury Place and James Smith & Sons on New Oxford Street. They sell the biggest range of old-fashioned umbrellas I’ve ever seen. 

…AND BAR?

Truckles wine bar – it’s hidden in a pretty little courtyard called Pied Bull Yard, two streets from Artist House. It has the luxury of spacious outdoor seating – a treat compared with most places in central London, where you’re all crushed into a few metres of pavement beside a busy street. Truckles has been great for summer drinks so I’m hoping they have outdoor heaters so we can go there in the winter too.

WHAT GAVE YOU THE IDEA FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Working in consultancy, I live in suit dresses and skirts which need a constant supply of tights. I had the idea for Hop Hosiery one Sunday evening after a particularly busy few days. I’d arrived home from Belgium on the Thursday night, catching a train the next morning to see family for the weekend in Devon. On Sunday night I was on the train back to London when I realised I had no tights at home – and I was due to take the 6.50am Eurostar back to Belgium the following morning. In Belgium I’m based on client site in the middle of nowhere, so I was stuck wearing the same two pairs of trousers for the week. Then I thought, ‘Wait – I have my coffee delivered on a regular basis through subscription. Why can’t I do that with tights?’ I went straight online and discovered no such service exists… et voila! The idea of Hop Hosiery was born. 

CURRENT PROJECTS?

I am busy building the Hop Hosiery website which I hope will launch in two or three months’ time. I am close to signing a contract with an amazing tights manufacturer based in Castiglione delle Stiviere (near Milan, in Italy) who I’m really excited about working with. I thought I knew great tights until I sampled their products. I can’t wait to bring them to the UK market. I anticipate Hop Hosiery’s main customer will be the professional women who regularly wears tights and simply doesn’t want to spend her time having to shop for something she uses so regularly. 

HAVE YOU USED RENTADESK FOR NETWORKING?

Yes. Quite unexpectedly, I’ve suddenly found I have contacts for everything I could need, including advice and professional services from photographers, copywriters and graphic designers. In fact, I met my web designer Kai at Rentadesk, who is turning my business dream to reality. I love that everyone at Rentadesk is doing something unique. Ask, “So, what do you do?” and everyone gives a different answer. There are screenwriters, 3D animators, web designers, journalists, start-up company directors… You never know what someone is going to say but it’s usually something interesting!

BEST THING ABOUT RENTADESK?

The community and camaraderie. Before, I was working completely alone (albeit with the support of my boyfriend, who now knows exactly what ‘denier’ means and the difference between sheer and opaques – I’m quite proud of him, actually!). But now I have a whole new group of people to discuss my work stuff with, most of whom I’ve met while making coffee in the kitchen, or eating lunch at the big communal table. One Rentadesker brought in a brilliant article on the success of subscription businesses. It was so thoughtful of him, and the article was great – it made me realise my business could really be something. I carry it with me everywhere and pull it out when I need some motivation or when I need reminding just how kind people can be. I joined Rentadesk hoping to find a quality work space but I’ve gained so much more.

NAVIN

Navin Chandak, IT Specialist

Navin Chandak, IT Specialist

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.

WHICH PACKAGE?

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.

ARRIVAL TIME?

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!

HOME TIME?

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!

AND SHOP?

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.

AND BAR?

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.

CURRENT PROJECTS?

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!

FABIO

Fabio Adler, Marketing & PR Manager for restaurants and bars

Fabio Adler, Marketing & PR Manager for restaurants and bars

MY RENTADESK IS...

Artist House. I did a lot of research on work spaces in central London, including private members’ clubs, but Rentadesk offered the best solution for what I was looking for. I did a free day trial and joined straight after. The fact that it's in Bloomsbury was a plus – I love the area. It's very central, and a historical and cultural district of London.

WHICH PACKAGE?

My package gives me access to the office 50 hours per month, plus I pay a little extra to get my post delivered there too. It sounds old-fashioned, but people are still impressed if they see you have a central London office. And it’s great to know that even if I'm not in, another Rentadesker will always sign for my packages.

ARRIVAL TIME?

It varies, but normally I get there around lunch time. I use Rentadesk at the weekends for working on my sideline business, London Restaurant Network, a membership-based organisation for marketing and PR professionals working in restaurants. (My day job is working at the restaurant Four to Eight in Covent Garden, as their in-house PR and marketing manager, which I also love!). The office is normally very peaceful at the weekend. But, being in central London, the surrounding area is still nice and buzzy even on Saturdays and Sundays.

HOME TIME?

