In a nutshell, live/work describes a lifestyle in which one can live and work in the same space. Technological developments have enabled many people to use their living spaces for business ventures or remote work -- and we’ve certainly come a long way from the days of the cramped home office or damp renovated shed.
Whether you’re an artist, entrepreneur, or one of the half a million Londoners who work from home, here are some reasons why live/work might work for you:
1. Ditch the commute
With live/work your commute is reduced to seconds. This not only saves you time, and money on petrol or train fares, but also makes braving the rain or snow every morning a thing of the past.
2. Consolidate costs
If you’re a new business needing office space, or a professional requiring a specific type of workspace (studio, kitchen etc.), living and working in the same space saves you from having to rent a workspace in addition to living accommodation. Other options like designated co-working spaces definitely have their benefits, but may be outside the budget for early-stage ventures on a bootstrapped budget.
3. Save money on food
People who travel to work spend an average of £10.59 a day on small purchases like coffee, breakfast, lunch and snacks -- this amounts to more than £2,500 a year! If you work where you live, you can prepare meals at home, avoiding the crowds and high prices of restaurants and cafes.
4. Set your own timetable
Working the classic 9-5 doesn’t necessarily suit everyone. Not being tied to an external physical workspace grants you a great amount of freedom in how to structure your working hours -- early birds and night owls rejoice!
5. Act instantly upon inspiration when it strikes
Much like productivity, inspiration doesn’t always conform to a 9-5 timetable. The beauty of working where you live is that it’s easy to capitalise on spontaneous inspiration when it strikes, as you’re right where the action is.
6. Design your own physical space
Variety is the spice of life, but individual preferences are typically not catered for in traditional workspaces, with their cramped cubicles and fluorescent lighting. Adopting a live/work lifestyle means you can set up your workspace however you like. Plants, colours, neatness or organised chaos -- create an environment that works for you!
7. Free up time to focus on what’s important
Living and working in the same space means a lot less ‘life admin’ to take up your time, freeing you up to focus on your work and enjoy your leisure time. No more time wasted worrying about things like transporting yourself and your work equipment between locations, or overseeing utility costs for two sites.
7. Enjoy the benefits of co-living
Newer live/work developments like The Collective Old Oak have created spaces where people can live and work, and be part of a connected community. Old Oak members have shared spaces beyond living and working quarters, with onsite amenities like a gym, restaurant and bar, games room and launderette. Members also have access to daily activities and events, from yoga to live music, and film nights to guest speaker series.
8. Explore co-working
Many live/work spaces integrate a co-working ethos, bringing freelancers, entrepreneurs and remote workers together to be part of a community. Co-working is set up to combat the isolation that these types of workers can fall prey to, facilitating networking and collaboration between members. Many co-working spaces also offer additional benefits like events.
Written by Grace Waters