In the words of Ri Ri ‘work work work work work’, which is exactly what this week’s blog is about! I’ve been exploring a nifty hideaway that’s run by freelancers for freelancers; The Workers’ Cafe. A workspace with a twist, this businesses goals are simple: ensure that the self-employed aren’t isolated, those working with inconsistent incomes are catered to, whilst still having a personal community workspace experience. With a laptop, phone and mass of cables in her hands, I spot Jacky. We chuckle, bump elbows and sit down to get stuck in.
How did The Workers’ Cafe come about?
I’m glad you asked! It all started with a crowdfunding campaign, we wanted the cafe to solve problems encountered by digital moguls, artists, and freelancers from all walks of life. If you don’t fit the 9-5 box, want to bring your lunch in or even have a cuppa brought over to your table, you can. We endeavour to know peoples names and banish the idea of isolation, which occurs all too often when you go it alone as a freelancer or start up your own business.The workers’ cafe is owned by 6 freelancers and we designed the business model with people in mind.
It’s great to hear that! Being an independent business, why do you think they are so important?
Big businesses are often data driven, whereas independents are people driven. The ‘isolation’ factor comes into that too. We always ask for feedback to know how people are feeling and what we can do better. People aren’t numbers and shouldn’t be treated like them.
What attracted you to East London?
It’s well known as a big hub for freelancers and artists, one of the most prominent on the map (… most of the owners live here too..) *laughs*. Once you go into central London it’s tough to break the corporate mold. We don’t want to lose our personality!
What about your favourite local businesses here?
Who can we give a shout out to? We’ve watched all of our favourite businesses grow with us now that we’ve been here a year and love Burley Fisher Books – they stock personal books (it’s a given). Also Sheps, the amazing new Korean bar and Sake bar! Not to mention the Temaki Bros who are lucky enough to be our October pop up chefs…
What made you join the East London pound?
Persistence! (laughs). To be honest, it was a simple choice, Colu has great initiatives, huge motivational factors and discounts. Once we met the crew, it just felt like this was going to become a staple app that people all over London will end up, using. Thank you so much, I will feed that back to the team!!
So… What does the future look like for The Workers’ Cafe?
The future is to be in the shape of a collective and expand next February to cover more areas in London. It’s key to create a replicable model that people trust. Small business mentality, Global goals.
If you’re a freelancer then why not have a look at The Workers’ Cafe? They are currently offering one week free (plus teas & coffee) – what have you got to lose? Don’t miss the freelancer coffee morning either!