The 5 Best UK Cities for Freelancers

The digital revolution has led to a new breed of workers – remote workers, freelancers, digital nomads. Whichever category they fit into, they can work from wherever they want. It’s becoming an increasingly popular way to work, especially among millennials. The capital is the obvious choice for this kind of work, but London isn’t the only good place to be a freelancer in the UK.

Here are the top 5 cities in the UK for freelancers and the reasons you should choose them as your remote base. The statistics below were pulled together by MoneySuperMarket.

No. of startups No. of freelancers advertising BT Wi-Fi hotspots Coffee shops Cost of rent (PCM) Property Cost Hourly rate Life Satisfaction score (out of 10)
Manchester 21,815 1,001 125,690 225 £949 £185,000 £30.00 7.35
Brighton & Hove 14,765 327 22,079 172 £1,200 £400,000 £26.50 7.6
Edinburgh 20,260 300 48,560 184 £995 £260,000 £29.50 7.59
Belfast 10,590 145 43,810 209 £550 £129,950 £20.00 7.65
London 541,310 6196 771,191 1,288 £1,876 £635,000 £30.00 7.5

Manchester

Manchester tops many lists looking at freelancing in the UK. It’s filled with laptop-friendly cafés and lots of other Wi-Fi hotspots to work from. The cost of rent and co-working spaces is much cheaper than London, but it’s still a large enough city to produce plenty of demand for freelance work. Plus, it offers a comparable hourly rate compared to London. Lots of freelancers and start-ups are calling Manchester their home.

Brighton & Hove

If you have dreams of working remotely by the coast, then Brighton is your best choice in the UK. Although it’s slightly more expensive and offers a lower hourly rate on average compared to Manchester, it is still proving to be popular among freelancers. Perhaps because of the high quality of life it offers.

Brighton & Hove

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, so it’s the place to go if you want to work with a nice view. It is similar to Manchester when it comes to hourly rates and rent prices, making it a great place for freelancers to make a living. It has fewer cafés and other locations with Wi-Fi, but it’s still plenty to get by on.

Edinburgh City

Belfast

Belfast has the lowest rent and house prices of all the cities on this list, although this does balance out slightly with a lower average hourly rate. There are still lots of cafés and easy access to Wi-Fi in the city, and it boasts a desirable life satisfaction rating from those surveyed.

London

Of course, London still makes this list. Despite its higher costs for rent and other expenses, it offers a great quality of life, generous hourly rates, and plenty of opportunities for freelancers and new businesses. The number of freelancers and start-ups in London is growing rapidly and there is no shortage of spaces for them to work from.

Manchester City

Which of these cities tops your list of places to work remotely in the UK? Or maybe you think another city deserved to make the list. Let us know in the comments below.

Places to Work in London as a Remote Worker

When you work remotely, the world is your oyster. You could work practically anywhere in the world, so how do you choose? If you’ve chosen London as your base, there are so many great spots for you to work out of. One of the perks of working remotely is that you have the option of working from home, but you don’t want to be stuck at home all the time.

So, when you want to get out and see what workspaces London has to offer, start with these great spots to work in.

You + Wi-Fi + good coffee

Cafés are a great place for freelancers to work from. As long as they have a fast internet connection and good coffee, you could stay there all day. Most cafés won’t charge you to work there, but it is expected that you’ll be ordering food and/or drinks while you’re there. Here are a few highlights:

Cafes for freelancers

  • Timberyard – This independent café is perfect for freelancers because it has its own makeshift workspace on the lower level. You’ll find meeting rooms and a quieter workspace, while upstairs is a vibrant café with lots of food and drink on offer. Open 8am-6pm Mon-Fri with slightly shorter opening times at the weekend.
  • Ginger & White – This is a cosy café that boasts comfy sofas and more work-focused communal tables. It has a great selection of cakes and all-day breakfast to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. Open from early until 5.30pm every day.
  • The Hoxton Hotels – If you’re looking for a spot of luxury while you work, then many London hotels will let you work from their lobbies with access to free Wi-Fi and power sources. The Hoxton Hotels in Holborn and Shoreditch have comfortable lobbies with desks for you to work at. There’s also a great menu to keep you fuelled all day.