Normally around 5pm, although it depends on the day and how much I need to get done. I might not go straight back home though. Due to the nature of my job I often attend networking evenings and industry related events. The other week I went to an events showcase at Daphne's restaurant in Chelsea and also to a hotel concierges evening at Café Royal in Piccadilly.

JOURNEY TO WORK?

If I go to Rentadesk straight from home I take the overland train from Queenstown Road in Battersea to Waterloo and then change to the Northern Line for Tottenham Court Road. In the summer I just tend to walk everywhere.

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?

I don't often have a proper meal for lunch – I usually pick up lots of healthy snacks from Planet Organic on Torrington Place (near Goodge Street tube station). Think nuts and rice cakes, stuff like that. But sometimes I need a boost to carry on working and treat myself to a proper lunch somewhere local. I work in hospitality and don't mind spending money in restaurants.

FAVOURITE LOCAL CAFÉ?

I'm very fussy about my coffee and only tend to go to independent coffee shops, like Monmouth Coffee on well, Monmouth Street, which is only 5 minutes away from Artist House. I have either a double espresso or filter coffee. That's also where I get my coffee beans for my morning coffee at home. They are the friendliest staff that you will ever find and very well trained.

AND SHOP?

Again, Planet Organic. I sometimes spend hours just browsing all the exotic products that they have on offer. Most things are totally overpriced so I try to find the bargains and special offers! I also like to visit the British Museum shop for books and exhibition catalogues. I recently bought 'Germany: Memories of a Nation', which accompanied the recent exhibition. 

AND BAR?

Four to Eight in Covent Garden, for obvious reasons! They have a nice little bar in the middle of the restaurant with some seriously stylish stools, which by the design store Aram. I tend to order a glass of Prosecco or a Negroni (at a reduced staff price!).

CURRENT PROJECTS?

My current project is to grow my London Restaurant Network, which is a membership-based organisation for restaurant professionals working in marketing, PR, events and social media. I host monthly breakfasts with guest speakers, evening events and visits to restaurants outside London. It's going from strength to strength and more restaurants are joining, which is very rewarding. I'm also thinking of opening another little business, hospitality related, but it's too early to reveal anything. What I can say is that I've been reading a lot about crowdfunding as a financial option for my new project.

BEST THING ABOUT RENTADESK?

It’s great that I can get so much done in one single day, and I love the fact that it's an uncluttered space but still feels warm, not clinical. And every time I go to Rentadesk, there is a new little improvement, another nice touch to the space, such as the books that you can borrow and the new coffee grinder. Once my own businesses takes off I can see myself moving on to permanent desk, where I can leave my things overnight, such as paperwork and magazines. But I don’t want to start hoarding too much stuff. A tidy desk is a tidy mind.

 

'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!

JAY

Jay Connely, App Developer

Jay Connely, App Developer

MY RENTADESK IS…

Artist House. It's a great building on a quiet road (Little Russell Street in Bloomsbury) with lots of natural light in the upper floor where I tend to work. I first joined Rentadesk in 2014 so am relatively new. I love it. It’s a great space and I'm surrounded by lots of nice, like-minded people. 

WHICH PACKAGE?

I'm a half-time hotdesker at the moment, although depending on how this year plays out it's likely that I'll go up to a full-time package. Some days it's easier for me to work from home as I'm involved in app development, which means I need to test apps on a variety of different devices, and carrying them to Rentadesk every day wouldn’t be practical!

ARRIVAL TIME?

I try to arrive between 10am and 10.30am. This means I can get started at a reasonable time but miss the morning rush hour. There is usually a good choice of desks at this time. My favourite is the four-person group of desks on the upper floor, by the window. I sit against the wall, facing the stairs. I'm a creature of habit. I have agreed with several people that it is the best desk in the office, so I have to make sure that I'm in before they are! The first thing I do is say hi to anyone I know who’s around, start up my laptop and make some filter coffee.

HOME TIME?

Most days I leave between 4.30pm and 6pm, depending on how my workload is panning out. I'll often go to the gym after work to justify leaving a little bit earlier. I like the Better gym on Brixton Station Road. Before I leave the office, I stash my stuff in my Rentadesk locker overnight. It’s good to have a little bit of space for my laptop charger and contact lens solution, the kind of things you need but don't want to carry around London with you while commuting.

JOURNEY TO WORK?

At the moment it’s a 10min walk to Brixton tube, then I take the Victoria line to Oxford Circus, then grab the Central line to Holborn and walk the last five minutes to Little Russell Street. Apart from the change at Oxford Circus it's a very pleasant journey. I'm currently reading The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster, and listening to Alvvays, Haim and Bon Iver.

