The joy of working in London
London is a city of many influences, raised from the ground by artists, architects and visionaries. It’s a truly exciting place to live and work with its cosmopolitan, creative and entrepreneurial inhabitants who enjoy its patchwork of parks, great buildings and inspirational spaces. That’s the good news. The bad news is that whilst living and working in London we’re apt to forget or go blind to the goodness that it has to offer. This blog is a small reminder to all of us to open our eyes and celebrate our fine capital by going out and immersing ourselves in it.
When the stresses of work overtake us, we may feel the need to get away from the to-do list and take refuge in spacious, natural environments. There are over a hundred registered commons in London. The eight royal parks themselves cover 1,976 hectares. If you want to look over a large expanse of green and try a serious walk, try Hampstead Heath or Clapham Common. For some private reflective time and breathing space, why not head to Russell Square, Lincoln’s Inn fields or Soho Square with its ornamental shrubs and trees. Want something a little magical? Try The Isabella Plantation hidden away in Richmond Park.
Feeling uninspired or bogged down with your routine? You might just benefit from an ART FIX. You don’t have to go to a blockbuster gallery like the Tate or Royal Academy to get a fix of art inspiration. Just keep your eyes and ears open on the ground, on the street and on social media. Street art is constantly appearing and disappearing but certain areas such as Brick Lane, Redchurch and Grey Eagle rarely disappoint. Check out Open House London this September (17th/18th) and, if you haven’t been yet, make sure you visit The Geffrye Museum on Kingsland Road for an escapist journey from the present day.
GET DOWN AND DIRTY
Sitting down at work for most of the day can take its toll. The city has an exercise for every body, no matter what time of day floats your boat. Dance, spinning, yoga, pilates, cycling, running, park workouts, Zumba, weights – you name it. If you’re not a natural exerciser, look for activities that you find fun or interesting – or consider a team sport. If you’re looking for a bespoke fitstation that cuts the mustard across the spectrum, from nutrition and fitness to personal wellbeing, we recommend a trip to Lomax. For a more cheap and cheerful option, try UrbanFitness – accessible fitness from a company working to change the landscape of London’s fitspo culture.
You can’t work well without BRAINFOOD. Tasty and ethical fast food joints abound on every street and every corner, but likewise, get stuck into the experimental or slow food movement if that’s your (doggy)bag. Healthy, fast, slow, gourmet, Michelin – the city is your oyster. Check out Timeout’s top 100 restaurants and get stuck in. For something a little more off-piste, why not try out ‘Dinner at The Twits’, an immersive drinking and dining experience in The Vaults underneath Waterloo. Inspired by the fantastic world of Roald Dahl. If quirky’s your thing, Dans le Noir (in the dark) tells it like it is, and offers you a sensory gastronomic experience in complete darkness, served by blind waiters (we haven’t tried it, but would like to know if you have!). Our advice to you is mix it up, try new flavours and avoid sticking to your firm faves.
The blue carpeted, grey walled, poorly lit office is thankfully heading towards extinction, and instead, employers are feeling the pressure to create visually stimulating office environments that help motivate and increase productivity and wellbeing. A more flexible approach to work is also ramping up the amount of remote working venues on the scene. These encourage single or collaborative workspaces for employees, startups, creatives and freelancers alike.
Working isn’t just about getting your head down anymore, it’s about getting your creative work juices flowing and taking your productivity to the max. During work breaks, if you’re not going to leave the building, prepare to embrace activities such as yoga, lego, adult colouring in or music and wellbeing therapies.
Plug in and log onto wifi at The Canvas Café in Shoreditch and get your teeth into their array of work and play related activities such as workshops, performances, singing sessions – alongside a fab selection of refreshments. Are you a creative South London way? You can also find good networking opportunities with likeminded people at The Peckham Pelican, which also doubles as an exhibition space and attracts a whole wealth of musicians, students and artists.
No, we’re not talking dating we’re talking OTHER curricular activities. Whether you’re into stained glass, jewellery, music, dog breeding, rap or geek tech, there’s a Meetup group for you. Getting stuck into your favourite hobbies is without a doubt an excellent way to relieve stress and ramp up your happiness levels. It also gets you out there meeting new like-minded people and making new friends.
Whatever incentive you may have, whether that’s getting better at your craft, meeting someone special or trying to get out of bad end-of-the-working-day habits, get onto Meetup and search your area for groups to join.
Having recently scoured the Meetups site AND gatecrashed a ukulele-for-beginners meetup in a local bar, it’s clear there’s literally something for everyone.