The Hoxton Hotels

Get focused with co-working

Dedicated co-working spaces are becoming increasingly popular in major cities as the number of remote workers grows around the world. London has lots to offer if you’re happy to pay for a workspace, all with different atmospheres. Check out these London co-working spaces:

  • Soho Works – Nestle yourself in the trendy locale of Shoreditch at Soho Works coworking space. It’s a stylish place where members can work from with 24/7 access. The cheapest membership option will cost you £225 per month here.
  • Huckletree – Huckletree has three locations in London, in Shoreditch, Clerkenwell, and West London. It’s a great choice for coworking if you’re interested in the community aspect of things. As well as a space to work in, there are also lots of events and classes organised for members. A light membership costs £175 per month while full time memberships will cost more depending on what you need.
  • Oval Office – It’s not the Whitehouse, but this Oval Office is designed with creative start-ups and freelancers in mind. Membership options are varied and start at £199 per month. Members get 24/7 access plus free fruit and discounts at their café.

Oval Office

Other interesting hotspots

Do none of these catch your eye? Here are some other interesting spots to work from:

  • Google Campus – The campus run by Google is designed for start-ups. Just book in advance and you can use their space and Wi-Fi for free. Located in Shoreditch, this space is open Mon-Fri from 9am-8pm.
  • The British Library – If you like peace and quiet while you work, The British Library on Euston Road is your best option. Really knuckle down in this studious environment. Opening hours vary throughout the week, but it is open from 9.30am most days.
  • When the weather is fine, you’ve got plenty of outdoor spots to choose from. Pull up a bench in any of London’s major parks if you don’t need access to Wi-Fi, or choose a café with an outdoor area if you still need to be connected. The Hub Café in Regents Park is a good one to try out, open 8.30am-7pm every day.

The Hub Café in Regents Park

With so many options of places to work from, you’ve got no excuse to not be productive working as a freelancer in London. What’s your favourite place to work in London? Let us know in the comments below.

Prepare Your Home For a Spooky Halloween

Skeletons

Whether you’re welcoming a bunch of hyperactive kids or a house full of drunk adults, hosting a Halloween party at your house can be crazy fun (emphasis on the CRAZY). Either way, there are some preparations you will need to make in your house before the big night.

Make space with furniture storage 

You want to make sure there’s plenty of space for guests to move around, play party games, or dance. Any furniture you won’t need for the party can be stored away for the weekend or for longer. bySTORED offers furniture storage for all your furniture, from small to large items. Storage is also a good idea for any valuables that might get broken or damaged at your party.

Get in the spirit with decorations

Now you’ve got space to get creative, it’s time to break out the decorations. The shops are full of spooky decorations right now, or you could try making your own if you’re the crafty sort. Decorations outside your home as well as inside can help to guide guests to the right place and get everyone in the Halloween spirit.

Pumpkin

There are so many options, like bat and ghosts hanging from the ceiling, fake cobwebs in the corners of the room, and carved pumpkins outside of your front door. Spooky lights can also help to set the mood.

Ghost

Store some sweets away

If you live in an area that gets trick-or-treaters, then make sure you have a secret stash saved for them. Leaving bowls full of sweets and chocolates out at a party is a recipe for it all getting devoured, so keep some stored away for the local kids.

Halloween

If you need bySTORED to help you have a happy halloween, then you can book your London furniture storage unit with us today.

How To Minimise Plastic Use In Your Home

Plastic‘Plastic’ is fast becoming a profanity in today’s society, and for good reason. Plastic waste and the energy needed to produce plastic products have a massive impact on the environment. We consume more than 5 million tonnes of plastic each year. And that’s just the UK!

The good news is that you can make a difference! Want to know how? Read on or some easy ways to reduce plastic use in your home.

Reusable Shopping Bags 

The bag for live movement is in full swing, but it’s easy to forget yours and bring your shopping home in half a dozen plastic bags. Get your reusable plastic bags – canvas bags are even better – and keep them in your car or somewhere you’re bound to remember them.

PlasticRefillable Water Bottles 

Single-use plastic water bottles are one of the main culprits. We use and improperly dispose of so many of these. Cut these out completely and get yourself a refillable plastic or stainless-steel bottle that you can use repeatedly. Carrying a thermos flask with you also helps you cut down on single-use cups from your local coffee shop.

PlasticPlastic-free Toothbrushes

You replace your toothbrush maybe every 6 months. It doesn’t sound like a lot but if everyone’s doing this, that adds up to a lot of waste. Plastic-free toothbrushes are now available to reduce this waste and Bamboo ones are particularly popular.

