As a small business or start-up, there’s a good chance you work from home or have remote staff, but you’ll still need to arrange a meeting with them once in a while to bounce ideas around and plan business goals.
Finding mutual places you can meet is important and although coffee shops are as popular as ever for meetings, they don’t always work because they can get so jam-packed and you can’t always find somewhere to sit.
Not to mention how noisy they can get!
Only 13% of business owners said they use a coffee shop as either a place of work or to meet their virtual assistant, in a 2016 report by flexible working space specialist, Regus. More than this, a third of workers asked said that they have a need to work either from different locations in their city, or further away. This is for a combination of reasons – the increase in people branching out into freelancing and having clients located around the UK or the need to work in different environments to suit lifestyle and the research proving that changing environments helps remote workers boost their work productivity.
With remote working on the rise, there’s been a parallel increase of small business owners looking for handy locations to have a team meeting that have all the facilities of an office – without the long-term financial commitment.
Fortunately, there are plenty of places available to choose from, so if you need a meeting with your virtual assistant, forget squishing into a noisy, crowded Starbucks – try these alternative spots for meeting your team:
Okay, so unlike a mainstream coffee shop, there are plenty of low-key, arty and trendy cafés around – less likely to be crowded during the day and offering a different atmosphere and vibe. You can find these as part of theatres, community centres and libraries – the opportunities are endless!
Facilitated with good size tables and chairs to accommodate a small team of 5 or 6, these are also personal enough to accommodate two people.
Walking in from the street to set up your laptop and have a meeting might be a bit frowned upon by some hotel staff, but it remains a grey area, as all hotels have different rules. Some may be fine with you turning up for a brief meeting, but for a meeting with more, check with the hotel what their ideas are about you showing up and making use of the facilities.
Hubs are a trendy word for what are essentially small rooms set up for the purposes of business meetings or briefings. They can be hired out for a nominal fee and are proving incredibly useful for small businesses, freelancers and their c;ients or virtual assistants.
For small, one-off meetings, hiring a ‘hub’ for an hour could well be worth your while.
Tag Venue has a great range of off-the-cuff, hidden hubs scattered across the UK that provide all the much needed faciliies to suit your business meeting.
Zip Cube also offers a guide into small meeting rooms that can be hired by small or large team meetings as a one-off. They can be found here.
For a meeting that inspires colleagues and clients, touching base at an art gallery space can be a great way of drawing interest. Not only does it add a cultural element, galleries are ideal because they tend to have a lot of space available and in the middle of a working day, are less likely to be busy than some other types of venue.
Some galleries have many facilities available, including wi-fi, refreshments – not to mention their endless range of inspiring wall coverage!
In response to a demand for more flexible workspaces, companies such as BCA UK,, Base Point and Regus have popped up, offering a range of different workspaces to suit changing business needs. Whether a small meeting room for one-to-one meetings to a space to set up laptops or a conference-style room for larger meetings, there’s a range to suit.
To spark up what might be an otherwise dull meeting for your remote staff, there’s plenty of parks with little cafes to meet in and will make a your meeting more appealing. This can be suited to virtual assistants and business managers who plan to meet with perhaps one or two people and are seeking some inspirational to glean new ideas.