WHAT'S FOR LUNCH?

Despite my many resolutions to make my own lunch, I'm often found at EAT – I usually have one of their healthy soup like the jerk chicken. Or I’ll go to Kimchee next to Tottenham Court Road. I love their spicy chicken salad. Sometimes I eat it at the café, sometimes I bring my food back to Artist House and eat at the big table with whoever else is eating lunch at that time. 

FAVOURITE LOCAL CAFÉ?

I usually go to the Costa Coffee on New Oxford Street, just round the corner from the office. One of my favourite places that I don't go to enough is the open plan Benugo cafe inside the British Museum. They serve good coffee and it’s an amazing space to hang out in. 

AND SHOP?

If I need some clothes you'll find me down Oxford Street in Zara or Uni-Qlo. I also like to browse the little row of music shops on Denmark Street, past Tottenham Court Road tube station.

AND BAR?

I like going to the bar in the Soho Theatre on Dean Street, just on the edge of Soho. It’s a great place to see some alternative comedy and theatre too. I saw a comedian called Adam Riches in December, who was really funny. He won the Edinburgh Comedy Awards a few years ago, for a show that involved characters and some really embarrassing audience participation.

CURRENT PROJECTS?

I’m focussed on building up vaudeville.io, which is a small agency specialising in digital marketing and web technology. My business partner Max Hardy can also be spotted around Rentadesk sometimes – although he's mostly based outside of London. I also have a music start-up called Procorder which is on hiatus just now.

BEST THING ABOUT RENTADESK?

The best thing about Rentadesk is that it gets me out of the house and around other people who are in a similar situation work-wise. Coming to Rentadesk instead of working from home all the time has definitely helped me feel more positive and given me extra motivation to succeed and develop. I've also got back into playing tennis against some fellow Rentadeskers. Finally, I love the location – right beside the British Museum, which is one of my favourite places to visit in London. OK so I guess that was actually my three best things about Rentadesk but there's too many to choose just one.

 

'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!

CHIARA

Chiara, Blogger

Chiara, Blogger

MY RENTADESK IS...

Artist House. I've been at Rentadesk for over a year. I used to work from home, but after a few months spending entire days wearing pyjamas really loses its appeal! Having an office to go to really helped me get motivated. 

WHICH PACKAGE?

I'm a full-time hot desker. That means I come in most days and I sit at any desk that’s free. On top of my desk subscription, I pay a bit extra for printing. Sometimes I like to give my eyes a break from the screen and read things on paper. I also need to print invoices to send to clients.

ARRIVAL TIME?

I like to take mornings slowly, replying to work emails while drinking my coffee at home. I usually get to the office between noon and 1 pm. For a long time I tried very hard to get to the office earlier, but then I decided this must just be the way I function and probably one of the many reasons why I decided to work as a freelancer.

HOME TIME?

Most days, I leave the office between 8 and 8:30pm. I like working in the evenings, because both the office and my Skype get very quiet, and I am able to do all the work which requires real concentration. My brain is constantly buzzing and it's not always easy to unwind and stop thinking about work, although the walk home with some great music always helps. I create random Spotify playlists, including anything from the Rolling Stones to Lorde.

JOURNEY TO WORK?

A brisk, 20-minute walk from my flat in Clerkenwell. On very lazy, very busy or very rainy days, it’s a 10 minute bus journey on the number 38, which stops on New Oxford Street, two minutes from the office. 

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?

Most days, I rush to Itsu on New Oxford Street to grab a six-piece sushi box – crab and avocado is my favourite. I keep my own gluten-free soy sauce in the kitchen cupboard (there’s space at Rentadesk for us to bring our own food in). If I am feeling healthy and have a bit of spare time, I walk to a little vegetarian restaurant called Food for Thought, on Neal Street. It doesn't look too good from the outside but they serve really delicious food (the vegetable stir-fry is particularly tasty). If I am meeting someone for lunch, I enjoy going to Mishkin's on Catherine Street. They have a menu for all tastes and is great for relaxed, sit-down lunches. 

FAVOURITE LOCAL CAFÉ?

I rarely go for coffees in the afternoon. When I do, I wander to the British Museum and get a coffee from Benugo. They have super-tasty cakes as well. People watching there is pretty entertaining too. 

AND SHOP?

I like to browse around the gift shop inside the British Museum, the one close to the main entrance, not the tacky ones for tourists. It sells a lot quirky things from around the world, from jewellery to bags to strange vases. If I need a last-minute gift, some stationery, beauty products or emergency origami paper (not really!) it’s Muji, always and forever. I like their candles and I’m forever losing my pink highlighters.