Stay Away From Chewing Gum 

It’s not just the packaging that’s wasteful. Most brands of chewing gum actually contain synthetic rubber, i.e. plastic! Not only is it gross to be chewing on plastic, you also create non-degradable waste every time you throw out a piece of gum.

PlasticCardboard Packaging

Some products are available in either plastic bottles or cardboard boxes. Washing detergent, for example. If you always opt for products packaged in cardboard when you have the option, your household plastic waste will drop significantly.

Buy In Bulk

Whenever you do buy products with plastic packaging, go for the biggest option possible. If you buy a jumbo pack of 36 toilet rolls, you’ll use much less plastic compared to buying a 4-pack nine times. Plus, you’ll save money!

We cant change the world overnight, but if we take small steps to reduce our plastic waste, we can tackle the problem together.

Millennial-proof houseplants

Houseplants are one of the easiest, and most on-trend, ways of sprucing up your one-bed London flat and bringing in some much needed greenery!

houseplants
Photo: Ine Carriquiry

Put off by that one time at uni you thought you’d try and make the communal space somewhat liveable, only to find that even the succulent you bought managed to die? It wasn’t you, we blame the weird guy from the corner room that left his dishes to fester for three months before attempting to clean – toxic!

We’ve got faith and if we’ve managed to keep them alive we’re sure you can too – and if you’re still not convinced, this list contains 10 of some of the easiest houseplants to care for (order not applicable)!

Check them out below and get inspiration for your #monsteramonday Instagram posts (it’s not a thing, we just want it to be, and they’re not actually that easy to care for…!).

  1. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

2. Calathea (Calathea Makoyana)

3. Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica)

4. Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)

5. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

6. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

7.  Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

8. Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

9. Umbrella Tree (Schefflers arboricola)

10. Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa)

Now there’s no excuse to have dead plants lingering around your flat or just for not living in the millennial dream of an urban jungle!

Comment below with any other easy, millennial-proof houseplants!

The London Student Survival Guide

London
London

Congrats, you’ve passed your A-levels and got into the uni of your choice! Now it’s time to get prepared for the big old move to the big smoke.

You’ve probably heard the horror stories about moving to London and how you probably won’t have as much fun as those who are going to a campus uni in the north somewhere. It’s wrong!

Going to uni in London is an experience like no other and as most of us here in the bySTORED office have been through it and loved it, we’ve put together some top tips on how to survive your first semester in the city.

Make a solid friendship group

Group of friends

If you’ve moved to uni without your core group of friends from home then moving into uni halls and making a solid group of friend for freshers is going to be super key.

Having a group of people to help break that awkward ice at those first few freshers gatherings means you’re going to have much more fun and not feel the need to sink ten pints before you drunkenly go to speak to people.

They’ll become the ones you complain about lectures to, spend Sunday mornings hungover in the kitchen with and blow your student loans with on oxford street.

Get to grips with the transport system

London underground

London’s transport system is extensive! But, once you’ve got the hang of it, it can be one of the simplest and fastest ways of getting around.

Locate your nearest tube/train stop and figure out your route to uni/the SU and central London and after a couple of days you’ll be doing these commutes with your eyes shut!

Make sure you get a student travel card as it will save you around 20% a month on a full price one and allows you to use any transport in those zones!

Find a couple of bargain boozers and food spots

Pub

Eating and drinking in London can cost a fortune!

We found that the best way to survive at uni was not to be scared of happy hours, vouchers and other deals that you can use to save a bit of a cash.

Most bars will have a midweek happy hour offering 2-4-1 cocktails or half price food, so keep an eye out for those.

Also you can sign up to a number of websites such as www.savethestudent.org which update their site with all the latest deals and cheap offerings going on around the city for students.

Freshers Fair

It may seem like a boring event that every uni does but there’s actually some great finds there.

From a number of freebies, to discount cards and socials to sign up to you can not only get to know people but also walk away with a goodie bag full of stuff.

Try not to spend every weekend going home

Country home

You’ve come to university in one of the best cities in the world for culture, music, lifestyle so, make the most of it! There’s a whole host of events on every weekend to whet the appetite and it’s another way of creating friendships with people at uni, instead of being that kit that is never around!

This help? Comment below with any other tips you’ve got for surviving your first few months at uni in the big city.