Where can you turn when it’s laundry day for your sweats and your proper clothes demand that you leave the comfort of your flat?
A few months in to officially declaring myself a freelance writer and I have learned that I definitely need a few days of working outside my flat. I need to hear background music and chatter, to people-watch, and to have someone else make coffee for me. Of course I’ve gone for trendy cafes with my favourite avocado toast and I’ve also tried several different freelancer/coworking spaces.
Last week I tried out a new coworking space called FlexTable courtesy of the co-founders, Mitchel and Richard. I spent a day at their space at Revolution on Oxford Road and, full disclosure, they did pay for my very tasty lunch, a popcorn halloumi wrap, and one of the best soy lattes I have ever had.
The concept of FlexTable strikes me as a modern solution for two distinct problems: freelancers or business owners need dedicated working space at an affordable price, and restaurants are rather slow during traditional working hours. This idea pairs the freelancers with the restaurants and repurposes the unused space.
They partner with restaurants to reserve an area specifically for coworking, including the offer of 2 for 1 drinks at all locations and lunch menu offers at some. At Revolution the offer is for a sandwich or wrap and a generous portion of fries. I never knew having fries at hand while writing could be so motivational.
To use FlexTable you sign up online, download the app, pick a venue, and then show the staff the QR code in the app when you arrive. There are options to pay each month, to pay for three months or six months so you can choose the flexibility that suits you.
My freelance Loo Rule
When I arrived at Revolution I was shown to the dedicated tables that had FlexTable flyers on them. To have the space marked out like this made it more comfortable than the traditional cafe. It definitely passed my test of where I work when I leave home: can I use the restroom without worrying about leaving my computer on the table?
While I was there I got a good amount of writing done on an upcoming post, and after an hour or two I met a remarkable woman, a fellow freelancer, and had a wonderful conversation. Despite my poor choice of footwear in the pouring rain I walked home feeling quite positive about my day.
It is this kind of interaction between people that the FlexTable guys are keen to facilitate with their concept. They plan to host regular networking events and social events to help their members make meaningful personal and business connections. And I would think the venues would be excellent locations for business lunches with their unique atmosphere and deals on food and drink.
Right now they are offering a free two-week trial and should you be a Manchester freelancer I recommend trying it out! They currently have two locations in Manchester with more locations throughout the UK in the works, and membership gets you into any venue in the UK.