AND BAR?

Freud’s on Shaftesbury Avenue is a little, hidden, very cool bar. You have to go down some steps to get in – and if you didn’t know it was there, you’d walk straight past it. They do a great mojito. 

CURRENT PROJECTS?

I write and manage blogs. I spend most of my time creating WordPress tutorials and content marketing guides, working on email marketing campaigns and testing themes and plugins. I have been a freelancer for two years and I am currently putting together ideas for creating a larger scale, online membership program.

BEST THING ABOUT RENTADESK?

It's like having colleagues but without the office politics. Rentadesk also listens to what we need. For example, they’ve introduced Hotdesk holidays, where I can pause my membership if I need to be away for a few weeks – like when I go back home to Italy, where I’m from (near Venice). Being a freelancer, it's great to be able to work virtually anywhere in the world, and it's even better to know I’m not paying for a desk while I’m away. That makes me even happier to come back.

 

'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!

LAURYNAS

Laurynas Karvelis, Programmer

Laurynas Karvelis, Programmer

MY RENTADESK IS...

Artist House. I joined Rentadesk as I needed a space to focus and get my work done without distractions. I've been in London for four years but I've never worked anywhere like this before. I'm originally from Lithuania, a country of basketball.

WHICH PACKAGE?

I chose the full-time hot desk package with extra storage space to leave my laptop stand overnight. Being a hotdesker means I don't have a permanent desk, but that suits me. I prefer choosing a different desk every day. I pick a different seat depending on my mood that day. Some days I like to be near the radiator. Other days, the window. Know what I mean?

ARRIVAL TIME?

Being a night owl I love to wake up late, so usually I get to the office around 11.30am. I put my headphones on and rock. I listen to random genres on Spotify, from classical music to drum and base.

HOME TIME?

Usually I finish between 6 and 7pm. I'm most productive in the afternoon and evenings, that’s when I really get really into the zone and get my work done. After work, I often go bouldering which is a new kind of indoor climbing they do at Vauxwall, under Vauxhall Bridge. I go alone, as it allows me to concentrate and clear my mind. On the nights I don’t go there, I head straight home to sit on my couch, play PS4 and think about what I need to do tomorrow.

JOURNEY TO WORK?

Living in Elephant and Castle the commute is wonderful. It’s 20 minutes to Holborn by bus from the stop by the station. Once I'm at Holborn I know it’s only another five-minute walk to the office (and my coffee).

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?

Some Rentadeskers bring interesting leftovers from last night’s dinner but I don't cook much, so I never do! Luckily there are lots of local cafes to choose from. At the moment I'm into toasted ciabattas with salmon or chicken. I bring my lunch back to the office to eat at the communal table, with a cup of tea I make in the kitchen. Then I'm good to go for the second part of the day.

FAVOURITE LOCAL CAFÉ?

The Bush and Fields café on Museum Street – it’s Italian, even though it doesn't sound like it! I never go anywhere else. When I like something, I stick with it. I'm very loyal.

AND BAR?

The Plough pub is just next to the office, so a little crowd of us from Rentadesk usually go there on Friday evenings to have a few pints. It’s always good fun – we have a laugh.

CURRENT PROJECTS?

Usually I work as a Javascript contractor in various companies in central London. I started my first company aged 18. My mind never rests – I find myself constantly generating ideas. This time is special to me, as finally I got the guts to kick-start a new project called geektastic.io that enables contractors like me to find new jobs painlessly and completely avoiding recruiters. I truly enjoy not just the results of my work but the entire process. I’m enjoying the “now moment” that Rentadesk is giving me.

BEST THING ABOUT RENTADESK?

Being able to wake up when I want, and come to work when I want. Meeting new and interesting people, exchanging ideas and hearing new suggestions is priceless to me. For example, Rentadesk ran a lunchtime session recently where we gave feedback on each other’s websites – that was very useful for me. I love that Rentadesk is peaceful yet friendly. That feeling of getting work done in a place that’s not my home is beautiful to me. 

 

'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!

SHARON

Sharon Marshall, TV presenter, scriptwriter and author

Sharon Marshall, TV presenter, scriptwriter and author

MY RENTADESK IS...

Artist House. I moved over from a place in Brixton. I was swayed by the free sweets.

WHICH PACKAGE?

Full-time hotdesk.

ARRIVAL TIME?

Crack of noon? After decades working insane hours for insane bosses on tabloid newspapers, the joy of freelancing is finally working the times I want to. 

HOME TIME?

I’ve done the light-switching-off and locking up the building a few times now. I like working at night.

JOURNEY TIME?

40 minutes by tube. Unless someone's having an interesting row on the tube which I can eavesdrop on, write down and drop into a future script. I scour the seats in the mornings, looking for people on the edge...

WHAT'S FOR LUNCH?

I try to bring something in. Although the lure of nearby Wagamama with its tofu chilli salad is strong...

FAVOURITE LOCAL CAFÉ/BAR?

Well as you asked - time for some drinking advice. The last book project I did was editing The Power of Positive Drinking with Cleo Rocos. It was a guide to drinking hangover free.  Your absolute best bet is a very pure sugar-free margarita made with 100% agave tequila, fresh lime and organic agave syrup. Browns in Covent Garden, and Wahaca serves it. Or go to Pacifico’s in Langley St, and ask for a ‘Tommy’s’ or the ‘margarita with Cleo Rocos’ formula’. You can drink that stuff all night long, no hangover, guaranteed.

FAVOURITE PLACE?

I've been going to Pineapple Dance centre for 20 years now. It’s lovely being round the corner from Rentadesk - it means I can go at lunch break. I like their yoga and jazz classes.

CURRENT PROJECTS?

Tabloid Girl, my (trueish) novel from my time on the News of the World, is out in paperback, and the Power of Positive Drinking is having another little push too. I've also got a few episodes of soaps coming up – so please don't be too concerned if you hear me on the phone asking how quickly bodies decompose, or how long you get jailed for murdering people. It’s probably a research call. Probably.

BEST THING ABOUT RENTADESK?

Everyone's terribly discreet. I've been having loud conversations about moving decomposing bodies for weeks now and no-one's asked me why.

 

'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!

TANYA

Tanya  de Grunwald, Freelance journalist and blogger

Tanya  de Grunwald, Freelance journalist and blogger

MY RENTADESK IS...

Artist House. I've been a Rentadesker since 2007 and have worked at all the offices at some point, although I’ve come and gone. People often do that. They’ll be there for six months, then working in-house for a client for three months, then come back again. I think the nature of freelance life means we like to keep shaking things up. 

WHICH PACKAGE?

I'm a full-time hotdesker, including a locker where I stash my laptop overnight.

ARRIVAL TIME?

Usually around 10.30am. I know, it’s shameful! But public transport is much quieter then. I can't handle the morning rush hour.

HOME TIME?

I often get ‘in the zone’ around 4pm, so I usually stay until 7pm. Unless I'm going to Chiswick Bootcamp, a fitness class on my local common – then I leave at 5.15pm. The evening rush hour is pretty horrible, but I forget all about it when I'm doing press-ups while being yelled at by our trainers, Rose and Josh.

JOURNEY TO WORK?

I catch the 94 bus from outside Turnham Green Station to Shepherd’s Bush Green. From there I jump on the Central Line to Tottenham Court Road. Door to door, it’s 45 minutes. People complain about commuting, but having geographical distance between your home and work creates a healthy psychological distance too. I rarely work at home for that reason.

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?

I bring my own and make it in the kitchen. On Monday mornings, I buy salad and tomatoes from Morrison’s on New Oxford Street. During the week, I mix and match with feta cheese, hummus, salami and leftovers from home. Sometimes I treat myself to sushi from Wasabi on a Friday. I always eat at the big communal table and I'll have a chat with whoever is around.

FAVOURITE LOCAL CAFÉ?

Inside the Arthur Probsthain Bookshop opposite the British Museum, there’s a lovely little tea room called Tea and Tattle. It’s run by Leslie, (whose father was Arthur's great-nephew), and her sons Chris and Tim. They do a great flat white, using Monmouth Coffee.

AND SHOP?

Dorothy Perkins on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and New Oxford Street. The girls who work there are really cheerful.

AND BAR?

The Old Crown on New Oxford Street is fun on a Friday. Just watch where you put your drink. The tables aren't entirely flat and drinks glasses sometimes slide off.

CURRENT PROJECTS?

Writing careers and money features for Glamour and Cosmopolitan. I also run my own careers advice website, Graduate Fog, which includes campaigning for fair pay for interns. Not enough people know that it's illegal to have unpaid interns. It also unfairly excludes people who can't afford to work for free. London is an expensive city - it isn't reasonable to ask anyone to work for free, no matter what stage of their career they're at.

BEST THING ABOUT RENTADESK?

Some of my really good friends are people who I met through Rentadesk. People come and go, so it’s always changing – and it’s fun to keep meeting interesting new people doing weird and wonderful things. Also, I love not being at home. I tried it for a while, but I went a bit loopy.

 

'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!